Romeo and Juliet reloaded

The greatest love story ever told

Reading the modernised version of Romeo and Juliet

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Learning Objectives: to develop your reading skills by learning how playwrights create interesting characters through the use of dialogue; to develop your discussion and analytical skills. 

TASKS: Read my modernised version of Romeo and Juliet Act 1, doubling up roles where necessary. At the end of each scene prepare for a discussion in your books with each person taking a different role by making brief notes:

EXPLAINER: This person needs to write down what actually is happening in the play, and then QUESTION the others on what is happening.

CHARACTER TRACKER: This person notes down what the characters are like — their personalities, their behaviour — and works out what makes them interesting characters. They then get ready to QUESTION the group on what they think and will offer their views if the group is stuck.

LANGUAGE TRACKER: This person will note down the interesting language being used in the scene and discuss their views on the language with the group.

DRAMATIC TECHNIQUES TRACKER: This person will look at Shakespeare’s dramatic techniques and discuss how he creates suspense in the scene. They will need to look at the PACE of the scenes, the DRAMATIC ACTION, the DEVELOPMENT of the characters and the PLOT.





Author: @wonderfrancis

Francis Gilbert is a Lecturer in Education at Goldsmiths, University of London, teaching on the PGCE Secondary English programme. He also teaches the Creative Writing module on the MA in Children’s Literature, which is run by Maggie Pitfield and Professor Michael Rosen. Previously, he worked for a quarter of a century in various English state schools teaching English and Media Studies to 11-18 year olds. He has, at times, moonlighted as a journalist, novelist and social commentator. He is the author of ‘Teacher On The Run’, ‘Yob Nation’, ‘Parent Power’, ‘Working The System -- How To Get The Very Best State Education for Your Child’, and a novel about school, ‘The Last Day Of Term’. His first book, ‘I'm A Teacher, Get Me Out Of Here’ was a big hit, becoming a bestseller and being serialised on Radio 4. In his role as an English teacher, he has taught many classic texts over the years and has developed a great many resources to assist readers with understanding, appreciating and responding to them both analytically and creatively. This led him to set up his own small publishing company FGI Publishing ( which has published his study guides as well as a number of books by other authors, including Roger Titcombe’s ‘Learning Matters’ and anthology of creative writing 'The Gold Room'. He is the co-founder, with Melissa Benn and Fiona Millar, of The Local Schools Network,, a blog that celebrates non-selective state schools, and has his own website, He has appeared numerous times on radio and TV, including Newsnight, the Today Programme, Woman’s Hour and the Russell Brand Show. In June 2015, he was awarded a PhD in Creative Writing and Education by Goldsmiths.

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