Romeo and Juliet

Teaching Romeo and Juliet

Overview

This text set is designed for the study of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in a 12th grade, Virginia high school class, so that it will line up with the required SOLs. Since the works of William Shakespeare are frequently taught in high school, but are also frequently misunderstood by students, I feel it is important to bring in texts that will make the original plays more accessible for all students. While the original text will of course be included in this text set, there will also be “No Fear Shakespeare” versions of the text, and articles that will help with an overall understanding of the themes presented in the text. Also included in this text set will be two film versions of the play, one in the traditional style and one modern retelling, as these can be useful to students in helping them visualize what is going on.
In the 12th grade SOLs, there is an emphasis on analyzing literature and what can be conveyed through the sound of a poem, what can be conveyed in dramatic conventions, and how different works of literature can relate to others. Shakespeare’s plays set themselves up very nicely for this kind of analysis, but if the plays cannot be read or comprehended, it makes it difficult to do anything with them. My goal for this text set will be to put different versions of the play into students’ hands, so that they may be able to access the story from their own reading level. Some versions will include modern or more simple language. Others may include pictures or be heavily glossed. The goal for all the included texts will be to unlock the mystery that is Shakespearean language to my students.

Description of Students

This text set is intended for a typical, regular track, 12th grade English class. In this class there will be students who are on grade level for reading, and there will be students who are up to a college undergraduate reading level or down to an 8th grade reading level. There may also be students who English Language Learners, and they may need extra help to understand this antiquated version of English when they are already having to learn modern English. With this text set I will have to cater to those students who could easily read Shakespeare on their own, and those who will need extra guidance and instruction to understand.

Targeted SOLs

12.3D, 12.4B, 12.4F, 12.4H, 12.4I, 12.5A, 12,5B, 12.5D, 12.5F

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