#TpTShare: Romeo and Juliet Close Reading

QuickFacts: 9th grade English Literature, Romeo and Juliet

I want to begin to engage with the teaching blogosphere, adding in my unique voice.

I’m going to do this multiple ways, but one way I’ll dip my toe in is by sharing some resources. I have taught Romeo and Juliet multiple times, and every time I do, I refine my approach to it. I adore this text.

In a recent go-round right before the first PARCC, I focused my attention on beefing up my students’ abilities to tackle those ELA Common Core Literature Standards. I created a series of Close Reading lessons that took my students through the difficult figurative language of the text. I mean, we got in there real deep, y’all. It was intense, but really paid off when I saw just how deeply they began to access the text.

I’ve created a TeachersPayTeachers resource that you can use to see what this type of close reading looks like. This is for Act 4, scenes 1-3. Here’s what I did to approach this particular lesson, and it’s somewhat typical of the process.

  1. Tell the kiddos to read the whole act the night before. This is pre-reading and I don’t require any annotating, no journaling, nothing. Just read the text. My viewpoint on this has been changing recently, but I will touch more on that in a separate blog post. 
  2. They come in and we diiiiiive in. *Trey Songz voice* We read the excerpt from the first scene together and go at it slowly and painfully. I use my ELMO to show them what it looks like to MARK up a text.
  3. I release them to do the second excerpt from the second scene with a partner. I float around constantly, refining their insights, keeping them on task, and pushing pushing pushing against intellectually lazy conclusions.
  4. The third close reading from the third scene in the act is independent, silent solo. This is done either at class or at home, but my point is to assess that knowledge and make sure they can now do this task on their own.

And that’s it. You can download this resource from my store for the low price of FREE right here: FREE STUFF-LIT Be sure to bookmark my store page (The Black Reading Teacher) because I’m going to be slowly uploading a plethora of resources from my first three years of teachers up on that thang.

So talk to me: how do you approach close reading in your class? How do you approach Romeo and Juliet? How do you not cry every single time you play the movie? I’d love to hear from you.