This bundle has everything you need to teach your students how to write a literary analysis essay as you finish up Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet! The assignments are broken down into 6 easy steps that follow the writing process, with handouts and Power Point slides that match each step. It's perfect for struggling writers or students who are writing an academic essay for the first time.
This bundle is truly "no prep!" Just make copies for your kiddos, and you're ready to go! Handouts and Power Point are attractive and kid-friendly.
Bundle includes the following:
- Student handouts for each step in the writing process (6 total) in both PDF and editable Word formats
- Pre-writing "Circle Graph" assignment handout (cross-curricular!)
- Writing Workshop Power Point to match each step, with teacher notes for each slide
- Matching essay rubric, in both PDF and editable Word format
- Teacher notes that share how I use this assignment in my own classroom
- Daily activity outline that gives a suggested teaching timeline
Students will analyze the question "Who is to blame for the main characters' deaths in Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet?" They will choose two characters whom they feel are responsible and write a four-paragraph literary analysis essay based on their ideas. My kiddos tend to love this topic -- they get to lay blame on the characters and reimagine the ending of the play!
This activity is highly structured and organized, and the handouts and Power Point walk students through each individual step. No more frustrated kids staring at a blank Word document! With plenty of brainstorming at the beginning, students will have plenty of reasons and ideas to incorporate, and the "Step 3: Drafting Handout" gives specific directions for writing each sentence of the essay as they fill it in. The handouts are also great for when a student is absent, since he or she can easily complete the activity at home based on the handout's detailed directions.
As they complete the activities, your students will be able to demonstrate these skills:
- Follow the steps of the writing process (brainstorming, organizing, drafting, typing and formatting, revising, editing, and publishing)
- Write a solid two-part thesis statement
- Create an academic essay title using a colon
- Incorporate the correct ratio of textual evidence and analysis sentences in main body paragraphs
- Include direct quotations from a play with signal phrases, proper punctuation, and parenthetical citations using the act, scene, and line numbers
- Write a basic "hook" opener, use transition words between main body paragraphs, and include a "finished-feel" closing statement in the conclusion.
- Format a document in MLA style
- Revise for content and organization with peers
- Edit for style and conventions both with peers and independently
The entire sequence of activities takes about six 70-minute class periods for my 8th graders, so about 2 1/2 weeks on my A/B block schedule. It can be easily adapted for shorter class periods as well. In my experience, these activities will work well with advanced 6th - 8th graders, on-level 9th graders, and below-level 10th-11th graders. Note: The students DO need to have read the play Romeo and Juliet to complete the essay!
A quick word about creativity and writing formulas:
If you’re looking for that writing opportunity where students can really get creative and just let loose with their ideas … this ain’t it. This essay is HIGHLY STRUCTURED and, yes, a little formulaic. For my kids, they need somewhere to start, as this is often their first true academic literary analysis essay. If you have some strong writers, you can have a chat with them about being able to adjust the structure a little to fit their style. (I tell them they’ve earned the right to “break the rules a little!”) But for most writers, following the structure ensures that they get some solid practice creating an organized essay that includes an appropriate ratio of evidence, direct quotes, and analysis. For students who tend to stare at blank page and get overwhelmed, this structure is incredibly helpful.