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This editable close reading exercise features 11 text-dependent, higher-order questions, helping students improve reading comprehension of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet (Act 4, Scene 5) with emphasis on the Capulets' struggle to come to terms with the apparent death of their daughter. By engaging in this exercise, students will support claims with textual evidence, analyze character motivations and development, examine figurative language to discern meaning, and communicate ideas clearly and coherently through writing. A detailed answer key is included, as are Word Document, Google Document, and PDF versions of the assessment.
Questions are aligned to Common Core Standards for reading literature, language, and writing at the ninth and tenth grade levels.
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This resource aligns well to Adolescent Literacy Project teaching principles. I recommend using these worksheets as the basis for small-group discussions. Through these discussions, students decode Shakespeare's language and pose/respond to questions relating to plot, broad topics, and character development, demonstrating an ability to analyze how complex characters transform and advance the plot and themes by applying logic and citing compelling, meaningful textual evidence. They will also evaluate their peers' reasoning and use of rhetoric to advance claims, clarifying or challenging unclear ideas. Using this resource for structured guidance, students, ultimately, will present information, conclusions, and supporting textual evidence clearly, concisely, and appropriately, thereby helping their peers -- and teacher -- comprehend their thinking. In the role of facilitator, I observe my students becoming more consistently engaged with the novel and taking greater ownership of their learning.
In addition to helping students gain deeper understanding of the material and greater confidence in their ability to read and comprehend complex texts, this resource was designed to prepare students for ACT-style questioning.