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.
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 here 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:
- the plot of the play
- 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