Unit 1

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

English I  


Unit Length and Description:


Nine weeks


Students will explore the extent to which reaction to conflict and opposition dictate the outcomes of a situation. During the study of Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, students will evaluate the choices that adults and teenagers make and consider their folly as well as the tremendous influence teenagers can have. Students will come to understand that we are all responsible for the choices we make, and we must accept the consequences of our words and deeds.  Through the study of classical tragedy, students will learn how literature reflects life and why some literature is timeless and universal.


This unit will focus on heavily on craft and structure as well as writing argumentative essays.




Reading Literature


Skill(s): interpreting and analyzing word choice

  • The students can:
    • determine what words mean and how context affects the meaning of these words and phrases, and
    • consider how the repeated use of words and phrases work together to achieve some cumulative effect.


Skill(s): analyze text structure

  • The students can:
    • examine how an author’s choices about structure and narrative design affect the plot, pacing, and perceptions of the reader, focusing on how techniques such as flashbacks, parallel plots, or nonlinear-episodic narratives, create a sense of wonder, anxiety, or awe in readers.


Skill(s): assessing point of view/purpose

  • The students can:
    • examine how authors from outside the Unites States treat a particular culture, experience, or perspective in a wide range of literary works.


Reading Informational Texts


Skill(s): interpreting and analyzing word choice

  • The students can:
    • examine what words mean and how context affects the meaning of these words and phrases, assessing whether the author is using words literally or figuratively and how the repeated use of words achieves some cumulative effect.


Skill(s): analyze text structure

  • The students can:
    • concentrate on how the author arranges details, evidence, or events to support and develop a claim or idea, analyzing how the writer begins and then refines the idea by connecting sentences, paragraphs, and larger chunks as they explore and advance their idea(s) and claim(s).


Skill(s): assessing point of view/purpose

  • The students can:
    • draw conclusions about the author’s perspective, analyzing the author’s purpose and the rhetorical choices the author uses to achieve that purpose or promote a certain perspective.



Skill(s): write to support arguments with claims

  • The students can:
    • write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence by:

a)   introducing precise claim(s), distinguishing the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and creating an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence,

b)   developing claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns,

c)   using words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, creating cohesion, and clarifying the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims,

d)   establishing and maintaining a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing, and

e)   providing a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.


Skill(s): using technology to publish

  • The students can:
    • use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.


Skill(s): researching

  • The students can:
    • investigate topics, problems, or questions posed by others or generated themselves as a part of a short or more extended research project, limiting or extending the scope of their inquiry as needed, and
    • examine different sources or perspectives on the subject, first showing that they understand, then synthesizing those different sources about the topic they are investigating.


Speaking and Listening


Skill(s): presenting research

  • The students can:
    • integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.


Skill(s): assessing research

  • The students can:
    • evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.




Skill(s): applying knowledge of language through editing

  • The students can:
    • apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening by:

a)   writing and editing work so that it conforms to the guidelines in a style manual (e.g., MLA Handbook, Turabian’s Manual for Writers) appropriate for the discipline and writing type.


Enduring Understandings:


·         Drama allows the readers to fully immerse themselves in the literature.

·         Shakespeare uses language that appealed to all classes of his time and introduced many words and phrases that we still use today.

·         Some of Shakespeare’s themes are universal, while others are specific to the setting.

·         Every decision we make affects our future.

Essential Questions:


·         How is drama different from other literary genres/forms?

·         How does Shakespeare use language and how does his language make his writing stand out?

·         Are Shakespeare’s views on love, loyalty, friendship, and fate still relevant today?

·         In what ways do little decisions affect our lives, achievements, and responsibilities?