This editable close reading exercise features 9 text-dependent, higher-order questions, helping students improve reading comprehension of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet (Act 1, Scene 3). By engaging in this exercise, students will read to identify what the text says explicitly and implicitly, apply literary devices, analyze character, interpret figurative expressions, isolate accurate statements from inaccurate ones, and more. An answer key is included. The item is delivered in Word Document and Google Document formats.
This resource aligns well to Adolescent Literacy Project teaching principles. I recommend using these worksheets as the basis for small-group discussions. Through these discussions, students decode Shakespeare’s language and pose/respond to questions relating to plot, broad topics, and character development, demonstrating an ability to analyze how complex characters transform and advance the plot and themes by applying logic and citing compelling, meaningful textual evidence. They will also evaluate their peers’ reasoning and use of rhetoric to advance claims, clarifying or challenging unclear ideas. Using this resource for structured guidance, students, ultimately, will present information, conclusions, and supporting textual evidence clearly, concisely, and appropriately, thereby helping their peers – and teacher – comprehend their thinking. 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.
More specifically, this item covers the following:
- Identifying what the text says explicitly and implicitly: Juliet’s age.
- Identifying what the text says explicitly and implicitly: what happened to the nurse’s daughter.
- Identifying textual evidence in support of a claim: the close bond between Juliet and the nurse.
- Analyzing character: the nurse’s brand of humor.
- Identifying what the text says explicitly and implicitly: Lady Capulet’s age.
- Interpreting figurative expressions: “Why he’s a man of wax.”
- Applying literary devices: metaphor.
- Analyzing character: what Lady Capulet means when she tells Juliet, “And what obscured in this fair volume lies / Find written in the margent of his eyes.”
- Analyzing character: Juliet’s reaction to her mother’s request to return Paris’s affections.