Language Arts Understanding by Design Lesson Plans


By Elizabeth Muire

“Romeo and Juliet is About You” is a unit written for the opening work of the spring semester of freshman English, shortly before the STAAR exam. The unit focuses on teaching students to relate to difficult texts and thereby make them more accessible, as well as exploring relationships and their effect on values, choices, and lives. The students will write expository and literary essays, as well as hold Socratic seminars and make use of a number of discussion protocols, to get comfortable with the big ideas of Romeo and Juliet, and the conventions of drama. The culminating project of the unit is a student choice tic-tac-toe board, where each square focuses on plot, theme, or the essential question, and the methods by which the students show their knowledge run the spectrum of student interests, including art, music, and writing.

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