Tanya Smith, Liberty High School, Brentwood, California.
Romeo and Juliet, as a review at the end of the play.
This lesson may also be adapted for use with any play.
What's On for Today and Why
Having students create a soundtrack for the play, by picking one song to represent each scene, can help them make personal connections to the plot as well as get them motivated to more fully understand the language.
This lesson may be used as a review at the end of reading the play, or students may work on the soundtrack as they read. You can allow variable amounts of time at the end of the unit for students to present their work.
What You Need
Folger edition of Romeo and Juliet
Available in Folger print edition and Folger Digital Texts
Soundtrack Pre-planning Worksheet and
You may wish to provide 9.5 by 4.25 pieces of paper for students to make a CD wrapper.
Students may wish to consult online sources such as www.anysonglyrics.com to search song lyrics by word or theme.
Soundtrack Pre-Planning Worksheet
What To Do
1. If students have seen a film version of Romeo and Juliet, you may want to begin by drawing attention to the type of music used in the film. Otherwise, explain to students that their next assignment will be to create a soundtrack for a new production of the play. For each scene, they will need to select a song that matches its mood and/or action.
2. Hand out copies of the "Soundtrack Pre-planning Worksheet," which will allow students to gather information to help them with the assignment. For each scene, they should gather three key quotes that help explain the main ideas of the scene, and specific lyrics from a song that match the quotes they have found.
3. For each scene, ask students to write a paragraph that explains how the song they have chosen represents the scene from the play. Be sure to require that students cite the text of the play for full credit.
4. Other possible related assignments include creating a CD wrapper with which to present the soundtrack, burning a CD with the songs on it, and/or creating a PowerPoint presentation to help present the students' choices to the class. Be sure to warn students doing the CD assignment to use only music purchased legally.
5. Complete the assignment with a presentation to the class in which students present a few of the choices they have made, along with their reasons for doing so. Conclude with a discussion: which choices seemed most appropriate, and why?
How Did It Go?
Were students able to identify three key quotes without difficulty? Were they able to link these quotes with themes in songs that they know? Did they find the assignment interesting? Were the final presentations interesting and useful in advancing the discussion about the play?
If you used this lesson, we would like to hear how it went and about any adaptations you made to suit the needs of YOUR students.