Set includes my lesson plan, student handout, and 14 character cards: Prince Escalus, Lord & Lady Montague, Romeo, Lord & Lady Capulet, Juliet, Benvolio, Mercutio, Tybalt, Nurse, Friar Laurence, Paris, and Rosaline.
Shakespeare is meant to be performed, so I want my students embodying characters from day one. A character mixer is a fun and active way for students to meet each of the key players of Romeo and Juliet and start noticing their tangled relationships. I wrote each character's card in their voice to give students a sense of each character's personality, allegiance, and goal.
After meeting each character, students work to create a family-tree-like map of their relationships, loyalties, and unrequited loves. I use this as an introduction activity, so the cards show characters as they are at the beginning of the play-- Romeo pining over Rosaline, Paris curious about Juliet, and Romeo and Juliet living in separate worlds. When we refer back to our maps after reading the play, students are surprised by how much has changed since the beginning (and how few characters are left standing!).
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