This online resource for Romeo and Juliet provides a range of engaging classroom activities that reflect the National Curriculum for English and Drama. These notes will suggest activities and show students how the director and the cast create the world of the play, as well as guide teachers through how to use the website itself.
The suggested activities linked to are accessible on the Globe’s free, online platform for teachers: Teach Shakespeare.
Theme activities just added on Time in Romeo and Juliet
Week 2 Blog activities are now available…
Resources For Your Teaching Level
Key Stage 3
(Ages 11 – 14)
Key Stage 4
(Ages 14 – 16)
Key Stage 5
(Ages 16 – 18)
How To Use the Site
Each character has their own page with a profile, photographs and comments about them from other perspectives. The Backstage Blog provides fascinating insights into how the cast, working with the director and other professionals, add flesh and bones to the characters. These approaches can be transferred to the classroom and will help pupils to think about how the characters interact with one another, what they want and what they do to achieve their aims.
The Tools button in the three selected scenes on the Language page provide definitions of the literary techniques Shakespeare used, as well as edits the director has made to the script. Examples of the techniques are highlighted and students can find others as they read through the scenes.
The Week by Week pages take students through the whole process of building a production from designing the mood boards for the play, to designing a set, creating costumes and writing a review for the play. Each week students are offered an opportunity to emulate the work of the production team and the chance to have their work uploaded onto the site. The activities, which are written by the creative team, support the delivery of the programmes of study for Art and Design.
The Backstage Blog charts the progress the cast make in developing their characters, their voice skills and their understanding of the demands of working on the Globe stage. Rehearsal techniques are described within the Week by Week and Interviews sections, and actors comment on how these approaches give them insights into their characters and help them perform their parts.
Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank Online
We also offer websites dedicated to Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Othello.
Completely free to use, Teach Shakespeare lets you find, use, and keep hundreds of Globe digital resources.
Designed to make lesson planning easy and innovative, you can access the site from anywhere to build your schemes of work for 11-18 year olds.
Shakespeare’s Globe 360
Shakespeare’s Globe 360 uses augmented reality to digitally recreate a fully interactive Globe Theatre. The free app allows students to explore a 360-degree version of the famous ‘Wooden O’ theatre.
Shorter Shakespeare Texts
Develop your students’ confidence and understanding as they explore the plots, themes and language of Shakespeare with Shorter Shakespeare, abridged play texts of Playing Shakespeare productions.
Dealing with Issues in the Text
This year’s Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production is Romeo and Juliet, a play that contains references to knife crime and fatal stabbings.
At Shakespeare’s Globe, we are aware that the content of this topic is very sensitive, but that you may want to discuss this with your students either in advance of, or after watching, the production. Furthermore, students may want to discuss it, or have questions about it themselves. We have summarised how this specific production tackles this difficult subject, to enable you to have discussions with students around the ultimate message the production aims to convey.
How are knives and weapons used in this production of Romeo and Juliet?
In Romeo and Juliet, the language of the violence in the play is drawn from what was happening at the end of the sixteenth century, when the play was written and first performed.
A new style of swordplay was coming over from France and Italy, that was more elaborate and ‘showy’ than the existing English style. This led to various public duels as people challenged each other to decide which style of fighting was ‘best’. This phenomenon is extensively referenced in Romeo and Juliet because Tybalt, a Capulet, fights in the newer, more showy style.
In our production, this difference has been marked by the Capulets fighting with items they might display or wear like belts, weaponised jewellery and nail extensions rather than swords. The Montagues tend to use daggers, swords and sticks – more ‘traditional’ weapons. The violence in the production is all taken directly from the text, and the message of the production is about the negative impact the violence has on the characters directly after they’ve carried it out, and of the long-term impact violence has on everyone around them.
Need advice and information?
If you or someone you know have been affected by any of the issues that the production raises, then please use the information below to find out about sources of advice and information.
Q: What should you do if you find yourself involved in carrying a knife or another weapon?
A: Visit the Met Police website for further information on what you can do, including if you have been the victim of knife crime.
Q: What should you do if a friend has been a victim of knife crime?
A: Visit the Met Police website for further information on what you can do.
Q: What does the law say about knives and other offensive weapons?
A: The below is taken directly from Gov.uk.