This editable 13-question close reading resource helps students derive deeper meaning from Act 1, Scene 1 of Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare. By engaging in this exercise, students will determine figurative meanings, indicate author’s intent, apply literary devices, define vocabulary in context, analyze character motivations, and more. An answer key is included. More specifically, this resource covers the following:
Discerning meaning: "We’ll not carry coals."
Discerning meaning: "…not quickly moved."
Indicating author’s intent: the effect of Sampson and Gregory’s dialogue.
Analyzing character motivations: why Sampson takes back his thumb-biting gesture.
Drawing inferences: the conflict between the Capulets and the Montagues.
Analyzing character motivations: Gregory’s change in attitude toward fighting.
Analyzing character: Benvolio’s preference for peace.
Isolating accurate statements: the characterization of Lady Capulet and Lady Montague vs. the characterization of their husbands.
Defining vocabulary in context: pernicious.
Applying literary devices: foreshadowing.
Indicating character’s intent: Benvolio’s conversation with Romeo.
Drawing inferences: Romeo’s conflicting messages.
Isolating accurate statements: Rosaline’s motivation for leaving Romeo.
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 harder texts, this resource was designed to prepare students for ACT-style questioning.