Use this lesson with B2 learners to learn about the balcony scene in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.


This lesson is about the popular and tragic Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet. Students find out about the characters and the plot and end the lesson by discussing some of the themes and issues raised by the play.

Learning outcomes:

  • To contextualise the balcony scene in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet in order to increase students’ interest in and awareness of drama in general and Shakespeare in particular.
  • To practise both reading for gist and close reading. 

Age and Level:



90 minutes


The lesson plan and student worksheet can be downloaded in PDF format below.

Warmer: Impossible love (10 minutes)
  • The first part of this lesson is designed to get students to become familiar with the plot of Romeo and Juliet by putting them in the shoes of Romeo and of Juliet themselves.
  • (a) Ask students to read the first question and discuss their answers in pairs.
  • You could also show a brief trailer by searching for ‘Romeo and Juliet trailer’ on the internet. Ask students to watch the trailer you choose, and then tell you what the play will be about.
  • (b) Now, get students to read the information in the box detailing the basics of the story
Task 1: The main characters in Romeo and Juliet (10 minutes)
  • Students can put the sentences into the correct order in pairs or individually before feeding back the answers as a class.
  • Answers:
  1. Romeo is a young Montague man who is distracted by love.
  2. Juliet is a Capulet girl who falls in love with the wrong person.
  3. Mercutio is Romeo’s friend. He is killed by the Capulets.
  4. Friar Lawrence is a priest who marries Romeo and Juliet in secret.
  5. Count Paris wants to marry Juliet but she doesn’t love him.
  6. The Montagues are at war with the Capulets.
  7. The Capulets don’t want Juliet to marry a Montague boy
Task 2: Props and themes in Romeo and Juliet (10 mins)
  • (a) Ask students to match the objects and descriptions in box.
  • Answers: 1.d, 2.c, 3.b, 4.e, 5.h, 6.a, 7.f, 8.g, 9. i
  • (b) When they have finished ask students to offer explanations as to what might happen with the objects in the play.
  • Suggest that the students look through the paintings on the worksheets, all of which illustrate particular scenes from Romeo and Juliet, as these offer clues.
  • If students don’t have many ideas, you could do this section after they have read the plot synopsis in Task 4.
Task 3: Prediction - sequencing the main events in Romeo and Juliet (5 minutes)
  • If students know a bit about Romeo and Juliet, then they can put the sentences in order before they read the plot synopsis. If not, then get students to read through the sentences making sure that they understand the vocab. They can then work in pairs to sort the sentences into the correct order before feeding back the answers the class as a whole.
  • Elicit the students’ suggestions as to the likely order; however, it is better not to give the answers at this stage, as students will find them in Task 4.
Task 4: Reading and sequencing the main events in Romeo and Juliet (10 minutes)
  • Ask the students to read the text and check their answers.
  • Conduct feedback.
  • Answers to Task 3 and 4: 1. h, 2. g, 3. a, 4. i, 5. b, 6. f, 7. d, 8. c
Task 5: Understanding the characters’ motivations in Romeo and Juliet (10 minutes)
  • Start by pre-teaching the word ‘motivation’ and explain that students are going to read the text again and discuss the possible motivations for some of the characters’ actions.
  • Get the students to discuss their answers in groups.
  • Answers:
  1. Why does the Prince of Verona order all the fighting between the Montagues and Capulets to stop? He wants peace
  2. Why does Romeo sneak into the ball? He wants to see a girl he is in love with
  3. Why don’t the Capulets kill Romeo when they discover him at their party? Lord Capulet doesn’t want anyone killed in his house.
  4. Why does Friar Lawrence agree marry Romeo and Juliet? He hopes it will stop the fighting.
  5. Why does Juliet want to leave Verona? She wants to live in peace with Romeo
  6. Why does Juliet take a drug to make it look as if she is dead? So she can escape Verona and live with Romeo
  7. Why does Romeo kill himself? Because he is so sad when he thinks that Juliet is dead (although in fact she is not).
  8. Why does Juliet kill herself? Because she is so sad that Romeo is dead.
Task 6: Discussion (10 mins)
  • In pairs or small groups (perhaps different from in the previous tasks), ask students to discuss the questions.
  • Get students to summarise their ideas to the class and develop any interesting topics of conversation that spring from these discussions. There may be some interesting ideas on duty to your family, being free to marry who you want or war and conflict.


Lesson Plan353.44 KB

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