Before beginning any unit, we always like to find a way to get students excited about the text we’ll be reading. In the past, we’ve done what we call “Five Words” (students are given 5 words and asked to write a sentence using those five words about what the story will be about), we’ve also done “Popcorn Predictions” (students are given various sentences from the text – one sentence per student – and they “pop” around the classroom, sharing their sentences with others to come up with predictions). For my Romeo and Juliet unit, however, I wanted to do something that was a little bit more controversial – to get them really excited for the themes and events that were to unfold in the play …
So, I did a post-it note activity.
I hung up five posters around the room that had relatively controversial questions on them. From “Do you believe in love at first sight?” to “Can loyalty ever go too far?” to get students really thinking about themes we would soon be encountering in the play.
Each student was asked to take out 5 post-it notes (they have their own in our class, but you could easily pass out post-its to your kids), and walk around the room to respond to the questions, leaving their answer on a post-it where the question was.
After all students had written their answers, I then walked around to each question, reading off some of the responses and then opening it up to the class to share and debate their viewpoints. It was really exciting and interesting! Especially the “Do you believe in love at first sight?” question – one of my boys had an incredibly insightful response, touching on the idea of lust vs. love and what truly qualifies as love. Needless to say, I was really happy with the end result.
If you want to use these same questions in your study of Romeo and Juliet, you can grab them by adding your email address below!