Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Teaching Resources
• Teaching Modules
Teaching Modules Archive

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

Star-Crossed Scramble

Teachers' Rating:
  6 ratings

Charlotte and Susan Cushman in Romeo & Juliet. Engraving, mid-19th century

May 2011

Holly Rodgers teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) at White Oaks Elementary School in Fairfax County, VA.



Plays/Scenes Covered
Romeo and Juliet, Prologue and 2.2
What's On for Today and Why

Students will explore the idea of star-crossed lovers and create their own unique combinations of star-crossed pairs to enhance their understanding of  Romeo and Juliet. This activity will allow students to better understand the nature of the relationship between the Montagues and the Capulets while exploring the roles of Romeo and Juliet in an assortment of interpretations.

The objective of the lesson is for students to contemplate and explore the plight of star-crossed lovers in a meaningful context while retaining the language from Shakespeare's text. Since the complexity and nature of Romeo and Juliet's feelings for one another may be difficult for some elementary students to understand, this activity allows them to comprehend the overall themes of the play. While this activity was designed for elementary students, it could be adapted and used in the secondary classroom. This lesson has intrinsic value for use in working with English language learners (ELLs) of any age. This activity reduces the linguistic demands and complexity of Shakespeare's language while scaffolding instruction by providing visual aids and graphic support. Students will be engaged in a performance-based study of Romeo and Juliet through this activity while also having the opportunity to add their own inventive words to Shakespeare's text and explore improvisatory acting skills.


This lesson will take 1  ninety minute class period or may be divided up into several shorter sessions.

What You Need

Folger edition of Romeo and Juliet, copies of the Prologue and 2.2
Available in Folger print edition and Folger Digital Texts

In Character Chart

In Character Dialogue

In Character Chart
In Character Dialogue
What To Do

1. Distribute a copy of the Prologue and 2.2 from Romeo and Juliet to all students.


2. Read the Prologue as a class and engage students in a discussion about the meaning of star-crossed lovers. Encourage students to come up with ideas of natural enemies today that would make interesting star-crossed pairs. (See In Character Chart for suggestions-fox and chicken, cat and mouse etc).


3. Read 2.2 as a class or divide students into pairs. (To reduce linguistic demands or to accommodate time constraints, teachers may wish to select portions of text from this scene)


4. Once students understand the context and setting of the balcony scene, encourage students to think of natural settings for the star-crossed pairs (as in step 2) to create their own dialogue

e.g if a fox and a chicken were star-crossed lovers, they might meet in a chicken coop instead of on a balcony)


5. Divide students into pairs, with each student playing either Romeo or Juliet.


6. Distribute a copy of the In Character and In Character 2.2 Dialogue handouts. These handouts may also be pre-cut into strips and placed in a container for random selection by the students. Teachers and students may also create their own pairings as an extension to create even further variations.


7. From the chart, have students select a pair of star-crossed lovers they would like to perform. Once students have made their selection(s), give them time to get into character by pantomiming or discussing how their characters would act as Romeo and Juliet.


8. Once students have a firm grasp on their selected characters, encourage them to choose appropriate words specific to their context to insert into the scene. Teachers may provide suggestions or specifications regarding rhyme scheme, parts of speech, etc.


9. Allow students time to practice their dialogue in pairs.


10. Have pairs perform their scene in front of the class. Encourage movement and fun.



How Did It Go?
Did  students thoroughly understand the concept of star-crossed lovers? Were they able to make connections between the characters of Romeo and Juliet and the star-crossed pairs they selected? Did students reflect upon the natural constraints that act upon their star-crossed pairs as the Montagues and the Capulets do in Romeo and Juliet?

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.

Login or register to post comments.

20 CommentsOldest | Newest

With you new knowledge about returning scholars, are you more confident? the complete tao attraction system
Henry November 27, 2014 9:36 AM

A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. forex vps
jack November 23, 2014 7:39 AM

New Jersey Limos I actually found it all to be quite fascinating because I think so many of us get so dialed in and so laser focused on just losing pounds that we forget there is much more than that to actually getting the body
jack November 18, 2014 5:21 AM

New Jersey Party Buses Hello! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page to him. Fairly certain he will have a good r
jack November 13, 2014 10:28 PM

I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly dentist plantation a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new article
jack November 11, 2014 3:45 AM

freedebtconsolidationquotes.com I must tell, I mind this was a nice remarkable foretell whereas it occurs to this issue. Loved the data. . .
david November 9, 2014 3:35 PM

Over and over again I have been reading the blogs and reports about the Gold Rush in the Apps Store where small guys like you and me achieved immense success by creating simple but great applications or games! Did you know that guys from the Top Applications part of the App Store are selling over 35
jack November 7, 2014 4:43 PM

And indeed, I’m just always astounded concerning the remarkable things served by you. Some criminal defense attorney st lucie county 4 facts on this page are undeniably the most effective I’ve had.
jack November 5, 2014 6:08 AM

Wow! What an eye opener this post has been for me. Very much appreciated, bookmarked, I can’t wait for more! HVAC Service & Repair
david November 2, 2014 10:33 AM

What a great blog, thank you for letting me comment on it. bodybuildingbcaa.com
david October 25, 2014 8:14 PM

View More
  Common Core State Standards

There are no standards associated with this Lesson Plan.

Bookmark and Share   
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623