I have taught Romeo and Juliet so many times in my career that I don’t have to read it anymore to teach it (isn’t that a great place to be?) However, there’s always something new to discover in the play. For instance, I read recently that all the good stuff in the play happens at night and all the bad stuff in the play happens during the day. I never noticed that before! It’s a terrific play that my freshmen enjoy. They like the story even if they struggle with the language. They rise to the challenge. For many of them Shakespeare is something you should do in school, so they don’t put up too much of a fuss. However, one area is always struggled with was how to introduce each act so that they had enough information to understand what was going on, yet not so much that reading the play became unnecessary. Also, I am always looking for something to make Shakespeare more accessible. So I made the following set of comics.
The comics above are from Romeo and Juliet: Comic Summaries and Activities. The comics provide an overview of what happens in each act of Romeo and Juliet. They are a fun alternative to handing out summaries of the acts. For one thing, they don’t give too much away. Second, I have hidden Easter eggs throughout the panels of metaphors and images from each act (for instance, if you look closely at the last panel, you’ll see a “rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear” on the floor.) The back side of these cartoons have activities centered around the work that will get kids interacting with the text without the use of No Fear Shakespeare. For example, an activity from Act One has students looking for book imagery as they read Lady Capulet’s description of Paris.
Of course since this is the students’ first exposure to Shakespeare, you’ll need to introduce the bard and do a warm-up activity or two. I have a set of Shakespeare Bell Ringers that introduce students to the language of the bard. Also, if you want a FREE comic that introduces Shakespeare and provides a little more background and an activity with a sonnet, click below and you’ll get it!
If you’d like even more fun things you can do with Shakespeare, you can find them in my Shakespeare activities bundle, which includes the Shakespeare biography, a lesson on iambic pentameter, and a lesson on Sonnet 18.