School of Undergraduate Studies

The university of texas, romeo and juliet edition.

This ongoing research project is aimed at completing a contracted edition of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." Research tasks include working closely with the language of Shakespeare's text, including the glossing (defining) of its words and phrases, investigations relating to its performance history (stage and film alike), and careful proofing of critical prose from the editor's Introduction. Student researchers will be introduced to various protocols and strategies in search engines dedicated to early modern (1500-1700) texts and their language.

interest in Shakespeare, drama, reading

This project is ongoing, and will likely stretch across several semesters. Students are welcome to participate for as long as they wish.

Online research into the language of "Romeo and Juliet," and/or its performance history

Douglas Bruster


The Office of Undergraduate Research recommends that you attend an info session  or advising before contacting faculty members or project contacts about research opportunities. We'll cover the steps to get involved, tips for contacting faculty, funding possibilities, and options for course credit. Once you have attended an Office of Undergraduate Research info session or spoken to an advisor, you can use the "Who to contact" details for this project to get in touch with the project leader and express your interest in getting involved.

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romeo and juliet research tasks

Romeo and Juliet

William shakespeare, everything you need for every book you read..

Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet . Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

Romeo and Juliet: Introduction

Romeo and juliet: plot summary, romeo and juliet: detailed summary & analysis, romeo and juliet: themes, romeo and juliet: quotes, romeo and juliet: characters, romeo and juliet: symbols, romeo and juliet: literary devices, romeo and juliet: quizzes, romeo and juliet: theme wheel, brief biography of william shakespeare.

Romeo and Juliet PDF

Historical Context of Romeo and Juliet

Other books related to romeo and juliet.

  • Full Title: Romeo and Juliet
  • When Written: Likely 1591-1595
  • Where Written: London, England
  • When Published: “Bad quarto” (incomplete manuscript) printed in 1597; Second, more complete quarto printed in 1599; First folio, with clarifications and corrections, printed in 1623
  • Literary Period: Renaissance
  • Genre: Tragic play
  • Setting: Verona, Italy
  • Climax: Mistakenly believing that Juliet is dead, Romeo kills himself on her funeral bier by drinking poison. Juliet wakes up, finds Romeo dead, and fatally stabs herself with his dagger.
  • Antagonist: Capulet, Lady Capulet, Montague, Lady Montague, Tybalt

Extra Credit for Romeo and Juliet

Tourist Trap. Casa di Giulietta, a 12-century villa in Verona, is located just off the Via Capello (the possible origin of the anglicized surname “Capulet”) and has become a major tourist attraction over the years because of its distinctive balcony. The house, purchased by the city of Verona in 1905 from private holdings, has been transformed into a kind of museum dedicated to the history of Romeo and Juliet , where tourists can view set pieces from some of the major film adaptations of the play and even leave letters to their loved ones. Never mind that “the balcony scene,” one of the most famous scenes in English literature, may never have existed—the word “balcony” never appears in the play, and balconies were not an architectural feature of Shakespeare’s England—tourists flock from all over to glimpse Juliet’s famous veranda.

Love Language. While much of Shakespeare’s later work is written in a combination of verse and prose (used mostly to offer distinction between social classes, with nobility speaking in verse and commoners speaking in prose), Romeo and Juliet is notable for its heady blend of poetic forms. The play’s prologue is written in the form of a sonnet, while most of the dialogue adheres strictly to the rhythm of iambic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet alter their cadences when speaking to each another, using more casual, naturalistic speech. When they talk about other potential lovers, such as Rosaline and Paris, their speech is much more formal (to reflect the emotional falsity of those dalliances.) Friar Laurence speaks largely in sermons and aphorisms, while the nurse speaks in blank verse.

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Education Resources

Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare

Discover teaching ideas and lesson planning inspiration through our range of resources, activities and other supporting materials on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

About the play

Past productions and play history, merchandise, romeo and juliet on the shakespeare learning zone.

Romeo and Juliet  is the tragic story of two young people from two different households who fall in love. Despite the fighting between their families the two central characters do everything they can to remain together. 

For young people of all ages, this play is a fantastic way to explore the concepts of family and loyalty as well as looking at a range of themes including:

  • Family Relationships
  • Fate and Destiny

You can discover more about these themes and where they appear in the text as well as others in our Themes Resource . 


Discover upcoming events and workshops that focus on Romeo and Juliet .


Two hour workshops in our Clore Learning Centre, on any Shakespeare play, tailored to the needs of your students, led by an RSC Associate Learning Practitioner. 


Explore our range of videos, Teacher Packs and other online resources. 


There are lots of ways you could choose to approach this text, access the full Teacher Packs as PDFs from the list:

  • Romeo and Juliet School Synopsis 
  • Romeo and Juliet Teacher Pack 2010


You can re-watch our Live Lesson on  Romeo and Juliet  featuring RSC Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman and actors Karen Fishwick (Juliet) and Andrew French (Friar Laurence). The lesson explores Act 4 Scene 1 and Act 3.

Romeo and Juliet kissing, Romeo wears a black hoodie, Juliet wears a blue oversized shirt, in front of a black and red backdrop

romeo and juliet research tasks

Shakespeare Learning Zone

Students will find many resources on Romeo and Juliet  in our  Shakespeare Learning Zone , including scene by scene analysis, activities on character relationships, in depth scene studies and PEE grids. These resources are also perfect to be used by teachers in the classroom.

Studying Shakespeare? Then you'll love our new  SHAKESPEARE LEARNING ZONE! Discover loads of facts, videos and in-depth information about Shakespeare's plays.

romeo and juliet research tasks

Really get to grips with the stories, settings and characters of Shakespeare's plays. Unlock his language using the same techniques our actors use in rehearsals.

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In This Section

romeo and juliet research tasks

Shakespeare’s most famous story of love at first sight and a family feud that ends in tragedy.

romeo and juliet research tasks

Read the story of Romeo and Juliet - Shakespeare’s most famous story of love at first sight.

romeo and juliet research tasks

Past productions of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and the history of the play

romeo and juliet research tasks

Studying Romeo and Juliet? Visit the SHAKESPEARE LEARNING ZONE to discover loads of facts, videos and info about the play

More Information for Teachers

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Professional Development wherever you are

romeo and juliet research tasks

Romeo and Juliet

Two star-crossed lovers from warring families marry in secret, amid a culture of violence and prejudice.

Classroom activities and tasks for all year levels.

romeo and juliet research tasks


Romeo and Juliet

Evaluating articles.

  • Article Checklist Determine the audience, accuracy, bias, credibility, currency, and relevance of an article. UNC Chapel Hill.
  • Carnival and Death in Romeo and Juliet By Ronald Knowles Publication Details: Shakespeare and Carnival: After Bakhtin. Ed. Ronald Knowles. London: Macmillan, 1998. p36-60. Source: Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Michael L. LaBlanc. Vol. 76. De
  • Defying the Stars Paul A., Kottman. "Defying The Stars: Tragic Love As The Struggle For Freedom In Romeo And Juliet." Shakespeare Quarterly 63.1 (n.d.): 1-38. Project MUSE. Web. 4 Feb. 2013.
  • Falling in Love-The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet By John F. Andrews. Publication Details: Classical, Renaissance, and Postmodernist Acts of the Imagination:Essays Commemorating O. B. Hardison, Jr. Ed. Arthur F. Kinney. Newark:University of Delaware Press, 1996. p177-194.Source: Shakespearean Criticism.
  • Fate & Fortune in Romeo & Juliet Fate & Fortune in Romeo & Juliet. Author(s): D. Douglas Waters. Publication Details:Upstart Crow 12 (1992):p74-90. Source:Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Michelle Lee. Vol. 81.Detroit:Gale, 2004.From Literature Resource Center.Document Type:Critical Review
  • Response to Defying the Stars Lupton, Julia Reinhard. "Response To Paul A. Kottman, "Defying The Stars: Tragic Love As The Struggle For Freedom In Romeo And Juliet.." Shakespeare Quarterly 63.1 (2012): 39-45. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Feb. 2013.

Levenson, Jill L. "Romeo And Juliet Before Shakespeare." Studies In Philology 81.3 (1984): 325. Academic Search Complete . Web. 4 Feb. 2013.

Play the video "Finding a Specific Article", to locate an article using a citation.

This presentation explains the differences between  articles , journals , and databases .  They are accessible from the library's website at .    [3 minute video]

Finding a Specific Article (Using a Citation)

This video shows how to find an article by its citation.  [1 minute video ]

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Romeo & Juliet: Themes KS3

In these lessons, students will engage with the themes and ideas at the heart of the text, including fate, love and violence. Tasks include: a close reading of Romeo and Juliet's sonnet in Act 1 Scene 5; exploring the idea of words as weapons and how characters like Tybalt wield them; and a card game which will help connect themes to characters and the text.

In order to benefit fully from these lesson plans, we recommend you use them in the following order:

  • Text in Performance

If students are new to the play, we suggest you start with these introductory KS3 Lesson Plans. If you would like to teach the play in greater detail, use the advanced  KS4/5 Lesson Plans .

These lesson plans are available in the Downloads section at the bottom of this page.   To download resources, you must be logged in.  Sign up   for free  to access this and other exclusive features .  Activities mentioned in these resources are available in a separate downloadable 'Student Booklet', also at the bottom of this page. The 'Teachers' Guide' download explains how best to use Teach Shakespeare and also contains a bibliography and appendices referencing the resources used throughout.

Key Questions for Student:

Can I explain what is meant by ‘theme’?

Can I list some of the key themes of Romeo and Juliet ?

Key words: beauty, concealment, conflict, death, fate, family, friendship, love, secrecy, symbolism, theme, truth

Prologue: Opening Discussion

Display the ‘Props’ PowerPoint, which shows a montage of images connected to the plot of Romeo and Juliet . This is available in the Downloads section at the bottom of this page. Students should first of all identify as many items as they can from the montage (e.g. heart, rose, dagger, vial of poison). They should then pick out as many ideas, themes and issues as they that are suggested by the images (e.g. love, violence, war). 

Enter the Players: Group Tasks

1) Theme statues

Students are given pieces of paper which represent plaques for statues. They should write down the key themes of the play on these plaques, e.g. conflict, family, love, fate, time, beauty, death, friendship, etc. Imagine that Prince Escalus wants to erect statues around Verona for citizens to look at and learn from. Students should work in pairs or threes to sculpt themselves into thematic statues. Which statues would Prince Escalus choose? You could play the role of Escalus, selecting the statues and justifying ‘his’ choices. As an extension activity, students could embellish the plaques by having an appropriate quotation from the play engraved onto each plaque. There is a page to create some theme ‘plaques’ in the Student Booklet.

2) Text detectives: beauty and love at first sight

Romeo frequently comments on Juliet’s beauty. Explore with students Romeo’s first words when he sets eyes on Juliet, which can be found in the Student Booklet:

ROMEO: [to a Servingman] What lady’s that which doth enrich the hand Of yonder knight?  

SERVINGMAN:    I know not, sir.

ROMEO:    O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright. It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night As a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear, Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear. So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows As yonder lady o’er her fellow shows. The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight, For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.

romeo and juliet research tasks

Discussion points include:

  • the immediacy and drama of Romeo’s reaction to seeing Juliet
  • imagery of riches, jewels, etc.
  • references to the sense of touch as well as the sense of sight
  • the effect of Romeo’s use of rhyming couplets
  • the idea that Juliet’s beauty is superior to all others
  • how Romeo’s ‘love’ for Rosaline is eclipsed by Juliet, as seen in the last rhyming couplet

Now ask students to look for more quotations where Juliet’s beauty is described by Romeo. You could use an online concordance to begin with and search for the word ‘beauty’. You could also focus on scenes of courtship, such as Act 1 Scene 5 and Act 2 Scene 2. Also look at how Juliet praises Romeo and describes her attraction to him.

3) Pick a card...

Themes are important throughout a work of literature. To be able to write well about a theme in Romeo and Juliet , students need to track its importance at different points in the play. Have students randomly select a card from each pile: a character, a theme, and a section of the play. The template for these cards can be found in the downloadable Lesson Plans at the bottom of this page. This game could be used in the following ways:

  • to support students in becoming more familiar with the play, and in moving more confidently around it and making quick connections
  • as a revision tool without the text
  • as the basis for detailed small group discussion involving close analysis of a specific passage, through the lenses of particular characters and themes
  • to prepare students for exam questions which ask them to write about one part of the play in the context of the whole text

romeo and juliet research tasks

Exeunt: Closing Questions for Students

What would I say are the main themes in the Romeo and Juliet ?

What kinds of connections can I make between these themes?

How might a director draw out these themes on stage?

Suggested plenary activity…

In small groups, prepare a performance of the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet  accompanied by actions. How many of the play’s themes can students include in their performance?

Asides: Further Resources

  • Students could make Valentine’s cards or love letters for Rosaline and Juliet, in the character of Romeo. Use some of Romeo’s quotations about attraction and beauty, and make a display of them. How do Romeo’s feelings for the two women compare?
  • Students could also research the theme of beauty in other plays by Shakespeare.

Epilogue: Teacher's Note

Each of the themes mentioned in this suggested learning sequence has a dedicated lesson within these materials. In depth activities linked to ‘Conflict and violence’ and ‘Romantic Love’ follow here within the Key Stage 3 materials. Within the Key Stage 4 materials , there are activities linked to ‘Truth and secrecy, ‘Family’, ‘Age and Time’ and ‘Death, fate and tragedy’. You will also find detailed guidance on writing about themes. 

Key Questions for Students:

Can I investigate how Shakespeare establishes and develops the themes of conflict and violence in Romeo and Juliet ?

Key words: action, conflict, cue script, feud, insults, mindmap, opposites, prologue, reaction, theme, violence, war, weapons

In fan fiction, people create their own stories based on characters and locations from a well-known fictional world. Stories set at Hogwarts or in Middle Earth are popular examples! Give students a few minutes to brainstorm ideas about how they think the feud between the Capulets and Montagues might have started and share ideas. 

1) Insult generator

The Student Booklet provides students with copies of Rex Gibson’s Insult generator, from p. 199 of his book Teaching Shakespeare . Students could warm up by producing single insults and if they have time, they could prepare and rehearse a brief dialogue. Remind students that all the insults are Shakespeare’s. Can they identify which ones come from Romeo and Juliet ?

2) Words as weapons

This particular version of this activity was devised by Bill Buckhurst when he was directing Romeo and Juliet  in 2008 at the Globe. Pairs of students label themselves A and B and stand facing each other, so that all students are arranged in two lines. They pretend to send a weapon to their ‘enemy’, possibly adding a sound effect. Students take it in turns to hurl imaginary weapons - and to react to the weapons that hit or miss them - for no more than a minute. Students could then apply this technique to a piece of text and to the character who is most vocal in that conflict, e.g. Tybalt in Act 3 Scene 1. Assign a line from this character to each student, and then ask the students to identify the most hurtful or damaging word in that line. Students should now hurl that word to their opponent and vice versa. Discuss afterwards which words were the most effective weapons and why.

romeo and juliet research tasks

3) The brawl: working with a cue script

Sitting in groups of nine, students should be assigned a character from Act 3 Scene 1. They should also be given a ‘cue script’ for that part. This consists of only the lines that character speaks (in the order in which they are spoken), and the three cue words spoken by another character before each of their lines. students could even construct their own cue scripts using an online version of the play text that they can cut and paste as needed. Students should work together – without a director - to develop their understanding of and confidence with this scene. Every time they read their lines they should think more about how they should speak, how they should move and why, using the clues in the text itself.

To what extent is  Romeo and Juliet  a play about conflict and its consequences? 

How would you present the conflict in the play to audiences? 

Which non-violent scenes contain conflict? 

Can all of the violence of the play be explained by the conflict between the Montagues and the Capulets, or are there other causes?

Students should create a colourful, illustrated mindmap with the word ‘conflict’ or  ‘violence’ in the middle. As they read the play, they should add ideas relating the ideas of conflict and violence to the play’s characters, their situations and problems, their relationships and their motivations.

Aside: Further Resource

  • At the time Shakespeare was writing Romeo and Juliet ,  England was divided following Henry VIII’s split from the Catholic Church in 1533. Bitter feuding between Protestants and Catholics would have been an everyday reality for young men like Shakespeare.

Students could develop their ideas about how the feud began into a piece of creative writing.

Can I investigate how Shakespeare establishes and develops the theme of romantic love in Romeo and Juliet ?

Key words: imagery, marriage, motifs, passion, romantic love, sonnet, staging, storyboard, tragic, youth

The video to Des’ree’s ‘Kissing You’ song from Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet  could be playing as students enter the classroom for a lesson on this topic. Students could make a note of motifs and symbols that are associated with love in the video. Take feedback.

1) Text detectives: Romeo and Juliet’s sonnet

Elicit from students what they already know about the sonnet form: its length, iambic pentameter, rhyme scheme, association with love, Shakespeare’s own famous sonnet sequence. Explore closely the first words Romeo and Juliet exchange with each other in Act 1 Scene 5 lines 92-109, which can be found in the S tudent Booklet:

ROMEO:   If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

JULIET:      Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this, For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.

ROMEO:   Have not saints lips and holy palmers too?

JULIET:    Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.

ROMEO:   O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do – They pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.

JULIET:    Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.

ROMEO:   Then move not while my prayer’s effect I take. Give me my sin again.  [Kisses her.]

JULIET:     You kiss by th’ book.


Students could annotate these lines. Support them in their note taking, so that the following structural and language features are drawn in the discussion:

  • the 14 line structure
  • the rhyme scheme (ABABCBCBDEDEFF)
  • religious imagery such as ‘pilgrims’, ‘saints’ and ‘sin’
  • the physicality of the language (‘lips’, ‘hands’, ‘touch’)
  • repeated words such as ‘prayer’, ‘hand’/’hands’ and ‘palm’/’palmers’
  • the poem’s conclusion with a rhyming couplet and a kiss

Discuss with students the effect of Romeo and Juliet’s first words together forming a sonnet.

romeo and juliet research tasks

( Students  could also watch footage of this sonnet in the link below, as performed by Jade Anouka and Will Featherstone.)

2) Staging the balcony scene

As an introduction to this task, students could watch this scene in the Zeffirelli and/or the Lurhmann version. Take some brief feedback from students about what they have noticed and what they enjoyed. Then watch the footage of this scene below from the 2013 Globe production, starring Will Featherstone and Jade Anouka. Students could make notes in the Student Booklet about different ways in which the scene has been staged, how it could be staged, and the effects of different choices.

3) Marriage

In Act 3 Scene 5 lines 1-64, Shakespeare presents Romeo and Juliet’s short-lived happiness together as a married couple. Students could then discuss their own ideas about staging this scene and the effect they want this scene to have on the audience. Students should create either a storyboard with speech bubbles for quotations, or an annotated script to indicate their ideas about directing this scene. Students can draw on interests in drawing, collage, photography, dance, etc. to develop their personal responses to this task. There is a page for students on writing a commentary linked to their storyboards in the Student Booklet.

romeo and juliet research tasks

(One version of how to stage this scene can be viewed in the link below. Students could compare this with the version from the Globe DVD and/or from other film versions too).

How does Shakespeare convey the intensity and sincerity of Romeo and Juliet’s love for each other?

What are the factors that prevent Romeo and Juliet’s love story from having a happy ending? 

In Shakespeare’s comic play  A Midsummer Night’s Dream – written at around the same time as  Romeo and Juliet , and seen by many as a companion play to it – Lysander says ‘The course of true love never did run smooth’. Discuss the truth of this quotation in relation to  Romeo and Juliet  and, if students are sufficiently familiar with it, to  A Midsummer Night’s Dream  too. What do the two plays have in common?

  • Shakespeare and his contemporaries often wrote action for the upper level of the stage. The use of the upper level in this scene means that Juliet is both safe at home and at the same time visible to Romeo, allowing for an extended moment of intimacy.
  • The word ‘balcony’ might have been unknown to Shakespeare. Our first record of it in writing dates from two years after the play was written. Although Shakespeare says that Juliet appears ‘aloft’, the convention of Juliet appearing on a balcony only became commonplace after David Garrick used a balcony in his adaptation in the eighteenth century.

The storyboard/annotated script activity on Act 3 Scene 5 lines 1-64 could be accompanied by a commentary and used as an assessment piece.

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Romeo and Juliet: Assessment Overview

This page provides information about the assessments for this unit.

Resources you can trust

Writing the wrongs

Writing the wrongs

This resource offers a selection of writing tasks for students to complete, based on key events from Romeo and Juliet . The resource asks them to write either a front-page newspaper article describing a fight between the Montagues and Capulets, an article for a magazine covering the Capulet party or obituaries for Mercutio and Tybalt. 

There are pointers to help students with purpose, structure and language. 

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13 easy, engaging lessons for Romeo and Juliet

by mindroar | Aug 22, 2021 | blog | 0 comments

Looking for lessons for Romeo and Juliet ? Are you teaching Romeo and Juliet in high school and desperately looking for activities and resources for the Shakespearean tragedy? Check out these 12 Romeo and Juliet teaching resources.

Pre-reading lessons

1. shakespearean insult lesson.

If your students are unfamiliar with English from the Elizabethan era, it can be a steep learning curve. And it can make it difficult to teach Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet .

Students often feel intimidated by the language and find it hard to get into. And if you’re teaching one of Shakespeare’s plays for the first time, you can feel intimidated yourself. I know I was when I first started!

A great way to overcome this fear factor is to have some fun activities for teaching Shakespearean language and the specific play you will be teaching.

One of my favorite ways to start any unit about Shakespeare is by having a Shakespearean Insult Lesson (see h ere for my blog post about it and here for my digital and in-class lesson ).

Not only is the Shakespearean insult lesson lots of fun, but it also helps reduce the fear factor of Shakespearean language.

2. Watch a video about Shakespeare and his plays

Another great way to introduce students to Shakespeare and his plays is to watch a short video about Shakespeare’s life and his tragedies.

There are heaps of videos around, but some of my favorites are the Crash Course videos: this one , which is all about Shakespeare’s life, and this one , which is about Shakespeare’s tragedies.

Both videos are short and sweet, less than fifteen minutes. The video about Shakespeare’s tragedies covers King Lear in more depth, so you can also stop the video at about eight minutes and fifteen seconds if you’re short on time.

These are also great activities to set as homework because they are short and easy to get into. Plus, if you had to choose between a video and solving algebraic equations, which would you choose?

The videos are funny and engaging, and they use illustration, a presenter, and quotes to delve deeper into Shakespeare’s life and plays. That series also has a video about Shakespeare’s comedies, just in case you teach any of those too.

If you’re looking for a worksheet to go with the videos, check out our Shakespeare life and plays bundle on TPT.

While reading lessons

Now, once you’ve introduced Shakespeare, gotten your student more comfortable with his language, and begun reading Romeo and Juliet , you’ll probably be wondering what other lessons for Romeo and Juliet you can use in class.

1. Romeo and Juliet Crash Course Literature videos

The Crash Course Literature series also has two videos specifically about Romeo and Juliet . Again, I rate these highly as they’re short, entertaining, and cover important content such as plot, characters, and themes.

If you’re looking for worksheets for these, we have some too. Check out the Romeo and Juliet mini bundle , which has worksheets for both of the videos.

Be warned that the videos do have plot spoilers though, so if your students don’t already realize that R+J die, you may want to hold off until you’ve read the whole play.

2. Romeo and Juliet Text Messaging Activity

This great lesson by The English Teacher’s Pet asks students to choose a scene from the play and recreate the scene through text messages on Romeo’s phone. And the best part? This lesson plan for Romeo and Juliet is free.

This Romeo and Juliet activity includes an explanation of the activity and a model answer, an evaluation sheet, and a text-message printable worksheet for students to write on.

3. Read some comics

These comics by David Rickert give an introduction to the main events of each act and have activities that explain an important concept or literary device.

Using comics is a great way to take away that fear that students often have of not understanding Shakespearean language. As an added bonus, the visuals in comics help with comprehension.

4. Learn about the characters using body biographies

These body biographies by Danielle Knight of Study All Knight are another great lesson for Romeo and Juliet . In the activity, students analyze characters from the play in an engaging way. In completing the projects, students have to:

  • find direct quotes
  • analyze how the character has changed (or stayed the same)
  • explore the characters’ inner thoughts/feelings
  • analyze the characters’ values and beliefs
  • explore the characters’ strengths/weaknesses
  • identify the characters’ goal/s in the play
  • describe what the character/s look like
  • choose the characters’ best accomplishment/s
  • identify symbols
  • and describe the characters’ background, family, personality, and conflict

5. Using Romeo and Juliet to learn how to integrate quotes and paraphrasing in literary analysis

This lesson helps students understand how to quote and paraphrase in literary analysis using Romeo and Juliet quotes. Included in the lesson, useable in both print and digital, are:

  • a scaffolded introduction with examples of how to integrate quotes
  • independent practice with rubrics
  • suggested answers
  • an editable homework task and quiz
  • bellringers for the play

6. Romeo and Juliet photo booth printable props

This Romeo and Juliet activity would be a great way to get students to revise the play as they go. At the end of each scene, students could do a fun comic-book style photo-booth scene summary that they act out, write dialogue for, and then print and put in a comic-book template .

It would not only be fun, but it would also help students identify the important elements of each scene and remember what happened in the plot of the play.

After reading lessons

So you’ve finished reading or watching Romeo and Juliet , and now you come to the pointy end where you need to review before an assessment task. These great Romeo and Juliet review activities are sure to be a hit with your students.

1. Digital escape room review

This digital escape room review by Gamewise is a great no-prep escape room that is paperless and completely online. You just buy the game, give students the link and password, and set them loose.

Even better, for students to get to the completion page, they need to answer all of the questions correctly.

The game covers topics such as:

  • the plot of the play
  • the main characters in the play
  • language and technique analysis
  • close reading of Romeo’s soliloquy in the tomb

2. Escape room review for Romeo and Juliet

If you prefer your students to do a paper-based escape room, this one by Nouvelle ELA can be used as an escape room with clues hidden around the room. Or it can be used as a breakout box, with students remaining in their desks to complete the tasks. It covers elements such as:

  • figurative language
  • plus, it can be increased in difficulty using ‘You’ve been poisoned’ cards

Romeo and Juliet movie lesson plans

If your students are going to watch a video version of the play, this lesson for Romeo and Juliet helps students compare the Baz Luhrman movie adaptation to the play.

This film to play comparison by Visual Thinking Classroom is a great Romeo and Juliet movie lesson plan because it includes a no-prep instructional slide deck, as well as scaffolding to help students compare the original play to the Baz Luhrman adaptation.

The Romeo and Juliet movie lesson plan also helps students focus on important elements such as characters, story elements, and important moments in the play.

Romeo and Juliet entire unit lesson plans

Now, maybe you’ve read through all of the Romeo and Juliet lesson plans so far, but what you’re really after are Romeo and Juliet unit lesson plans for a whole unit instead of individual lessons. If so, keep reading.

1. Laura Randazzo’s Romeo and Juliet unit lesson plans

This five-week Romeo and Juliet unit of lesson plans contains the following:

  • a calendar with suggested pacing and activities
  • scene-by-scene study questions in both PDF and Google Drive versions
  • life in Elizabethan England team speech activity including many topics and a rubric
  • a lecture and craft activity about Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
  • a Shakespearean comedy presentation about puns and oxymorons
  • a presentation about the power of tone and line delivery with interactive activities for 27 students
  • Shakespearean sonnet lecture and creative writing activity
  • one-question quizzes to hold students accountable for reading
  • Shakespearean slam contest
  • art assignment to illustrate Mercutio’s Act 1, Scene 4 monologue
  • an Act 2 prologue activity
  • plot timeline to review play’s chronology
  • quote review challenge
  • 50-question exam using matching, true/false and quote identification
  • in-class end-of-unit essay prompts

2. The Daring English Teacher’s Romeo and Juliet Teaching Bundle

This final resource with lessons for Romeo and Juliet is this differentiated teaching bundle by The Daring English Teacher. This bundle includes writing prompts, cloze activities, character analysis, and vocabulary.

But one of the best things about this product is that it is easy to differentiate – the one unit of work enables you to run Romeo and Juliet ESL lessons but can also be adapted to suit other learners too.

Want more English lesson and resource ideas?

Hopefully, the resources listed above have been helpful for your lesson plans for Romeo and Juliet. If you are an English teacher, you may be interested in my other blog posts with lesson ideas and resources for other texts, including:

  • 12 excellent teaching resources for Macbeth – make Macbeth easy
  • Teaching Lord of the Flies: 12 awesome activities & wonderful worksheets
  • How to improve research skills when you have NO time
  • 5 awesome free resources to teach Shakespeare
  • Fun, engaging, and easy Shakespearean insults lesson you have to try
  • 9 quick and easy study skills lesson plans for high school

In TEDx talk, post-doc Courtney Sexton explores millennia-old bonds between humans and dogs

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Person speaking during a TEDx talk.

The oldest love story isn’t “Romeo and Juliet” or any Greek myth, says TEDx speaker Courtney Sexton. It is the millennia-old love affair between humans and dogs.

“The lives that they lead with us today are very different from even 100 years ago,” Sexton said. “And, so, dial that back 30,000 years. People just don't know that part of the story and they're always really fascinated.”

Sexton, a post-doctoral researcher in population health sciences within the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine , explains the enduring connection between humankind and canines in a 10-minute, 18-second TEDx talk entitled “Dogs are People, Too ,” delivered in October as part of TEDxWarrenton at Laurel Ridge Community College. 

“I was a writer before getting back into research,” said Sexton, who has published numerous articles in Smithsonian Magazine . “So, I am really interested in language to begin with, and I have had dogs all my life. I have seen firsthand just how fluidly they adapt to our cues and modes of communication to the point of anticipating things before we even know we’re thinking them. Now, we’re doing studies that are actually showing this.” 

Sexton, who works on the Dog Aging Project with Audrey Ruple , Metcalf Professor of Veterinary Medical Informatics and co-principal investigator for the Dog Aging Project, talks about the personal and the scholarly in her TEDx talk, discussing her relationship with her own dogs and what research has uncovered about the relationship between humans and dogs going back many thousands of years. 

“Dogs were the first animals we domesticated,” Sexton said. “Once that happened, we domesticated other animals and plants, and settled into agrarian societies. We domesticated horses for transport and trade and then you see how it spirals out from there.”

Sexton, who received her doctorate from George Washington University in human paleobiology with a focus on comparative animal behavior and communication, said the study of canine cognition and how it interlinks with human culture and development is a growing field.

“I’m really grateful for what a lot of my colleagues have done in approaching these questions from multiple disciplines,” Sexton said. “Many of the more advanced researchers didn’t come from the veterinary side, they’ve come from psychology or sociology or anthropology. Learning from evolutionary biologists was very helpful for me, as it gave that perspective, the longer view of how this has all come to pass and where we are now, especially as I delve into the One Health aspects of the human-canine bond.” 

From Sexton’s viewpoint, looking into the soulful gaze of one of her own dogs is looking into the gaze of humankind.

“Just as dogs are dogs because of us,” Sexton said, “we are able to be human because of them.”

Andrew Mann


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Romeo & Juliet: List of Homework Task Ideas

Romeo & Juliet: List of Homework Task Ideas

Subject: English

Age range: 11-14

Resource type: Worksheet/Activity


Last updated

7 February 2015

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Great resource and wonderful ideas for engaging pupils with SEN ...thank you

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