This editable 11-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 3, with an emphasis on Romeo’s internal conflict upon learning of his banishment from Verona. By engaging in this exercise, students will justify claims by locating and articulating textual evidence, analyze character motivations and development, explore complex vocabulary and discern meaning from unfamiliar phrasing, make their engagement with the text more visible, and more. Materials are delivered in Word Document, Google Document, and PDF formats. A detailed answer key is included.
More specifically, this resource covers the following.
- Investigating parallel plots: compare this scene to the preceding scene.
- Analyzing character: Friar Laurence’s shift in tone and reasons for this change
- Citing evidence to support claims: Romeo’s response to Friar’s reassuring tone.
- Analyzing character: Romeo’s struggle to emotionally and intellectually process his banishment from Verona.
- Discerning meaning: “…more honorable state, more courtship lives / In carrion flies than Romeo.”
- Discerning meaning: “Hadst thou no poison mixed, no sharp-ground knife…”
- Paraphrasing text: Friar Laurence’s offer of spiritual counsel, and Romeo’s subsequent response.
- Analyzing craft: Shakespeare’s use of repetition and the effect it has on the reader.
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.