This is a free guide that helps answer students' common question: "Why do we have to read Romeo and Juliet?" These questions go along with three of Open Air Shakespeare's articles that, through a mixture of historical facts and the author's opinions, thoroughly explain some good reasons why R&J has been studied historically and why we still study it today. The URLs are included in the PDF.
The questions featured in this guide are intended to hold students accountable for actually reading -- they have to look fairly closely to find the answers. I created this resource for my freshmen students to use on their Chromebooks and had them turn it in via Google Classroom. Grading was easy -- if they had done it, they got the points, and if not, they didn't. Dipping into critical thinking questions is simple, as well, though there aren't any printed on the pages. Using the knowledge students gain from these articles provides a great springboard for class discussion. There is lots to unpack here. For example, is the fact that R&J has been studied for so long a good enough reason for us to keep studying it? Do we need to read things that hold a mirror up to human nature and why or why not?
I teach in 50-minute periods. Most students did finish within that time frame with a short discussion time. You may need to adjust the teaching time depending on what you want. If you have longer periods, a longer discussion time would be wonderful. Shorter periods may break this up into a 2-day exercise. This PDF can easily be printed as-is or copied and pasted into Google Docs or Word, depending on your preferences.