Especially now, with Covid cases on the rise and more schools doing some form of online teaching, it’s more important for teachers to find ways to use technology to engage with their students. I’ve started working on my “Romeo and Juliet” unit with my Shakespeare appreciation class, and I’d like to share some of the resources I’ve developed with you:
- Nearpod: Shakespeare’s theater: I love Nearpod as a resource because it combines powerpoint with Virtual Reality, collaboration, games, and it has a slick, easy to use format. I’ve made a few Nearpods about Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet, and I’m happy to share them with you:
2. Digital Escape Room: This is an increasingly popular way for teachers to engage with material- You make a scenario where a character is locked up, and they need to find clues and solve puzzles to get them out. Romeo and Juliet, lends itself quite well to this format, given that the title characters both end up entering a tomb. This would make it very easy to create some questions and puzzles to allow them to live happily ever after. Most teachers use Google Forms to create escape rooms because you can control whether the student moves on or not based on their answers to the questions. Here’s a nice blog to help you get started: https://ditchthattextbook.com/30-digital-escape-rooms-plus-tips-and-tools-for-creating-your-own/#tve-jump-1756fef331d
Right now I’m working on an escape room to share with my class, but once I complete it, I’ll share it here on the blog.
Romeo Retold through Social Media:
Believe it or not, Romeo and Juliet are very active on social media, despite the fact that they are fictional, 300 years old, and dead. One enjoyable and engaging activity I’ve seen is telling their story through blogs, twitter, emoji, Facebook, etc. Here are some accounts that you can reference:
- Juliet’s Blog: Juliet Is the Sun: http://julietisthesun.blogspot.com/
- Here’s how to create your own Romeo and Juliet Blog: https://sites.google.com/site/oharasromeojulietandus/home/lesson-1
- Juliet’s Twitter account:
4. Fake newspapers about Capulet Ball, The Lover’s Deaths, etc:
5. Resource 5: Murder Mystery Romeo and Juliet Game: https://engagingandeffective.com/how-to-host-a-romeo-and-juliet-murder-mystery-game/
6. How to make a Romeo and Juliet obituary: http://romeoandjulietblogassignment.blogspot.com/2016/01/juliet-capulet-obituary.html
When designing these types of materials, remember to keep in mind the point of view of the source: How would a newspaper report about two kids who kill themselves? How would Juliet herself see the same event? Did Shakespeare glorify teenage suicide in his play, and if so, why do we still venerate him so much? This is the kind of critical thinking that projects like these can do for a classroom, particularly if the students make the materials themselves. I hope these ideas help inspire you to create some unique Romeo and Juliet themed content.
Stay safe, keep teaching, and keep learning!
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