B E N C H M A R K E D U C A T I O N C O M P A N Y. Why Romeo and Juliet Is a Classic. Levels Q Y. FICTION Fractured Classics

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1 Romeo and Juliet T E A C H E R S Levels Q Y FICTION Fractured Classics G U I D E Why Romeo and Juliet Is a Classic One of the most famous love stories of all time, Romeo and Juliet is the tale of two teenaged lovers whose intense desire to be together against the wishes of their families and the forces of fate drives the action of the play to its tragic conclusion. The theme of star-crossed lovers kept apart is the subject of many of today s novels, plays, films, and television dramas. But Romeo and Juliet isn t just a love story. It is also a story about honor, duty, loyalty, politics, power, and family. These powerful themes are both timeless and universal and make Shakespeare s play relevant to modern readers. Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet early in his career, in 1594, around the same time he wrote the comedies Love s Labour s Lost and A Midsummer Night s Dream. Critics often group these three plays together because they explore many of the same themes, including love, courtship, and marriage. But while the latter two plays are considered comedies, Romeo and Juliet is considered a tragedy because of its dark plot leading to a fatal conclusion. Characters Levels Tips for Voice and Expression Narrator Challenging/Y steady, strong, clear Montague Moderate/V stubborn, free-spirited Lady Montague Moderate/V zany, free-spirited Romeo Moderate/U sad, poetic, passionate Benvolio Moderate/S friendly, good-natured Lady Capulet Moderate/S snooty, straitlaced Capulet Easy/R angry, narrow-minded Tybalt Easy/R hot-tempered, troublemaker Chorus Easy/Q united Juliet Easy/Q young, obedient, passionate B E N C H M A R K E D U C A T I O N C O M P A N Y

2 How to Implement Reader s Theater Classics Target Skills Steps To What To Do Follow Genre and Author Study Identify features of fractured classics and plays Learn about the life and works of William Shakespeare Vocabulary Learn Tier Two vocabulary Identify and define idioms Identify homographs Identify multiplemeaning words Use context clues Comprehension Make text-to-text connections Analyze theme Compare and contrast characters Identify satire Evaluate author s purpose Analyze characters Analyze plot 1. Introduce the Fractured Classic and the Script 2. Preview the Script 3. Introduce Vocabulary and Idioms 4. Read the Script 5. Build Comprehension 6. Introduce the Assessment Rubric 7. Assign Roles 8. Fluency Mini-Lesson 9. Small-Group Rehearsal/Reading 10. Whole-Group Rehearsal/ Rereading Share Why Romeo and Juliet Is a Classic from page 1 of the Teacher s Guide. Ask: What are features of the fractured classic genre? List students ideas. Refer to the Classics Overview for the complete list. Read aloud the script summary and About the Playwright from the back cover of the script. Invite students to explore the layout, text, and illustrations. Read the table of contents, cast of characters, and setting information together. Introduce key vocabulary words (conformist, page 12; doublet, page 8; paparazzi, page 8; purged, page 17; riffraff, page 15) and other words and idioms from the glossary. Have students listen and follow along as you read the first few pages to model fluency and expression. Teach the Comprehension lesson on page 4. Engage students in discussion. Display and discuss the assessment rubric in the Classics Overview so that students know what you expect of them. Use the reading levels on the character chart on page 1 to help you assign roles appropriately. Teach the Build Fluency and Fluency Skill lessons on pages 4 5. Discuss and model rehearsal expectations. Offer suggestions for expression, voice, and characterization. Pull the whole group together and remind students that you will be assessing them. Do not interrupt the rehearsal but simply observe students as they read. Fluency Build fluency through repeated readings Read question marks Read with appropriate pitch 11. Perform, Assess, Reflect 12. Literacy Connections Invite students to perform the script for an audience such as members of the class, students from other classes, school staff members, or parents. Use the rubric to complete your assessment of students performance. Select the Literacy Connections activities on page 5 that best meet your particular students learning needs. 2 Copyright 2007 Benchmark Education Company, LLC. All rights reserved. Teachers may photocopy the reproducible pages for classroom use. No other part of the guide may be reproduced or transmitted in whole or in part in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. ISBN: Romeo and Juliet: In Beverly Hills

3 Components To Use Read and discuss Spotlight on the Classic, Excerpt from the Classic, and The Author of the Classic on pages 2 6 of the script. Read aloud sections from the original text. Incorporate the think-aloud prompts from the CD-ROM into your discussion of the classic. Fractured Classics Read-Aloud CD-ROM Classics Overview Point out the color coding of characters names and use of stage directions. Students should use context clues to determine the meaning of each word or phrase. Then use the glossary to solidify students understanding. Use the vocabulary activity to extend learning. Ask students to finish reading the script by themselves, with partners, or in small groups as you monitor, answer questions, and provide additional modeling as needed. Have students think/pair/share to answer and discuss the questions on Activity 2: Build Comprehension. Model each skill on the rubric so students can see and hear the qualities they are striving to attain. Refer to the chart for tips on voicing characters with expression. Have partners practice reading with appropriate pitch in other sections of the script. Divide the class into small groups to rehearse their roles. As students read the script and practice their parts, circulate about the room to monitor, answer questions, and provide additional modeling as needed. Allow time for students to give positive feedback and constructive suggestions to one another. Decide on a stage area, how students will be positioned, and whether props or movements will be added. Conduct a final dress rehearsal. Take time to briefly conference with each student to provide specific feedback. Ask students to complete Activity 3: Fluency Self-Assessment. Activity 1 Activity 2 Classics Overview Classics Overview Classics Overview Activity 3 Students may work individually, with partners, or in groups while other groups of students are rehearsing their roles Benchmark Education Company, LLC Romeo and Juliet: In Beverly Hills

4 Comprehension Analyze Theme Ask: What do you think the message might be in the play adaptation? Allow responses. Think Aloud: I know that Romeo and Juliet is a story about love. Romeo and Juliet fell in love at a party and would do anything to be together, even though they knew their families would be angry. But Romeo and Juliet is also about two families who didn t get along. The Montagues and the Capulets disliked each other even though they didn t really know each other. Romeo and Juliet suffered as a result. I think the playwright wanted to tell us that disliking someone without knowing them doesn t make any sense. Since we see the point of view of both the Montagues and the Capulets in the play, we know that they are both good families; they are just different. Being different is no reason to dislike someone. Discuss: Encourage students to state the big idea, or message, in their own words. They should articulate the idea that true love is a powerful emotion, but so is dislike. The rivalry between the Montagues and the Capulets who didn t have a good reason to dislike each other stood in the way of Romeo and Juliet s happiness. Think/Pair/Share: Invite students to make their own connections to the big idea. Ask: Have you ever disliked someone you didn t know very well then changed your opinion when you got to know them better? What happened? Build Fluency Echo-read all or part of the script aloud. Ask students to repeat the lines after you. Stop where necessary to explain figures of speech or unfamiliar words for example, Scrabble in Sanskrit on page 10 and fossil fuels on page 11. Read with Expression: Stage Directions Point out the stage directions that appear in italics and parentheses. Explain to students that these directions are not read, but are included to help the reader interpret the part as the author intended. Say: Stage directions tell readers how to say their lines and to whom they should be directed. For example, point out Romeo s last two sets of lines on page 12. Explain that Romeo is sad as he says these lines. Demonstrate and ask volunteers to echo-read. Read with Expression: Question Marks Ask students to turn to page 13 and find Benvolio s second set of lines. Point out that each of the sentences ends in a question mark. Model reading the lines, raising your voice a little at the end of each sentence. Ask students to find Romeo s third set of lines on page 13. Point out the question marks. Explain that reading question marks correctly lets the listeners know that the line being read is a question. When a reader reads a line that ends in a question mark, the reader should raise his or her voice slightly at the end of the sentence. Model how to read the line set. Then ask students to echo-read it with you. Invite students to look through the rest of the script to locate sentences that end in question marks. Ask them to take turns reading the sentences aloud, raising their voices slightly at the ends of the sentences. Fluency Skill: Read with Appropriate Pitch Tell students that when they read a character s lines, they can adjust the pitch of their voice to show the character s emotions. Say: I notice that 4 Romeo and Juliet: In Beverly Hills 2007 Benchmark Education Company, LLC

5 on page 19, Romeo and Juliet are both talking to themselves. Romeo knows Juliet is there and is listening to her talk, but Juliet doesn t know Romeo is there. Romeo doesn t want to embarrass Juliet by letting her know he is listening. So, Romeo is probably talking very quietly while Juliet is talking in a normal voice. Listen as I read these lines. Read each character s lines using the appropriate pitch. Pair students and ask them to discuss what pitch would be appropriate for Tybalt s line on page 17. Encourage students to practice reading the line aloud with the appropriate pitch. Literacy Connections Vocabulary and Word Study Striving Readers/ELLs: Homographs Read aloud the phrase narrowminded conformists on page 12. Tell students Montague uses this phrase to mean the Capulets aren t open to new ideas. Ask students for other meanings of narrow. Guide students to use narrow in oral sentences that show its various meanings. Continue with other homographs, such as pool (page 13) and rings (page 14). On-Level Learners: Multiple Meaning Words Review the meaning of slang, or informal vocabulary, with students. Point out the following examples of slang in the script and review each phrase s meaning: deal with (page 10), he s ticked (page 12), shake it off, check out, and crash it (all page 13). Discuss how the words deal, ticked, shake, check, and crash have more than one meaning. Invite pairs to list the common or informal meaning(s) of each word. Above-Level Learners: Context Clues Point out the word Zounds on page 8 and invite students to read the word in context. Draw an analysis map on the board for Zounds with five sections labeled word (Zounds), definition, compare to, contrast with, and sentence. Pair students and invite them to look up the meaning of Zounds (an archaic expression of surprise) in the dictionary and then copy and complete the analysis map. When they are finished, have each set of pairs share their map with the group. Reading Across Texts Read excerpts from Romeo and Juliet in book form or on the Fractured Classics Read-Aloud CD-ROM. Refer students to page 24 of the script and Interpreting the Classic question #1. Say: Shakespeare s play never explains why the Capulets and Montagues are feuding. How does the adaptation differ in this respect? Why do you think Shakespeare might consider the reasons for the feud to be unimportant to the story? (Possible answer: The adaptation tells why the families are feuding because they have opposing lifestyles and possibly fear contamination from each other. Shakespeare might not have mentioned the reason for the feud in the original play to show that it was unimportant that no feud between families should stand in the way of true love.) Benchmark Education Company, LLC Romeo and Juliet: In Beverly Hills

6 Activity 1: Robust Vocabulary Name Date Directions: Create a word tower for each word in the word bank. Use a dictionary, encyclopedia, or online resource to research the etymology, or origin of the word. Word bank: conformist, doublet, paparazzi, purged, riffraff Word Part of Speech Context Sentence from Script Synonym Definition Antonym Etymology Romeo and Juliet: In Beverly Hills 2007 Benchmark Education Company, LLC

7 Activity 2: Build Comprehension Name Date Directions: Answer each question using complete sentences. Support your answers with information from the script. Use a separate sheet of paper if necessary. 1. Compare and contrast the Montagues and the Capulets. (compare and contrast characters) 2. Satire is a technique where writers ridicule or exaggerate characters. Find three examples of satire in the script. (identify satire) 3. Think about the Chorus. What purpose does it serve? (evaluate author s purpose) 4. Why didn t Romeo and Juliet run away and leave their families behind? (analyze characters) 5. Why didn t Tybalt like Romeo? What is the message or effect of Tybalt s line on page 17,... later I m going to make him pay? (analyze characters; analyze plot) For additional questions for discussion, see Interpreting the Classic on page 24 of the script Benchmark Education Company, LLC Romeo and Juliet: In Beverly Hills

8 Activity 3: Fluency Self-Assessment Name Date Script Role Directions: Complete the rubric below. Tell how you plan to improve your reading fluency in the areas where you answered no. Skill Behavior Yes No Fluency and Phrasing Intonation Pacing Accuracy I read in longer, meaningful phrases. I paid attention to the author s language patterns. I made the reading sound like dialogue. I stressed certain words to emphasize their importance. I used my voice to make the reading reflect feeling, anticipation, tension, mood, and the personality of my character. I paid attention to punctuation. I raised or lowered my voice to interpret the punctuation of sentences. I used an appropriate speed of reading. I read the lines with the same speed and flow that I use when I talk. I read with very few hesitations or unnecessary pauses and repetitions. I recognized words quickly and read them correctly. I really thought about the meaning of the story and known words and word parts to help me figure out unknown words. I corrected myself when I made an error. I made the words sound meaningful. I made inferences about my character. Character Analysis I used my voice (tone) to sound like the character. I used my voice to express a particular feeling of the character. I used body language (gestures) to better express the feelings of the character. I used appropriate facial expressions to represent my character. Plan of Action: Describe how you will improve your reading fluency during the repeated readings of your character s lines. Romeo and Juliet: In Beverly Hills 2007 Benchmark Education Company, LLC

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