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A Lesson Plan to Write an Updated Scene in Romeo and Juliet

By Trent Lorcher

Why dost thou read this here teaser fair lad? Don't stare. Now click here and fasten thine eyes on one of my drama lesson plans that involveth rewriting a scene from Romeo and Juliet.

Drama at the Interview

The interview was going badly. Mr. Dreamcrusher at Nofunded High School refused to laugh, not even when I told him about the time I let students pelt each other with paper clips every time they mispronounced Antigone. I had nothing to lose. I stretched and removed the Romeo and Juliet writing activities, my drama lesson plans, and how to write a scene with updates lesson I had stored in my underwear. I waved them in his face and shouted, "Listen here Mr. Dreamcrusher. I have in my hands the William Shakespeare of Romeo and Juliet writing activities. My favorite includes updating and writing a scene, and I won't show you this or any other of my drama lesson plans or Romeo and Juliet writing activities unless you hire me!"

Mr. Dreamcrusher has still not seen my drama lesson plans. I will share the one that involves updating a scene in Romeo and Juliet with you.

Writing Assignment

Rewrite a scene from Romeo and Juliet. Update it to modern times. Change the location.

  1. Prewriting - Look back over the play and select a scene full of action and emotion.
  2. Prewriting - Think about potential settings for the updated scenes. When brainstorming, write down any possibility, no matter how ridiculous. Some good possibilities are the duel between Mercutio and Tybalt, the meeting of Romeo and Juliet, the balcony scene, the suicide scene.
  3. Drafting - Change the language. This includes grammar, speech, vocabulary, and even names.
  4. Drafting - Don't forget stage directions (it is a play, after all). Adding stage directions allows the writer to more clearly convey the scene.
  5. Revising - Analyze character motivation. Make sure your characters' motivations are consistent with their actions. Pay special attention to dialogue.
  6. Revising - Make sure the language reflects a modern setting.
  7. Revising - Look at stage directions as a means to dramatize the action.
  8. Revising - Make sure the characters are still recognizable as Shakespeare intended them.