This editable 10-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 5, with an emphasis on Juliet’s shift in intent with regard to Romeo’s imminent banishment. By engaging in this exercise, students will justify claims by locating textual evidence and applying logic, analyze character motivations and development, explore complex vocabulary and discern meaning from unfamiliar phrasing, make their engagement with the text more visible, and more. A detailed answer key is included.
More specifically, this resource covers the following.
- Analyzing character: Determining Juliet’s intent; determining Romeo’s intent.
- Discerning meaning in unfamiliar or challenging phrasing: “a herald of the morn.”
- Using context to discern meaning in unfamiliar or challenging words: jocund; division.
- Determining tone in an excerpt: Romeo’s defiance.
- Isolating accurate statements from inaccurate statements.
- Analyzing symbolism and using evidence/reasoning to support claims: the recurring motif of darkness.
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.