Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

Romeo and Juliet Navigator:
Links to Miscellaneous Lesson Plans

For the most part, the sites are described by extracts. My additional notes appear in square brackets at the end.

'You Kiss by the Book': Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
This lesson plan complements study of plot and characterization in Romeo and Juliet by focusing on Shakespeare's use of lyric forms and conventions to spotlight moments in the drama and thereby heighten the impact of the action on the stage. Students look first at the sonnet in which Romeo and Juliet meet, analyzing the imagery to gain insight into the way Shakespeare's use of love sonnet conventions characterizes the moment and the relationship between the lovers. Then students act the passage to notice how Shakespeare stage manages this moment, and consider what perspective his making the lovers almost literally "kiss by the book" lends to our perception of their characters. Finally, students enact the scene in which this moment occurs, in order to notice how Shakespeare combines poetic forms, ranging from the almost-prose of Capulet and the Nurse to the melodramatic style of Tybalt, to achieve something akin to the cuts and framing that are possible in film. To conclude, students work in groups to find similar moments in the play (e.g., the balcony scene, the tomb scene, etc.) where Shakespeare spotlights the action through lyric form and at the same time invites us to see through the idealization of lyric conventions by having the characters act out these conceits on stage. [Visited 13 December 2005.]
Romeo & Juliet License Plates
After we finish the play, I have the students think up some creative "personalized license plates" for various characters. Some use quotes. EX. "LYKAROZ" (like a rose) "JLTZSUN" (Juliet is the sun) Popular characters include Romeo, Juliet, The Nurse, Mercutio, and Tybalt (KNGOCTS - KIng of cats). [This is very short; I've quoted half of it. Visited 12 December 2005.]
Integrating Shakespearian Tragedy with the Internet
A ninth grade interdisciplinary unit on Elizabethan England and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet for English, art, and computer classes.  . . .  Goals : Conduct Internet research; Create artistic illustrations of historical research; Comprehend reading material; Understand & appreciate Shakespearean drama; Perform Shakespearean drama; Comprehend, analyze, and explain literary devices; Compose an expository essay and develop three subtopics; Cooperative learning and peer evaluation; Compose a multimedia project; Post efforts on a class designed web page. Give students global recognition and build self esteem. [Visited 14 December 2005]
Star-Crossed Lovers Online: Romeo and Juliet for a Digital Age
This lesson invites students to use their understanding of modern experiences with these technologies to make active meaning of an older text, such as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, by asking students to create their own modern interpretation of specific events from the drama. The lesson provides a range of possible projects that students can complete, including writing headline news stories, rewriting dialogue or monologues to include one form of interactive technology, and creating digital artifacts for modern-day versions of the characters from the play. [Visited 14 December 2005]
Perfect Mate: An Assignment on Romeo & Juliet
The objective of this lesson is to make students aware of the differences between their ideal mate and their parents' idea of a perfect mate for them. By articulating these differences, students will be more likely to accept the themes represented in Romeo & Juliet when we read the play shortly after completing the lesson.  . . .  Students are given a two-sided survey. One side is for them to fill out; the other side is for their parents to fill out. [Visited 12 December 2005.]
Romeo and Juliet and Westside Story: Time Stands Still in Literature
This unit can be taught in the middle school, grades 6-8. It is designed for slow learners, but not limited to slow learners. The suggested teaching time for this unit is eight to ten weeks. Teachers will be able to introduce students to the joys of reading the well known classic, ROMEO and JULIET. It includes discussion questions, questionnaires of facts, vocabulary study, lesson plans, and lists of books, films, and recordings for both teachers and students.  . . .  The feuding Montagues and Capulets in old Verona may raise the question of family loyalty. Students will be able to sort out their own sense of family. Is family loyalty important and why? How far does one go? Is individuality within the family as important as family unity and strength? How is individuality developed without a lost of family loyalty? [Visited 12 December 2005.]
Romeo and Juliet — Alternative Endings
During this lesson, students will finish reading the play, Romeo and Juliet. Students will compare the ending to the ending in the modern movie of Romeo and Juliet (Leonardo Dicaprio and Claire Danes). The students' creativity will be tested when they have to brainstorm alternative endings to the play. [Visited 12 December 2005.]
Experiencing Romeo and Juliet [PDF]
Experiencing Romeo and Juliet is a multimedia approach to the play. The core of the unit centers around viewing and reading the play prior to comparing it to a contemporary version of the story. Because prior knowledge is important to both understanding and enjoying Shakespeare, the unit begins with student created projects concerning the Elizabethan Age, Shakespeare's life, and the nature of Shakespeare's theater. The prior activities lead to viewing the 1996 "modern" movie version of the play, reading aloud selected sections of the play with assigned parts, and viewing West Side Story. Following these activities, students will write a major composition comparing and contrasting the original play, the modern version, and the musical comedy. The final segment of the unit returns to student-led and created presentations. These should illuminate some aspect of the play, build upon the plot line and themes of the play, and create new materials based on the play. The lessons will also give hands-on experience using technology available, encourage them to become self-directed learners/producers, and require them to use higher level thinking skills. [Visited 12 December 2005.]
Students play the game "Family Feud" with a few modifications in order to review material studied during the Romeo and Juliet unit. [Visited 12 December 2005.]
Friendship Cards from Romeo and Juliet
The purpose of this activity is to have students use the internet to locate a familiar quotation from Romeo and Juliet and to interpret that quotation by making a friendship card. [Visited 12 December 2005.]
Literary Explorer presents Romeo and Juliet
[The site consists of study questions and links to other sites. Visited 12 December 2005.]
Rewriting Romeo and Juliet
Imagine that you work for a big Hollywood studio and you are going to pitch them your idea for a brand new rendition of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It will be your job, over the next several weeks, to update one scene from the play into a more current time period. A good example of this task is the film West Side Story. You are not being asked to write a line by line 'translation' of the text, but rather to adapt the story and its themes for an audience of the era that you choose. [Visited 12 December 2005.]
Mr. Lettiere's English on the Web: English 9 . . Reading and Writing: Romeo and Juliet
[Study questions and quizzes. Everything is offered in a choice of downloadable formats: text and PDF. Visited 12 December 2005.]
ROMEO AND JULIET By William Shakespeare Grade 9 Teaching Guide by Joel Sommer Littauer
Students write an act-by-act plot description of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. This activity requires the student to demonstrate his/her knowledge of the play by reciting the significant events of the play in chronological order.  . . .  Students examine and write about specific major characters in Romeo and Juliet. This activity requires the student to label one character in terms of his/her behavior. Labels such as hostile, helpful, talkative, authoritative and others are suggested to the student.  . . .  Product: A unified essay dealing with how one major character influences the plot of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. This activity requires the student to discuss how the character chosen in Activity 2 influences the plot described in Activity 1. [Visited 12 December 2005.]
Romeo and Juliet Character Hunt
In pairs, students develop a list of objects that symbolize personality traits of a character from Romeo and Juliet. Students collect at least five objects for each character. During the second class session, students take turns trying to decipher which character is being symbolized. [Visited 12 December 2005.]
Romeo and Juliet Timeline
After the students have read the play, this activity will extend their understanding of plot. The students will develop a timeline that presents the action of the play according to the DAY on which it occurred and assist each other in reviewing the action of the play. This is a group activity. It is most effective in groups of 4 students. The group to have the correct beginning and ending day, and the correct placement of the climax, is the presenting group. [Visited 12 December 2005.]
Romeo and Juliet: Suggested Essay Topics
Act I, Scenes 3-5:
1. Explain the operation of fate and how it has worked in Scenes 1 and 2 of the play to help bring the two lovers together.
2. Explain the rules of marriage during the fourteenth century.
3. What major conflicts are established in the first scene?
4. Explain the purpose of the Prologue.
[There 36 more topics, but nothing else. Visited 15 December 2005.]
Study Guide for Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet (1591?)
The notes were prepared for use with an edition of Romeo and Juliet bound together with the book for West Side Story and in conjunction with a showing of Franco Zeffirelli's film version of the play, but they will be useful with any edition or production. [Mostly Dr. Brians' lecture notes, with some discussion questions. Visited 12 December 2005.]
Studying Romeo and Juliet
This web page is intended for students who are following the AQA/NEAB GCSE syllabuses in English Language (1111/1112) and English literature (1121). It may also be of general interest to students of Shakespeare's plays. Some sections of the guide were originally written to help pupils (and teachers) prepare for the May 2000 Key Stage 3 tests. As this play is no longer set for these tests, I have adapted these parts of the tutorial for use in teacher assessed work for Key Stage 3 and 4, including GCSE coursework. ["GCSE" is an acronym for "General Certificate of Secondary Education," the British system of public examinations taken in various subjects from the age of about 16. The site is devoted to explanations of topics that might appear on a GSCE examination. Visited 12 December 2005.]
Star-Crossed Lovers Online: Romeo and Juliet for a Digital Age
Digital technology surrounds us—  . . . 
This lesson invites students to use their understanding of modern experiences with these technologies to make active meaning of an older text, such as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, by asking students to create their own modern interpretation of specific events from the drama. The lesson provides a range of possible projects that students can complete, including writing headline news stories, rewriting dialogue or monologues to include one form of interactive technology, and creating digital artifacts for modern-day versions of the characters from the play. [Visited 15 December 2005.]
Let's Throw a Wedding for Romeo and Juliet: A WebQuest for 9th Grade English I, Level Two
Your assignment is to change history and plan the party of the centuries! Let's rewrite history and literature and plan a wedding for Romeo and Juliet to marry in a public ceremony witnessed by all! Be as extreme in your planning as these two lovebirds were in their feelings for each other. You can include as many of the resources listed below as you see fit. You have no budget, the sky is the limit! Invite as many people as you want, feel free to cross the barriers of time, social class, royal status, and fiction and fantasy. Invite kings, musicians, Shakespeare, Leonardo DiWhatshisname, Capulets, Montagues  . . .  [The site features long lists of links to other sites, which the students are to use as resources. Visited 15 December 2005.]
Writing Using Character Analysis
In this 4-day lesson, 9th grade students will explore a variety of literary texts and relate them to their own lives and the lives of others. Students will also create an original narrative poem in iambic pentameter based on one of the characters in Romeo and Juliet. The poem should have at least twenty couplets and contain the meter of Shakespeare's iambic pentameter. [Visited 15 December 2005.]
". . . . with patient ears attend"
This lesson for high school students helps enhance students' ability to analyze and interpret dramatic scripts. Through this lesson, the structural and linguistic intricacies of Shakespeare's text will become accessible to your students. Students will also develop their own interpretations of the text. [Visited 15 December 2005.]
Complete Romeo and Juliet Lesson
The following are tests and quizzes that may be used for A Romeo and Juliet Unit. Some of the questions have been taken from Glencoe Literature Course 4 Selection and Theme assesment book. [Despite the title, only "tests and quizzes" are offered. Visited 15 December 2005.]
Romeo and Juliet Radio "Shout Outs"
Have students try to think of a song, i banned objectionable titles and lyrics, that best describes how one character feels about the other.  . . .  When they have chosen acceptable songs, have the students write a "shout out" from one character to another. They need to write exactly what the DJ is going to say on the radio. Again, watch for objectionable words. [Visited 15 December 2005.]
Romeo and Juliet -Unit Three- Ninth Grade Lit & Comp.
Students work in small groups and are assigned a population to target for a survey. Students administer the survey to chosen volunteers in order to elicit their opinions regarding main themes from the play.  . . .  Students complete a chart to learn challenging words for each act of the play. Then, students choose only those sentences that communicate facts rather than opinions and order them chronologically.  . . .  Through the use of scene-based guided questions, students are encouraged to read actively and think critically.  . . .  Students choose a creative medium for expressing personalization of one of the themes from the play. Students share their projects orally. [Visited 15 December 2005.]
Professional Teaching Portfolio for Alicia Perez
9th grade students have been reading Romeo and Juliet.  . . .  They have now read up to and including Act II. Today, the teacher separates the students into groups of three. She has each group pick a character's name from a hat so that each group will have a different character.  . . .  The groups are told to interpret their characters view on romance and marriage by finding lines within the play that support their claim. Each group is to hand in their thoughts on their character's view, along with the examples from the text. The following day, the teacher is to hand these interpretations back to each of the groups. The teacher will then have each of the students individually write an advice column to someone suffering from a broken heart, like Ann Landers, from the point of view of the character they worked with. These letters will then be used the following day for discussion.  . . .  The students not only enjoyed discussing the various film versions, but were also very excited to create their own adaptation of the play. The result was fantastic. Students produced very creative and very humorous alternate endings to the play. [Visited 15 December 2005.]
Themes in "Romeo and Juliet"
My students love this activity. Once we begin reading Romeo and Juliet in class I ask them to really start listening to their music and decide if any of the themes in their music reflect any of the themes in Romeo and Juliet. They then share their favorite selection with the class and explain how the music relates to the play. Love, hate, parent/child conflict, friendship, passion, maturity, etc. They love to bring in their CDs and educate me! [I've quoted the whole lesson plan. Visited 15 December 2005.]
From Page to Stage
Ask your students to brainstorm a list of words, terms, names, and ideas associated with "Romeo and Juliet."  . . .  If they have not already pointed it out in the brainstorming list, ask them if "Romeo and Juliet" -- the play written by Shakespeare -- has ever been adapted into other forms of art or performance. (Answers will vary. Guide your students to realize that "Romeo and Juliet" has been adapted into other art forms many, many, many times, including opera, ballet, and more than 40 movies.)  . . .  Insert BROADWAY: THE AMERICAN MUSICAL: Episode 5: Tradition into your VCR. Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to identify what choreographer Jerome Robbins thought would make the "Romeo and Juliet" story come alive for him. [Visited 15 December 2005.]
EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO MARRY: Love and marriage in Romeo and Juliet
Introduce the class to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by working through the 'UDHR Introductory Activity'.  . . .  Make sure everyone has access to a Romeo and Juliet text. Now, working in pairs ask the students to complete a list, like the one below, to help them consider the extent to which Romeo and Juliet have been given or denied their Article 16 rights throughout the play. [Visited 15 December 2005.]
Romeo and Juliet By William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Background and Plot Summary
[There are a few essay topics and discussion questions included in this site, which has much more than just background and plot summary. Visited 15 December 2005.]
This teacher's guide will be divided into several parts: (1) a brief literary overview, including a synopsis and commentary on the play; (2) suggestions for teaching the play, including activities, discussion questions, and essay topics to be used before, during, and after reading of the play; (3) ideas to extend the students' learning beyond the play, including ways to address its themes, ideas for teaching literary analysis, techniques for using the play as a bridge to other works, and ways to use the play as part of an interdisciplinary study; (4) suggestions for avoiding censorship; and (5) bibliographies, including additional pedagogical sources, other works of literature addressing similar themes, and interdisciplinary sources. [Visited 15 December 2005.]
A Ninth Grade Unit for Romeo and Juliet.
"Goal: To develop an awareness of the importance of COURAGE, GOOD JUDGMENT, and INTEGRITY through the study of fictional characters and historical figures in 9th grade curricula for English and ELP (Economic, Legal and Political Systems). [Despite the title, it's never clear how Romeo and Juliet fits into this lesson plan. Visited 21 December 2005.]
Romeo and Juliet Lesson. [PDF]
Students will review the basic structure of a stock/flow diagram. Next, students will use the Systems Kit to develop their own stock/ flow diagrams and defend their decisions. A debrief/discusssion period will follow in which the students have the opportunity to evaluate their use of the stock/flow diagram and the topics discussed in class. [I never did figure out what a stock/flow diagram was. Visited 21 December 2005]
Romeo and Juliet.
The students will utilize the computer to find fun facts on the famous writer and dramatist, Shakespeare, in order to make them more aware of the time period in which the play, "Romeo and Juliet," was set. In order to learn these facts they will be using a software application CD called Shakespeare's London. They will also be allowed to use the internet for this purpose as well. They will also be working on masks that they will wear during the reading of the play to make things more interesting. [Visited 21 December 2005]
Romeo and Juliet (Secondary III).
[Recommends study materials and links. About halfway down the page there are links to five student activities, all in PDF format. Three of the "activities" are essay topics. The fourth gives the students various choices, such as creating a diary in the voice of a character, or creating a collage to represent a character. The fifth activity asks the students to do a paint-by-the-numbers poem with the title "I am." Visited 21 December 2005.]
Romeo and Juliet: A Quest Upon the Web: A WebQuest for Freshmen.
In this Quest upon the Web you and those with whom you journey will be given certain tasks to perform. One of you will be the Actor and discover what it was like in Shakespeare's day. Another of you will take on the role of Alchemist, determining the extent of scientific knowledge during the period as compared to today. Yet a third will be the historian whose job will be to book a trip to London. Finally, there will be the play critic whose task it will be to critically examine Romeo and Juliet. [The students are directed to web sites where they can gather information. Visited 21 December 2005]
Romeo and Juliet: Thematic Unit Plan.
KNOWLEDGE: students will
--illustrate what they know of Shakespeare (from Research) - his life, his works, his time
--exhibit knowledge of plot graphing and terms associated with Shakespearean Tragedy: Introduction, complication, climax, falling action, catastrophe
--exhibit knowlege of poetry and terms associated with this: each act begins with a sonnet, iambic pentameter, tragedy, catalyst, pareallel and foil characters
--show knowledge of literary terms such as: protagonist, antagonist, conflict, foreshadowing, irony
--be able to interpret motives of characters
--be able to recognize Shakespeare's use of time compression - Haste causes the tragedy
[ Visited 21 December 2005]
Romeo and Juliet Newspaper.
First, have students brainstorm the many different sections that are featured in a newspaper. Then explain to them that they will be creating their very own newspaper based on the play "Romeo and Juliet." Explain to them that their newpaper title and all that the paper contains must be about the storyline. Here are some examples of the titles and articles that some of my students have used in the past . . .  [ Visited 21 December 2005]
Interpreting quotes in Romeo and Juliet.
As a review of an act or even of the whole play, copy certain major quotes from the play on a transparency or on the board and put blanks in them.  . . .  Ask the students first to fill in the blanks with the appropriate word from the script. Then have the students go back and re-read the full quote along with the passage before and after it. Tell the students to explain in modern English what this passage is saying.  . . .  [ Visited 21 December 2005]