Help with Romeo and Juliet

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by TamiJ, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Nov 2, 2008

    Please help me. My kids and I are starting Act II tomorrow of Romeo and Juliet. Any great ideas? lesson plans? I need to motivate my kids as they hate R & J... :eek:
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Nov 2, 2008

    Start here: http://www.folger.edu/template.cfm?cid=2779
    Then run to the bookstore and buy a copy of Shakespeare Set Free, the Folger Shakespeare Library's curriculum. I've used it very successfully with Macbeth for four years now. :)
     
  4. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Nov 2, 2008

    Thanks!
     
  5. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Nov 2, 2008

    Show them Zefferelli's and Luhrmann's films and have them compare/contrast. Have them research the general lifestyle of people during that time, ie hairstyles, clothes, courting customs, laws, etc. Give them posterboard and markers, and let them make posters advertising the play. There is more to every piece of literature than merely the classical elements; this is a period piece, so your students need to know and understand how things were during this period! Women as property, bathing once a year, breasts flattened by a board under the corset, wrists and forearms as "private parts," but not breasts! Kids love this stuff, and when they understand "how it was" back then, they understand other things better, too. Explain to them how the language of Shakespeare is the exact same language as the King James Bible. Talk about words like "nice" and "fragment" that had VERY different meanings back then. (holy COW, different!!!) Talk about relationships: cousins, uncles, etc, and how that figured into a family. Talk about bigamy, as Juliet's nurse encouraged her to go ahead and marry Paris even though she was married to Romeo. Give bonus points to the first student who can tell you the Nurse's actual name? (It's only mentioned once in the entire play)

    My students always began R&J with trepidation and dislike, because they were afraid of the language. Most of them ended up loving it, because, knowing about these people's bathing habits and once-a-year hairstyles, and that the men's pants were not stretchy; they were THAT TIGHT, and that a woman's dress wasn't one piece - it was at least five pieces, all interchangeable, and that all Elizabethan clothing in museums is placed so the rotted-out armpits are not showing, etc. . . . Shakespeare is fascinating!!!!

    Also, stress the ages of these kids - Juliet has just turned 13, and Romeo is 15. Talk about the lifespan back then; it was SHORT, so if you were going to have any kind of life at all, it had to start early on.

    Do I love R&J? Whatta you think?
     
  6. dtrim

    dtrim Rookie

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    Nov 6, 2008

    Great advice! I used the Shakespeare Set Free books with great success. The timeline for each unit is ambitious, though, so be prepared to cut stuff out. Double-check the line numbers in the Set Free books, too. They never matched those in my students' textbooks. None of the activities have keys in those books, so be prepared to make your own.

    Favorites from that book: getting the feel for the language in 1.1, the party at the end of Act 1 (great excuse to dance, eat, act) and the Tableaux Vivants activity.

    Best wishes for success!
     

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