This editable 14-question close reading and annotating resource helps students derive deeper meaning from William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. This worksheet features an abridged excerpt from Act 3, Scene 2, with an emphasis on the dramatic irony of Juliet and the Nurse’s interaction. By engaging in this exercise, students will read to apply literary devices (dramatic irony, allusion), develop their vocabulary, identify what the text says explicitly and implicitly, make their engagement with the text visible, analyze character motivations and transformations, and more. Materials are delivered in Word Document, Google Document, and PDF formats. An answer key with sample annotations is included.
This resource aligns well to Adolescent Literacy Project teaching principles. I recommend using these worksheets as the basis for small-group discussions, letting students discuss, debate, and support their reasoning for answer choices. In the role of facilitator, I observe my students becoming more consistently engaged with the novel and taking greater ownership of their learning.
In addition to helping students gain deeper understanding of the material and greater confidence in their ability to read complex texts, this resource was designed to prepare students for ACT-style questioning.
More specifically, this resource covers the following.
- Discerning meaning: “well-a-day.”
- Analyzing craft: the effect of the Nurse’s language on Juliet.
- Applying literary devices: allusion (cockatrice).
- Discerning meaning: “God save the mark!”
- Defining vocabulary in context: corse.
- Discerning meaning in archaic terms: bankrout.
- Discerning meaning: “…and thou and Romeo press one heavy bier.”
- Discerning meaning: “What storm is this that blows so contrary?”
- Analyzing craft and character: Juliet’s use of paradoxical language and its effect on the reader.
- Defining vocabulary in context: perjured.
- Discerning meaning: “Give me some aqua vitae.”
- Accurately paraphrasing: Juliet’s shift in emotions.
- Applying literary devices: dramatic irony (explain it and how it is intensified).