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Middle Level English Language Arts (ELA)

Grade 9
A Model Thematic Unit

Exploring Loyalty, Love, and Relationships

(Semester II)
Unit Overview

Context(s): Personal and Philosophical; Social, Cultural, and Historical

Timeline: Approximately six weeks

As Middle Level students mature, they begin to reflect on themselves and their relationships with others,
including their friends and parents. They know what it is to be loyal to a friend and have a family that supports
them. They also know the challenges that friends, family, and other relationships can give them. They know
what it means to get into disagreements, be betrayed by a friend, hold a grudge, care for someone who does
not return that affection, tease and to be teased about a special friendship, and have parents who forbid that
they do certain things or spend time with certain people. This unit invites students to think more deeply about
the relationships that affect their lives and the role that loyalty and love play in those relationships.

The unit is organized around four focus questions with suggested resources included. (Time allocations given
are approximations only. Teachers can choose to spend more or less time on each part depending on the
needs and interests of their students.)

Understanding: Love and loyalty play a role in our relationships with friends, family, and special others.

Possible Questions for Deeper Understanding:

• Why do people need each other?

• What does it mean to be a loyal and true friend?
• What does it mean to belong and be loyal to our family?
• What does it mean to be in love?
• Questions students would like to explore:

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English Language Arts Goals and Outcomes Overview [Grade 9]
Note: a=first semester; b=second semester

Comprehend and Respond (CR). Students will extend their abilities to view, listen to, read,
comprehend, and respond to a range of contemporary and traditional grade-level texts from
First Nations, Métis, and other cultures in a variety of forms (oral, print, and other texts) for a
variety of purposes including for learning, interest, and enjoyment.

CR9.1a View, listen to, read, comprehend, and respond to a variety of texts that address identity (e.g., The
Search for Self), social responsibility (e.g., Our Shared narratives), and efficacy (e.g., Doing the Right Thing).
CR9.1b View, listen to, read, comprehend, and respond to a variety of texts that address identity (e.g.,
Exploring Loyalty, Love, and Relationships), social responsibility (e.g., Equal Opportunity), and efficacy (e.g.,
Surviving and Conquering).
CR9.2a and CR9.2b Select and use the appropriate strategies to construct meaning before (e.g., formulating
focus questions), during (e.g., adjusting rate to the specific purpose and difficulty of the text), and after (e.g.,
analyzing and evaluating) viewing, listening, and reading.
CR9.3a and CR9.3b Use pragmatic (e.g., language suitable for intended audience), textual (e.g., author’s
thesis or argument, how author organized text to achieve unity, coherence, and effect), syntactic (e.g., parallel
structures), semantic/lexical/morphological (e.g., connotation and denotation), graphophonic (e.g., common
spellings and variants for effect or dialect), and other cues (e.g., fonts, colour) to construct and to confirm
CR9.4a View and demonstrate comprehension and evaluation of visual and multimedia texts including
illustrations, maps, charts, graphs, pamphlets, photography, art works, video clips, and dramatizations to
glean ideas suitable for identified audience and purpose.
CR9.4b View and demonstrate comprehension of visual and multimedia texts to synthesize and summarize
ideas from multiple visual and multimedia sources.
CR9.5a Listen purposefully to understand, analyze, and evaluate oral information and ideas from a range of
texts including conversations, discussions, interviews, and speeches.
CR9.5b Listen purposefully to understand, analyze, and evaluate oral information and ideas from a range of
texts including directions and speeches, recognizing train of thought, main points, and presentation
CR9.6a and CR9.6b Read and demonstrate comprehension and interpretation of grade-level-appropriate
texts including traditional and contemporary prose fiction, poetry, and plays from First Nations, Métis, and
other cultures to develop an insightful interpretation and response.
CR9.7a and CR9.7b Read independently and demonstrate comprehension of a variety of information texts
including expository essays, historical accounts, news articles, and scientific writing.
CR9.8a and CR9.8b Read grade 9 appropriate texts to increase fluency and expression (150+wcpm orally;
215-260 wpm silently).

Compose and Create (CC). Students will extend their abilities to speak, write, and use other forms
of representation to explore and present thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a variety of forms
for a variety of purposes and audiences.

CC9.1a Create various visual, multimedia, oral, and written texts that explore identity (e.g., The Search for
Self), social responsibility (e.g., Our Shared Narratives ), and efficacy (e.g., Doing the Right Thing).
CC9.1b Create various visual, multimedia, oral, and written texts that explore identity (e.g., Exploring Loyalty,
Love, and Relationships), social responsibility (e.g., Equal Opportunity), and efficacy (e.g., Surviving and
CC9.2a and CC9.2b Create and present an individual researched inquiry project related to a topic, theme, or
issue studied in English language arts.

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CC9.3.a and CC9.3b Select and use the appropriate strategies to communicate meaning before (e.g.,
considering and valuing own observations, experiences, ideas, and opinions as sources for ideas), during (e.g.,
shaping and reshaping drafts with audience and purpose in mind), and after (e.g., ensuring that all parts
support the main idea or thesis) speaking, writing, and other representing activities.
CC9.4a and CC9.4b Use pragmatic (e.g., inclusive language that supports people across cultures, genders,
ages, and abilities), textual (e.g., strong leads, coherent body, and effective endings), syntactic (e.g.,
subordination to show more precisely the relationships between ideas), semantic/lexical/ morphological (e.g.,
both the denotative and connotative meaning of words), graphophonic (e.g., knowledge of spelling patterns
and rules to identify analyze, and correct spelling errors), and other cues (e.g., combine print and visuals to
enhance presentations) to construct and to communicate meaning.
CC9.5a Create and present a variety of visual and multimedia presentations to best represent message for an
intended audience and purpose.
CC9.5b Create and present a variety of visual and multimedia presentations including addressing various
audiences for one proposal.
CC9.6a and CC9.6b Use oral language to interact purposeful, confidently, and appropriately in a variety of
situations including participating in one-to-one, small group, and large group discussions (e.g., prompting
and supporting others, solving problems, resolving conflicts, building consensus, articulating and explaining
personal viewpoint, discussing preferences, speaking to extend current understanding, celebrating special
events and accomplishments).
CC9.7a and CC9.7b Use oral language to intentionally to express a range of information and ideas in formal
and informal situations including dramatic readings of poems, monologues, scenes from plays, and stories
and presenting reasoned arguments of opposing viewpoints.
CC9.8a Write to describe (a profile of a character), to narrate (a narrative essay), to explain and inform (a
researched report), and to persuade (a review).
CC9.8b Write to describe (a description of a scene), to narrate (a personal essay), to explain and inform (a
multi-paragraph letter), and to persuade (a letter to the editor).
CC9.9a and CC9.9b Experiment with a variety of text forms (e.g., debates, meetings, presentations to
unfamiliar audiences, poetry, précis, short script, advice column, video documentary, comic strip) and
techniques (e.g., tone, persona, point of view, imagery, dialogue, figurative language).

Assess and Reflect on Language Abilities (AR). Students will extend their abilities to assess and reflect
on their own language skills, discuss the skills of effective viewers, representers, listeners, speakers,
readers, and writers, and set goals for future improvement.

AR9.1a and AR9.1b Assess personal strengths and needs as a viewer, listener, reader, representer, speaker,
and writer and contributions to the community of learners, and develop goals based on assessment, and work
toward them.
AR9.2a and AR9.2b Assess own and others’ work for clarity, correctness, and impact.

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Suggested Resources for the Unit
A range of language, prose (fiction and non-fiction), poetry, and plays (scripts), as well as human, video, and
other resources are suggested.

Language Resources

ResourceLines 9/10


“Two Friends” (David Ignatow) (Some Haystacks Don’t Have Any Needles)
“The Art of Friendship” (W. A. Paterson) (The Art of Being)
“All” (Leona Gom) (SightLines 9)
“Instructions to My Mother” (Marilyn Dumont) (SightLines 9)
“The Masks of Love” (Alden Nowlan) (SightLines 9)
“Real Love” (Marlisa Tiedemann) (In Touch)


“The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet” (Identities 9)
Additional scenes from a full-length copy of Romeo and Juliet (e.g., ITP Nelson or Cambridge School

Prose Non-Fiction

Shorter Prose Non-Fiction

Students will need access to multiple sources for their research.

Prose Fiction

Shorter Prose Selections

“Acceptance” (short story by Vidhya Sridharan) (Crossroads 9)

“The Golden Girl” (short story by Gillian Chan) (SightLines 9)
“On the Sidewalk Bleeding” (short story by Evan Hunter) (Crossroads 9)
“Gifts of the Magi” (short story by O.Henry) (In Touch)
“Sir Gawain and the Loathely Lady” (traditional story retold by Selina Hastings) (SightLines 9)
“Savitri and Satyavan” (Hindu myth retold by Madhur Jaffrey) (Crossroads 9)


See bibliography and updates for titles.

Full-Length Non-Fiction

See bibliography and updates for titles.

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“Messages are Everywhere” (SightLines 9)

“Zits” (comic strips by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman) (Crossroads 9)


Emra, B. (1999). Coming of age. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company.

Farrell, E. J., et al. (2001). Literature and language arts: Experiencing literature. St. Paul, MN: EMC/Paradigm.
Gibson, R. (2002). Romeo and Juliet. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Niemet, C. (1992). Viewpoints: Non-fiction selections. Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books.
Strong, W. (1983). Sentence combining: A composing book. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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Assessment and
Outcomes Learning Activities
Exploring Loyalty, Love, and Relationships

CR 9.1b “Relationships. That’s all there really is … You have to come to Note students’ willingness
terms … with those people around you, those people who care to participate, to share
for you …” (Leslie Marmon Silko) knowledge and insights,
and to reflect. Throughout
This unit invites you to think more deeply about the relationships this unit, students will be
that affect your life and the role that loyalty and love play in asked to take a stand and to
those relationships. As you mature, you begin to reflect on support their stand with
yourself and your relationships with others, including your reasons.
friends and parents. You know what it is to be loyal to a friend Students will need to return
and have a family that supports you. You also know the
to the focus questions
challenges that your friends, family, and other relationships give
throughout the unit. They
you. You know what it means to get into disagreements, be may wish to begin a
betrayed by a friend, hold a grudge, care for someone who does reflection page for each
not return that affection, tease and be teased about a girlfriend question and to make an
or boyfriend, and have parents forbid you to do certain things or initial statement of what
spend time with certain friends.
they are thinking at the
beginning of the unit. These
“Relationships are like pressures that push you in 36 directions of initial reflections can be
the compass.” (Diana Chang) compared to their insights
throughout the rest of the
Note: Share with students and caregivers/guardians expectations unit.
and overall grading plans for the unit. Highlight the key
resources that will be used during the unit. An interest survey could be
used to determine what
AR 9.1b Start a Class Language Profile that includes the language arts students like listening to,
skills and strategies as well as the language cueing systems. What reading, and viewing in
are the students’ language strengths? What are their needs? As their spare time. Categories
the students work through the unit, make anecdotal notes on the can be created for Non-
Class Language Profile in order to set teaching priorities. fiction (e.g.,
CR 9.5b Use Book Talks to introduce students to full-length non-fiction biographies, science, how
and novels related to the theme. Consider whether these books to, politics, history,
should be read individually by students or as a group activity. geography, health, humour,
Also consider what response strategies and/or reading guides newspapers, magazines);
students could use to enhance their reading experiences. Fiction (e.g., mystery,
adventure, sports, animal,
Novels and full-length non-fiction resources related to this theme romance, fantasy, realistic
are listed in the bibliography and updates for this curriculum. fiction, story collections);
Poetry; Scripts (stage and
Relationships: Friends movie); and Other (e.g.,
Approximately 1 week cartoons and comics). If
students choose the
Focus Question 1: Why do people need each other? collections, an
CR 9.1b
“Independent Reading
CC 9.2b “A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature.” Tracking Sheet” (Identities 9,
(Ralph Waldo Emerson) Teacher’s Guide) could be

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Although there are times when we like to be alone, there are
times when we like to be with others. Having friends that acceptA checklist or anecdotal
and understand us is an important part of life. Being able to record could be used
count on and, at times, lean on someone who cares about us and throughout the unit to
is willing to help or support us gives us confidence. Most of usassess the students’
eventually have at least one or two good friends who like us andlistening behaviours and
enjoy being with us. The number of friends we have is not as, strategies and their
important as the kind of friends we have. participation and strategies
CC 9.6b during discussion activities.
Using the first opinion statement of the opinionnaire model the The “Listening: Observation
form for the reason or supporting statement. Invite students to Checklist” and “Listening:
consider at least one reason they can use to support their Student Self-Assessment”
opinion. Encourage them to use complete statements and strong (SightLines 9, Teacher’s
verbs and to avoid “just because” and “I don’t know why” or Guide) could be used as
similar avoidance statements. models.

CR 9.6b Friendship Opinionnaire

Consider using admit and
Have the students respond by putting an A for agree or a D for exit slips during this section
CR 9.3b disagree next to each statement and by providing a brief reason of the unit (particularly for
for their opinion. Remind students that there are not right or the mini-lesson concepts).
wrong answers. Everyone’s opinion is valid if it can be supported.

__ It is important to have one or two close friends.


__ It is important to help friends with problems rather than to

ignore them.

__ It is important to be loyal to your friends, even if they do

something wrong or break the law.

__ It is important to support or help a friend no matter what the


__ If our parents dislike our friends, it is important to stop seeing

them and keep peace in the family.

__ Sometimes, it is important to point out a friend’s

CR 9.6b Reason:
The number of readings of
Suggested Resources: “Acceptance” (a short, short story by this short story gives the
Vidhya Sridharan) (Crossroads) or a similar story about fitting in teacher a chance to check
and being accepted the students’ reading
strategies. What strategies
do students use when
reading fiction? Do they use
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Before Reading thinking strategies at the
CR 9.2b literal, interpretive, and
• Is fitting in important? Why? How far do some students go to critical/creative levels?
fit in? What kinds of things do they do to be accepted by

During Reading
CR 9.2b
CR 9.3b • To really understand the full meaning and significance of
something, we sometimes have to read texts more than once.
Because this is a “short” short story, try reading it four times to
see if you can understand its full meaning and message.
• First, read to get the gist of the story: How does Sandy try to fit
in? What changes her mind about wanting to fit in with this
• Next, read it a second time and formulate a response to the
story: Did you find Sandy’s actions believable? Why or why
not? What is Sandy really like?
• Now, read it a third time to see what is between the lines of
the story: To make an inference you have to piece together
clues in the text and draw conclusions.
• Project the text and ask students to work with a partner to
explain these inferences:
o Line 1: Who speaks these words? How did you find out?
o Line 2: Who is Sandy? How did you find out?
o Lines 1-4: Where is Sandy’s goal? How did you find out?
o Lines 1-6: What is Sandy’s goal? How did you find out?
• Finally, read the story a fourth time to consider the elements
and techniques of the story: “Acceptance” is a complete story
with all the elements of fiction – setting, characters, plot (with
a problem and a beginning, middle, and end), point of view,
and theme (or message). Identify these elements.

After Reading
CR 9.2b
• Now draw some final conclusions. What is Sandy really like?
What makes you think so? Have you ever felt left out or
excluded from things? Explain.

CR 9.4b
CR 9.2b • Consider the photograph that accompanies the story. “Read” This is an opportunity to
CR 9.3b and analyze the photograph. Apply the same strategies to note students’ viewing
viewing the photograph as you did to the reading of the text. strategies and to reinforce
the support of any
• First look at the photograph to get the gist of the photograph:
inferences and conclusions
What is the photograph telling?
drawn from the photo.
• Next, formulate your initial response to the photograph: With
Consider the “Viewing
whom in the photograph do you identify or sympathize?
Checklist” (Identities 9,
• Now view the photograph to see what is “between the lines”:
Teacher’s Guide).
To what part of the photograph is your eye drawn? Who are
the characters in this story? What might happen next?

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• Finally, consider the elements and techniques found in the
photograph. How do the formal elements of the photograph –
colour, lighting, composition, focus – help tell the story? How
do the elements make you view the photograph in a certain

CC 9.5b
CC 9.3b • Have students design a poster emphasizing the importance of Note students’ strategies
CC 9.4b being true to oneself. before/during/after. With
• Have students think about their audience, the tone (dramatic, the students, prepare a
serious, funny), a slogan (short, catchy phrase that attracts the rubric for self- and teacher
reader’s attention), and a visual. evaluation of the poster. Use
“Representing: Self- or Peer
Possible Mini-Lesson: Designing a Poster Evaluation” and
“Representing: Holistic
Focus Question 2: What does it mean to be a loyal and true Assessment Scale”,
friend? SightLines 9, Teacher’s Guide
CC 9.2b Approximately 1 week as a model.

We all need someone we can count on and lean on. We all need
someone who we can call “friend”… someone who is loyal and

Listening to a Poem

CR 9.5b Suggested Resources: “Two Friends” (David Ignatow) (Some

Haystacks Don’t Have Any Needles) or a similar poem about

Before Listening
CR 9.2b
• What does it mean to be a “real” friend? As students listen to
the poem, have them consider what is wrong with the
“friendship” presented in this poem.

During Listening
CR 9.2b Have students sketch or
• As you read the poem to the students, ask them to imagine the
CR 9.3b make jot notes as they
expressions on the faces of the two friends.
After the second reading,
After Listening
ask students to identify the
CR 9.2b point of the poem and to
• What picture did you have of the two friends? What do you
support their conclusion
imagine is the setting for this poem? What do you suppose is
with reasons that draw on
the attitude of each friend towards the meeting?
CR 9.5b the text of the poem. Have
• Have the students listen a second time to your reading of the
students use their charts to
poem. Often speakers and writers use irony. Irony is the
explain why the title is
difference between appearance and reality. What is ironical
about the title of the poem? Have students prepare a graphic
organizer (chart) like the one below to record their response.

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Appearance Reality To reinforce the concept of
(what is expected) (what is really happening) irony, select a four-panel
comic strip and white-out
the captions. Have the
students rewrite the
Reading a Poem captions including irony in
one or more of the frames.
CR 9.7b Suggested Resources: “The Art of Friendship” (W. A. Paterson)
(The Art of Being) or a similar poem about being a good and true

Before Reading
CR 9.2b
• The author of this poem highlights what many consider the
essential requirements for true friendship. Why do you think Have each student submit
this poem might have the title “The Art of Friendship”? his/her opinion and
rationale to support it.
During Reading

CR 9.2b • Read the poem once through. Note the first step in “the art of
CR 9.3b friendship” and then the various things one “should” do in
addition to this first step.
• Read the poem a second time making notes of the key words
to complete the following stem statement: “To be a friend you
should …”

After Reading

CR 9.2b • What, in your opinion, are the three most important

requirements for a true friend? Why? Create, with students, a
CC 9.9b • If you were to write a poem following a similar pattern and title writing rubric for their poem.
“The Art of Friendship”, what would the first eight lines say? Use “Writing Rubric”
(Crossroads 9, Teacher’s
Representing Guide, p. 306), “Writing
Poetry: Observation
CC 9.5b Suggested Resources: Messages are Everywhere (SightLines 9, pp. Checklist” (SightLines 9), or
30-31) or examples of t-shirt messages “Poetry Checklist” (Identities 9)
as models.
CC 9.3b • Have students consider a design for a t-shirt emphasizing the
CC 9.4b importance of true friendship. Use “Representing: Self- or
• Have designers think about their audience, the tone (dramatic, Peer Evaluation” and
serious, funny), a slogan (short, catchy phrase that will attract “Representing: Holistic
the reader’s attention), and a visual. Assessment Scale”,
SightLines 9, Teacher’s Guide
Unhealthy Friendships as a model to evaluate T-
shirt message.
Short Story 1

CR 9.6b Suggested Resources: “The Golden Girl” (Gillian Chan)

(SightLines 9) or a similar story about an unhealthy friendship.

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Before Reading
CR 9.2b
• To be a friend, “you should close your eyes to the faults of
others and open them to your own”, but is this always a good
idea? Consider Donna’s friendship with Anna.
• Have students list the qualities or characteristics that they look Use “Reading a Short Story:
for in their friends. Note that at the end of this story, the Observation Checklist”,
narrator will refer to “us cheap imitations”. Ask students to “Strategies: Student Self-
note the actions and words of the narrator that shows she Assessment”, and “Journal
regards herself as a “cheap imitation” of her “friend” Anna Response: Evaluation”
Murphy. (SightLines 9, Teacher’s
Guide) to evaluate students’
During Reading reading of this story.
CR 9.2b
CR 9.3b • Have students read the story silently and make a list of the
comments Donna makes to put herself down.

After Reading
CR 9.2b
• Have students revisit their original list of qualities that they
look for in friends. How many of these qualities were
demonstrated by the narrator or any of the other major
characters in the story? Which qualities were not
demonstrated? Will Donna and Anna remain friends? Why or
why not?

Possible Mini-Lesson: Point of View (First Person)

Short Story 2
CR 9.6b Suggested Resources: “On the Sidewalk Bleeding” (Evan
Hunter) (Crossroads 9) or a similar story about groups, cliques, or

Before Reading

CR 9.2b • To be a friend, “you should remember that we are human Use “Reading a Short Story:
magnets; that like attracts like, and that what we give, we get” Observation Checklist”,
but sometimes we seek out friends who can have a negative or “Strategies: Student Self-
bad influence on us. Consider Andy’s choice of “friends” and Assessment”, and “Journal
the consequences of their friendship. Response: Evaluation”
• Have students view the image on page 36. What does the (SightLines 9, Teacher’s
image suggest about the story? Guide) to evaluate students’
reading of this story.
During Reading
CR 9.2b
CR 9.3b
• Read the opening paragraph with the students. What
information does the writer give in this paragraph and what
information does he withhold in his opening three sentences?

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• Have students track the time, action, and thoughts presented
in the story using a chart to summarize and organize their
ideas and understanding.

Action Narrator
Past Action

Present Action

After Reading
CR 9.2b
• Why did Andy join a gang and why does no one find Andy or
help him? What caused Andy to reject the gang before his
death? What conclusion can you draw from the police officer’s
comment at the end of the story?
• The writer carefully gave us a particular time sequence in the
story. How did this technique make the story believable?

Reflecting on Friendship

Language Study: Using Qualifiers to Enhance Kernel

CR 9.3b
• “Acceptance” could have been written in simple, “kernel” Check students’
sentences centred around the backbone of the sentence – the understanding of the
verb and its subject (e.g., Morning arrived. Sandy approached syntactical cueing system.
the students. Her body tensed. Her steps faltered. She said For example: What is the
hello. They turned. They smiled. She felt ridiculous. She looked meaning of the italicized
again. She knew. She turned. She went to the library.). nonsense words in the
• If Sridharan had used nothing but kernel sentences we would following contexts:
lose interest in the story and its impact would be lost. Effective Jan glondered quickly.
communicators know that they must use a variety of Jan glabered the troper.
sentences in their spoken and written communication if they Jan was globered.
are to hold their listener’s or reader’s interest and give impact
to their communication.
Caution: Vidhya Sridharan has also used “conversational”
sentence fragments (e.g., “Nerd, Geek!” and “Monday
• Effective communicators know a number of ways to enhance
their basic kernel sentences. Most often, they take the basic
sentence units – the verb and the subject – and add qualifiers
to provide detail and interest. The basic sentence patterns –
SV, SVO, SLVC – are much like skeletons. Sentence patterns
provide a working structure but they need flesh, muscle, and
individual features to bring them to life and make them
effective. Various kinds of qualifiers provide the flesh, muscle,
and features in sentences. Check students’ ability to
o The basic Subject-Verb pattern in the sentence “Morning identify the qualifiers.
arrived” can become “The gray Monday morning finally
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o The details that have been added qualify the kernel words.
“The gray”, and “Monday” tell more about the morning (or
subject) and are called adjective qualifiers. They make the
words that they qualify more vivid and precise by telling
how many, which one, or what kind.
o “Finally” tells more about the verb by answering how?
when? where? why? and to what extent? This type of
qualifier is called an adverb – the word that qualifies or
describes a verb. It is a very useful and versatile qualifier
and can be used not only with verbs but also with
adjectives or other adverbs. It usually tells to what extent
(e.g., “It was a very gray Monday morning.”). Add qualifiers
(both adjectives and adverbs) to each kernel sentence
above to make it more interesting.
o Ensure that each time you add an adjective or an adverb,
you are specific enough to convey your exact meaning. For
example, Sandy looked slightly doubtful. Sandy looked
rather doubtful. Sandy looked extremely doubtful. You can
also use adverbs such as “very” and “too” in front of an
adjective or adverb to make its meaning more exact. These
adverbs intensify the adjective or adverb but should not
be overused.

Note: If students have a good background in the syntactical

cueing system, you may wish to also point out that sometimes
single-word adjective and adverb qualifiers do not let them
express meaning as specifically as they want. A preposition
phrase conveys specifically where, when, how, or why something
happened, or how long it went on. Likewise, adjective and
adverb clauses (groups of words containing a subject and a verb
and usually introduced by words like who, that, which, whom, [in
adjective clauses] and after, as soon as, where, because, so that,
although, unless, as if, as though [in adverb clauses]) also help to
enhance meaning. Whether a single word, a phrase, or a clause
qualifier, these words and groups of words all do the same job
and give more detail to answer the same questions.
CC 9.4b
• Students might create a more interesting story using the Check students’ ability to
following kernel sentences and qualifier prompts. use the appropriate
o [When] Sandy fell [how] [where]. qualifiers for the context.
o The [which] people laughed at the [which one] girl [how].
o She felt [how] and [how] ran [where].
o Her [which one] face told the story.
• Students could also take sentences pared down to their bare- Check students’ ability to
bones and make them more interesting. manipulate qualifiers for
Sandy ran. effect and clarity.
Faster, in the morning, today, than others
Wind blew trees.
The, yesterday, in Saskatchewan, soft, several, maple, those,
down, hurricane-force

CR 9.3b
Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca 13
• Have students reread “Acceptance” (Crossroads 9) and note
some of the qualifiers that Sridharan used for a particular effect
(e.g., cool, uncertainly, another, to the library).

Reflecting Activities
CC 9.6b
Have students choose one of the following activities: Students will need to return
• Of the characters that you have encountered so far, whom to their initial reflections on
CR 9.6b would you like to have as a friend? Why? Write a paragraph to the first two focus questions.
CC 9.9b your parent explaining your choice. What are their thoughts after
• Read “Crosswords” (Gina Douthwaite) (SightLines 9). Create having explored these
CC 9.8b your own crossword-style poem on friendship. questions? Have students
• Donna (in “Golden Girl”) and Andy (in “On the Sidewalk add their insights at this
Bleeding”) worked hard to be friends with Anna and with the point in the unit to their
members of the gang, respectively. Imagine that you are initial reflections.
Donna or Andy and are applying for the job of being a “best
friend” of Donna or Andy. Create a convincing letter of Create with students a
application for the position. rubric for evaluating their
final products for this
Relationships: Family section. The writing and
poetry rubrics already
CC 9.2b Focus Question 3: What does it mean to belong and to be developed could be used.
loyal to our family? “Writing Business Letters”
Approximately 1½ weeks (SightLines 9, Teacher’s
Guide) could be used to
“Families are like peanut brittle. It takes a lot of sweetness to hold create the rubric for the
all the nuts together.” (Preview of the movie Used People) letter.

Belonging to a family is another important relationship in our

lives. We can choose our friends but, like it or not, we are born
into families and we must, for the most part, manage with those
with whom we find ourselves. However these various
relationships work out, our interactions with family members
have a profound influence throughout our lives (Emra, 1999, p.
CC 9.6b Have students note their
What comes to your mind when you think about family?
initial reflection to the third
focus question. Remind
As a child, were you raised in a traditional family, with a mother,
them to add to it as they
father, brothers, and sisters? Or were you raised by a stepmother,
work through this section.
grandparent, aunt, or someone not a blood relative? Regardless
of how people are related, families come in all shapes and sizes.
Each family has it own unique personal, cultural, and religious
beliefs and customs (Niemet, 1992, p. 19).
Encourage students to think
The essence of “family” is that people belong to each other and
carefully about the meaning
feel that they are responsible for each other. They support and
of the word “family”. Invite
give each other a sense of security, self-worth, and pass on their
them to create an
values, attitudes, and traditions.
“inclusive” definition that
uses inclusive language.

14 Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca

Family Opinionnaire
CR 9.6b
Have the students respond by putting an A for agree or a D for
disagree next to each statement and by providing a brief reason
for their opinion. Remind students that there are not right or
wrong answers. Everyone’s opinion is valid if it can be supported.

__ There is one single description that fits all families. Review expectations for the
Reason: supporting statement – at
__ Family members have responsibility to each other and to the least one reason that
family unit. students can use to support
Reason: their opinion.
__ A parent should be a teenager’s best friend.
__ All members of a family are equally responsible for the
protection of the family unit.
__ Families are closer to each other on happy occasions than in Reinforce the use of
crisis. complete statements
Reason: (sentences), strong verbs,
__ Conflict is a given in a family. clear and appropriate
Reason: qualifiers.
__ A family maintains its unity by sharing mutual responsibility.
__ The family as a whole must agree on how to solve problems.
__ Above all, individuals must be loyal to the family.
CR 9.6b Suggested Resources: “All” (Leona Gom) (SightLines 9) or a
similar poem about family and family relationships

Before Reading
CR 9.2b
• As we get older, our family relationships usually change,
especially with our parents. What does the visual that
accompanies the poem suggest about the poem’s topic and
CR 9.5b
• Listen to a reading of the poem. What memories are recalled in
the poem?

During Reading
CR 9.2b Consider “Reading a Poem:
• Read the poem and in one column of a two-column chart, list
CR 9.3b Observation Checklist”
the memories this family has of each other.
(SightLines 9, Teacher’s
Guide) or a variation of this
After Reading
to assess and evaluate
CR 9.2b students’ reading and
• What is the relationship that exists between the speaker of the
poem and his/her family? Is this a realistic picture of how a

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca 15

family functions? Do you have gaps in your conversations with
family members? Why is the poem titled “All”?
• Return to your column chart. In column two, list five memories Note the care students take
that you would include if you were writing a poem or with their notemaking.
recounting your family stories.

CC 9.6b
• “Are anybody’s parents typical” (Madelaine L’Engle)? What is Use a simple observation
your relationship with your parent(s) or guardian(s)? If we checklist to note each
could eavesdrop on a conversation between you and one or student’s ability to work
CC 9.7b your parent(s) or guardian(s), what would we hear? with another (e.g., listens
• Work with a partner to role-play a typical conversation attentively, contributes
between you and one of your parent(s) or guardian(s) (see actively, supports partner).
“Role Play” p. 179, ResourceLines 9/10 and “Observation
Checklist” #31). Create checklist similar to
“Role Play: Observation
Possible Mini-Lessons: Tone of Voice, Writing Dialogue, Role Play Checklist” #31 (SightLines 9,
Teacher’s Guide).
CR 9.6b Suggested Resources: “Instructions to My Mother” (Marilyn
Dumont) (SightLines 9) or a similar poem about relationships
between a mother or father and a son or daughter

Before Reading
CR 9.2b
• Have you ever felt misunderstood by your parent(s) or
guardian(s)? How do you respond when you feel

During Reading
CR 9.2b
CR 9.3b • Read the poem silently twice.
CC 9.7b
• Now read it aloud to a partner using the appropriate tone of
CR 9.5b
voice. (Note that certain lines or phrases are indented. How
does this help you read the poem?)
• Ask your partner to read it aloud to you.
• With your partner, make a list of the pros and cons to show the
contrast between what the mother does and what the
daughter wants her to do.

After Reading
CR 9.2b
• Did you identify with the speaker or her experiences?
• Formulate some advice that you would give to your mother,
father, or other family member about parenting teenagers.
• Consider using sentence frames such as:
o I do not want my mother/father/guardian to … Instead, I Use rubric created earlier
want her/him to … with students to evaluate
o My mother/father/guardian does not want me to … poem, or use “Writing
Instead, she/he wants me to … Rubric” (Crossroads 9,
CC 9.9b Teacher’s Guide, p. 306);
16 Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca
• After having made several statements, write a poem from your “Writing Poetry: Observation
CC 9.6b perspective giving instruction to your parent or guardian. Checklist” (SightLines 9,
• Meet in small groups and read the draft of your poem. Teacher’s Guide); or “Poetry
Checklist” (Identities 9).
Possible Mini-Lessons: Writing Process, Poetry Formats.
CR 9.4b
Suggested Resources: “Zits” (Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman)
CR 9.6b (Crossroads 9) or a similar comic strip about the trials and
tribulations in the life and relationships between parents and

Pre-viewing and Before Reading

CR 9.2b
• Newspaper comic strips often deal with serious issues in a
humorous way.
• Provide students with a copy of the first comic strip with the
text deleted, except for the word “I” in the first panel and the
words “As usual, my parents” in the second panel.
• Have students suggest words to complete the retained text in
each of the two panels.

During Viewing and Reading

Note students’ viewing and
CR 9.2b • Which frames in the three comic strips contain the punch lines representing strengths.
CR 9.3b (i.e., the line that is intended to make us laugh)?
• What is the point being made about parent-teenager
• Which comic strip is your favourite? Why?

After Viewing and Reading

CR 9.2b
• Examine the elements in each of the three comic strips –
panels, speech balloons, drawings, text, stock characters,
story/conflict, setting, action, facial expression, visual humour,
and verbal humour. How are these elements used in the first
Create with students a
CC 9.5b simple rubric to evaluate
• Now create your own four-frame comic strip about a
their products (e.g., content,
humorous situation in your family relationships. Create a
drawing, dialogue,
problem to resolve and then create a humorous solution. Give
bits of dialogue among the characters.
• Once you have developed your ideas, divide a piece of paper
into four squares, and include your dialogue in the dialogue
• Share your final draft with your peers and get some feedback
on how to improve your comic strip.

Language Study: Combining Kernel Sentences

CR 9.3b • In “Zits” (Crossroads 9), Jerry Scott and Jim Borgam have
combined four kernel sentences (each with its own verb and
subject) into one sentence. “I woke up this morning. I did my
stuff. I got dressed. I went downstairs.” These four sentences
Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca 17
now read: “I woke up this morning, did my stuff, got dressed,
and went downstairs.” Combining kernel sentences can add
variety to your speaking and writing.
CC 9.4b • Consider, for example, how you might describe one of your
morning rituals (“I did my stuff”) such as showering. Combine Evaluate the clarity and
each of the following clusters of kernel sentences into one correctness of each
sentence and then sequence the sentences into a short sentence.
o Cluster One: I stepped into the shower. I closed the door. I
turned the faucet.
o Cluster Two: The water flowed over my head. It flowed
down my body. The water came in sheets. The sheets were
o Cluster Three: I relaxed under the noise of rushing water. I was
unable to think about anything.
o Cluster Four: I hummed to myself. I turned slowly. I turned
under the showerhead. The showerhead gushed.
o Cluster Five: I closed my eyes. Everything seemed simple.
The simplicity was perfect.
o Cluster Six: There was nothing but sensation. The sensation
was pure.
o Cluster Seven: I stood that way. The stand was for a long
time. I listened to the sound. The sound was of water. The
water gurgled down the drain.
(Modelled after “Morning Shower”, Sentence Combining: A
CC 9.4b Canadian Composing Book by William Strong.)
CC 9.6b • Encourage students to combine the sentences, listen to them,
say them aloud, and experiment with the structures. Once
writers have a paragraph that they like, have them compare
their sentences with those of other students. Which sentences
sound best? Why?
• Sometimes, when we combine ideas of equal importance that
are about the same or similar subject, we can connect them
with “and” or “but”. For example,
o The water was hot. The soap was foamy. The water was hot
and the soap was foamy.
o I like a shower. My sister prefers a bath. I like a shower, but
my sister prefers a bath.
CC 9.45b • Which of the following sentences would you connect with
“and” or “but” and which pair would you not connect with
these words (and why)?
CC 9.6b o I wanted to use the shower first. My dad said I could not.
o I found the soap. I found the towel.
o I turned on the tap. The tap used to drip.
o I looked in the cabinet. There was my shampoo.
• “And”, “but”, and “or” are connecting words that join ideas of
equal importance. Many of us, however, overuse or misuse
these words, particularly “and” and “but”.
CC 9.4b • Consider the following paragraph. What would you
CC 9.6b recommend that the writer does to break the “and” habit.
I was ready to leave the house today, and I was talking to
my dad, and I heard him say that he would be late for
18 Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca
work. And I said that I would be late for school, and I guess
he thought that I was too long in the shower, so he started
yelling at me. So I started to say that it was not my Evaluate the written
problem, and he started to say that I was always too slow product for correction of the
getting ready for school, and that made both of us late. “and” and “but” overuse.
And then I remembered that he had spent too long
listening to the news on the television, and that he could
not find his shoes, and he had to change a sock because it
had a hole in the toe, and he had not prepared his lunch
bag. And I was about to point this out, and then I noticed
that he had a smile on his face. And I stopped, and he
stopped, and we laughed.
• During this unit, take a close look at your written work to see if
you are overusing “and”, “but”, and “so”.

Reflecting on Family Relationships

• With a partner or in a small group, respond to and discuss one

CC 9.6b of the following questions. With your partner or group, share
your ideas clearly and give reasons for each statement that you Look carefully at finished
make in response to the question. Take turns speaking and products done in reflection
add to others’ ideas. Restate points or rephrase points for activities for this section.
clarification. When you see the signal, identify the four main
points that you have made and how you would support each

1. What do we owe our families? What do our families owe us?

2. How well do we really know the members of our family? Evaluate group work
3. A general definition of a family is that it is a small group of considering: focusing on
people related to one another by birth, adoption, or task, following directions or
marriages, sharing a household and caring for one another. appropriate process,
Do you agree or disagree with this statement? showing respect for each
4. Are we influenced positively and negatively by our family other, and using examples
members? to explain each main point.
5. Do we have to be related to someone to consider that
person a member of our family? Have you ever had a friend
who felt like family?
6. Within a family, members usually find love, sympathy, and
companionship more easily than in other groups, yet a
Chinese proverb says, “Nobody’s family can hang out the
sign, ‘Nothing the matter here’”. Do you agree or disagree
with this statement?
Establish criteria for essay
evaluation with students.
• In a humorous essay, “The Care and Training of Parents”,
Consider the following:
Margo Mason Barrett suggests that “the average parent is not
CC 9.8b easy to understand, and it is hard to anticipate his or her next • Criterion 1: Message and
CC 9.3b move”, “many parents do not improve with age”, and “it is Quality
CC 9.4b useless to try to change most parents.” Use one of these • Criterion 2: Organization
statements as your topic sentence and write a narrative essay and Coherence
to illustrate why this may or may not be true. • Criterion 3: Language
Choices (e.g., Tone)
• Criterion 4: Conventions
Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca 19
Possible Mini-Lesson: Writing an Essay

Relationships: Someone Special

Approximately 1 week

“The easiest kind of relationship is with ten thousand people, the

hardest is with one.” (Joan Baez)
“If you’re in a relationship and you want to make it work, you
have to be a little selfless at times.” (Montel Williams)

Focus Question 4: What does it mean to be in love?

What is “love”? Write a personal definition of “love”. Consider Have students note their
CC 9.6b what it looks like, feels like, and how people in love act. What is initial reflection to the
CC 9.2b the difference between infatuation (e.g., in “Golden Girl”) and fourth focus question.
“real” and “true” love? Remind students to add to it
as they work through this
Love Opinionnaire section.

CR 9.7b Have students respond by putting an A for agree or a D for

disagree next to each statement and by providing a brief reason
for their opinion. Remind respondents that there are not right or
wrong answers. Everyone’s opinion is valid if it can be supported.
__ Love at first sight is not possible.
Reason: Review expectations for the
__ “True love” means that you would be willing to die for the supporting statement – at
person you love rather than live without him/her. least one reason to support
Reason: the opinion.
__ A person should only marry someone if he/she is of the same
skin colour and racial origin.
__ Parents should have a say in choosing a marriage partner.
__ Adolescents are not really capable of having a “true love”.
__ It is important to be loyal to the person you love, even if
he/she breaks the law.

CR 9.6b Suggested Resources: “The Masks of Love” (Alden Nowlan)

(SightLines 9) or a similar poem about an adolescent in love

Before Reading
CR 9.2b • This lyric poem is about an ordinary event but it expresses a
moment of intense emotion for the speaker.
• Although the words “mask” and “love” will not appear in the
poem, they are used in the title. What do masks do? How and
why do we use our facial expressions to mask our true

20 Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca

During Reading

• Read the poem once silently.

CR 9.2b • Now consider where the speaker is in this poem and the Check inference making and
CR 9.3b question he is asked. Who do you think “they” are? Why would support of inferences with
“they” think the speaker is crazy? Why would the speaker have evidence from the text.
to wear a “mask” in front of “them”?

After Reading

CR 9.2b • With a partner, role play the answer the speaker might give to Use a simple observation
CC 9.6b “them” and how “they” might respond. checklist to note each
• Why did you enjoy or not enjoy this poem? student’s ability to work
with another (e.g., listens
What role should parents play in love? attentively, contributes
actively, supports partner).
CC 9.6b Conduct a two-sided survey. Consider two questions:
Use checklist similar to “Role
(1) What are the specific qualities that describe the perfect Play: Observation
lifelong mate for you? Checklist“#31 (SightLines 9,
(2) What are specific qualities that you think your parents want Teacher’s Guide).
for you to find in a lifelong mate?
Encourage support of all
Now, share these two questions with your parent(s) or guardian(s): conclusions with direct
evidence from survey.
CC 9.6b (1) What specific qualifies do you hope your son/daughter finds
in a lifelong mate?
(2) What qualities do you think your son/daughter values most
in a lifelong mate?

How similar or different are your views? What did you find?

CR 9.6b Suggested Resources: “Real Love” (Marlisa Tiedemann) (In

Touch) or a similar poem about “true” love

Before Reading

CR 9.2b • It has been said that “friendship is the first step towards falling
in love”? Do you agree?

During Reading
CR 9.2b
CC 9.3b • Read the poem silently and then aloud to a partner. In your
CC 9.7b second reading, indicate through your expression the tone of
voice that you think the speaker might use.

After Reading
CR 9.2b
• Why did you enjoy or not enjoy this poem?
• Did you find it more or less powerful than “The Masks of Love”?
Why or why not?

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca 21

Possible Mini-Lessons: Comparing Two Texts, Tone
Establish a comparison chart
Consider the view of love found in the following three stories: for the two texts that
• “Gifts of the Magi” (short story by O. Henry) (In Touch) or similar Subject, Main Idea/Theme,
CR 9.7b story about “true” love Speaker’s Views, Images,
CR 9.2b • “Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady” (traditional story retold by Overall Effectiveness of
CR 9.3b Selina Hastings) (Crossroads 9) or a similar traditional tale of Poem. Note the role of
love supporting thinking with
• “Savitri and Satyavan” (Hindu myth retold by Madhur Jaffrey) evidence from the texts.
(Crossroads 9) or a similar love story that involves sacrifice or
considering parents’ wishes This is perhaps a good time to
use a checklist such as
CC 9.6b Which story best illustrates your understanding of “true” love? “Reading a Short Story:
Explain. Observation Checklist”
(SightLines 9, Teacher’s Guide).
Language Study: Varying Kernel Sentences Have students prepare a
comparison chart for the three
CR 9.3b • Most good speakers and writers vary the length of their texts using headings such as
sentences. This helps the sentence flow smoothly and helps Subject, Theme,
communicate the important idea in each sentence. Main Characters, Conflicts,
o Short sentences usually show strong feeling or dramatic Overall Effectiveness.
action (e.g., “She walked into the room.”) or an important
conclusion (e.g., “They are the magi.”)
o Longer sentence are often more useful in showing the
relationships among ideas and events (e.g., “I had my hair
cut off and sold it because I couldn’t have lived through
Christmas without giving you a present.”).
o Too many short sentences make communication seem
choppy. Too many long sentences make it hard to follow

CC 9.4b • Rewrite the following paragraph. Strive for a pleasing variety

of sentence lengths. Compare your version with O. Henry’s
The magi were wise men. The magi were wonderfully
wise. The magi invited the art of giving. The magi gave
Christmas gifts. Their gifts were wise gifts. Their gifts could
be possibly exchanged in case of duplication. Here I have
told to you a story. I have told you about two foolish
children. The children lived in a flat. The children made a
sacrifice for each other. The children were unwise. The
children sacrificed their true love’s greatest possession. A
final word should be said. The final word is for us of today.
The word is that these two children were the wisest. The
word is that these two children are the magi. Evaluate for clarity, variety,
and effectiveness.
Reflecting on Special Relationships

CR 9.6b • Review each of the poems and stories that you have read in
this section on “someone special”. Make one or two summary
statements about each selection.
22 Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca
CC 9.3b • Now create a paragraph that begins with the topic sentence: Establish criteria for the
CC 9.4b “There are different views on love.” paragraph similar to that
• Use your summary sentences to write the rest of the paragraph used with the essay (i.e.,
and then create a concluding sentence that summarizes what Criterion 1: Message and
you have learned from the different viewpoints. Quality
• Revise your paragraph, paying particular attention to the Criterion 2: Organization
sentence clarity and variety. and Coherence
Criterion 3: Language
A Hard Lesson in Relationships Choices (e.g., Tone)
Approximately 2 weeks Criterion 4: Conventions).

Suggested Resources: “The Most Excellent and Lamentable

CR 9.6a Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet” (Identities 9) or scenes from A
Midsummer Night’s Dream (e.g., the idealized view of love in the
Pyramus and Thisbe scene)

Shakespeare’s plays help us find out about life and relationships.

CR 9.5b In Romeo and Juliet, we see friendship and loyalty between men
and women, men and men, women and women, and between
masters and servants. We also see love between young lovers
and between members of one family. In the play, Juliet has
married Romeo secretly because her parents and his are
enemies. Unfortunately their married happiness has been cut
short because Romeo has been banished for killing Juliet’s cousin
in a duel. Also, Juliet’s parents, Lord and Lady Capulet, have
found a suitable husband for her – the Count Paris. They want to
cheer her up for the death of her cousin and so have arranged
the marriage to take place in three days’ time, to Juliet’s horror.
Romeo and Juliet shows us a lesson that the families and friends
of Romeo and Juliet learned the hard way. Can the love of two
people mend generations of family conflict?

Note: The synopses and scene excerpts presented in “The Most

Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of … Romeo and Juliet”
(Identities 9) highlight for students the main action and universal
themes of Romeo and Juliet: a family feud, friendship, love,
loyalty, revenge, and tragic death. These short texts
accompanied by the viewing of a film version of the play provide
a short but sufficient introduction to Shakespeare for Grade 9
students. If students are interested in reading the entire play,
Romeo and Juliet (Cambridge School Shakespeare) and Romeo
and Juliet with Related Readings (ITP) are accessible and useful

CR 9.5b If students are not familiar with drama and theatre, teachers may
CR 9.3b wish to review the elements of drama including: Script (the
written form of the play containing stage directions and dialogue
often divided into acts and scenes), the parts of a stage (C
[centre], UR [up right], UC [up centre, UL [up left]), and the
elements of spectacle (i.e., the lights, sets, curtains, costumes,
makeup, music, sound effects, properties, and movements of the
actors including any special movement such as mime or dance).
Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca 23
CC 9.9b Students may wish to start a Scene Log (highlighting when and The log can be used as a
where the scene takes place, the characters in it, what happens, running check of students’
any thoughts and comments) and a Character Log (noting key understanding of the play.
points about the character, reasons for choosing these/any
quotations), or they may wish to create a diary for a character of
their choice.
Use a simple observation
Throughout this study of Romeo and Juliet, help students consider checklist to note each
the relationships and the themes of love and loyalty. Help students student’s abilities to work
understand the events of the play but keep the emphasis on the with each other (e.g., listen
characters, their motivations, actions, decisions, and the attentively, contribute
consequences. actively, support each
CR 9.6b Prologue (Identities 9, p. 176 or other version of the play)

Consider the following situation:

• Scene: The school soccer field just prior to a scheduled soccer
• Characters: Trevor, Andy, Mark, Lucien, several other students,
• Action: Trevor and Andy are best friends, as are Mark and
Lucien. Trevor and Andy have a long-standing grudge against
Mark and Lucien. The four meet on the school soccer field and
a loud, shoving match provoked by Trevor and Andy begins.
Suddenly other students join in the disagreement, taking one
side or the other. When the coach arrives, his attempts to find
out who started it fail as each side blames the other. The coach
CC 9.6b then gives the two sides a warning about what will happen if
they fight in the future. How do you think it might sound?
What happens when people disagree?
• Explain to students that a disagreement of a similar nature Create checklist similar to
happens at the beginning of the play, Romeo and Juliet, “Role Play: Observation
because of a long-standing feud between the Capulets and Checklist” #31 (SightLines 9,
the Montagues, two old families of Verona, Italy. Teacher’s Guide).
• The play begins with a prologue, in which a single actor comes
onto the stage and speaks to the audience. This prologue gives Create and share with
an outline of the play. students a broad rubric to
CR 9.6b • Retell the prologue in your own words. What is going to assess and evaluate their
happen in this play? What key words or phrases in the receptive (listening, reading,
prologue are particularly important to your understanding? and viewing) skills and
Explain why. strategies and their
CC 9.6b • How would you present the prologue as true-life drama in expressive (speaking,
Canada today? writing, and representing)
skills and strategies for this
Language and Technique part of the unit.

CR 9.3b • Throughout this part of the unit, help students understand the Have students begin a log of
key words and phrases found in the play (e.g., avenging, their new and interesting
citizen, banishment, feud, dejectedly, exile, foul, friar, “Shakespearean” words.
monastery, nunnery, spited, vial) as well as the colourful terms
and phrases for which Shakespeare is renown (e.g., slug-a-
24 Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca
• What words, phrases, or sentences in the prologue most
clearly indicate the atmosphere at the beginning of the play?


CR 9.6b You are a young woman or man very much in love with your Students should be able to
boy/girlfriend. You are confident that one day you will marry demonstrate a good
each other but your family does not approve of your understanding of the main
boy/girlfriend or his/her family. Do you obey your family or idea, express an
follow your heart? interpretation supported
with textual information,
Have students read the synopsis section and consider the express opinions with
questions: justification, and consider
and respect opinions
CR 9.6b • What does this act remind you or make you think of? offered by others.
• What is your impression of Romeo or Juliet based on this act?
• What did you find out about the characters’ personalities?

CR 9.5b Read the synopses and script excerpt (Identities 9, p. 177 or Act I,
Scene V excerpt from another version) aloud to the students,
CR 9.4b explaining the terms and ideas as you go. Use the “Pause and
Think” strategy, footnotes, and prompt question provided.
Now, view the opening scenes of a movie version of Romeo and
Juliet (e.g., Franco Zeffirelli’s version). Pause after Act I, Scene I
and help the students prepare and complete a chart that
identifies the characters loyal to the Capulets and those who are
loyal to the Montagues, as well as any other characters they
encounter. Have students add to their chart as they encounter
new characters during the play.

Loyal to Capulets Loyal to Other Characters


CC 9.5b With at least 11 classmates, recreate a tableau or “freeze” for at

least 60 seconds (no movement whatever) that gives a snapshot Possible representing and
photograph showing the height of the riot in Act I, Scene I, line group work evaluation.

CC 9.5b In a group of four, read aloud the Prince’s speech (Act I, Scene I,
lines 72-94) (“Rebellious subject, enemies to peace”). Have each
person speak one line only, then “hand on” the next line to the
next person. Read it again around the group, but this time, when
your turn comes, say only one word from each of your lines (the Possible speaking
CC 9.7b word that you think is most important). Think about the words evaluation.
chosen and the tone in which you think the Prince speaks Possible viewing evaluation.
(Gibson, 2002, p. 8).
View the rest of the act. Consider and read aloud Act I, Scene IV,
lines 25-26. How does Romeo define ”love”? Do you agree with
him? Why or why not?

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca 25

CR 9.4b Listen and read again Romeo’s speech – “O, she doth teach the
torches to burn bright!” (Act 1, Scene V, line 43). What motivated
Romeo to say “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright”?
Romeo loves Juliet from the moment he sees her and Juliet falls
CR 9.5b instantly in love with him. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Line 43 is an example of hyperbole – exaggerated language
(“hype”). Create a line of your own in a similar style to say the
same thing.

Reflecting on Act I

CR 9.3b These activities give students an opportunity to have ownership Comprehension and
for the play and to consolidate their understanding of each act. response to Act I check.
Have students choose one activity that appeals to them and
that will help them show that they have understood the play so Begin a grid such as that
far. illustrated in Appendix B for
students to map their
• Imagine you are an editor for a newspaper. Your job is to write consolidating activity for
brief, memorable headlines for each of the five scenes of Act I. each act.
Make your five headlines as accurate as possible using words
similar to those Shakespeare might have used or those that
you might see in a contemporary paper (or tabloid)
(Cambridge, 2002, p. 46).
• Imagine that you are Lady Capulet. Write a party invitation for
the feast held in your home in Act I. Describe the food,
dancing, and other activities in such a way as to make your
invited guests look forward to the party (Farrell, 2001, p. 325).
• Assume that you are Romeo or Juliet at the end of Act I. Write a
personal letter to the other person you have met at the feast.
Be sure to express your feelings about the other person as well
as your hopes and fears for the future (Farrell, 2001, p. 325).
• Play the role of an advice columnist to whom Romeo has
written for help with his troubles in love. He has described his
initial love for Rosaline, who felt no love for him, as well as his
new love for Juliet, who returns his love but is the daughter of
his father’s enemy. He asks, “What should I do?” What advice
would you have for Romeo? Write an advice column including
Romeo’s letter and your response (Farrell, 2001, p. 325).
CC 9.9b • Shakespeare refers to several characters from traditional
narratives in Act I. Choose one of these and research the legend
behind it: Queen Mab, a fairy queen of English and Welsh
legend; Diana, the Roman goddess of chastity and the hunt; or
Cupid, the Roman god of love. Prepare a brief oral presentation
and share what you have learned with your class. You may want
to include visuals that depict your character (Farrell, 2001, p.

Language and Technique in Act I

• Shakespeare and Elizabethans were amused and fascinated by

CC 9.3b language. They especially liked puns (words that sound the
same but have a different meaning). There is a great deal of
26 Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca
“punning” throughout Romeo and Juliet. For example, in the
opening of Act I, Scene IV, measure/measure, soles/soul,
soar/sore. Have students create a pun and then to be on the
lookout for others throughout the play.


CR 9.5b Review the synopsis of Act II (Identities 9, p. 178) and then

consider the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet (Act II, Scene II,
lines 1-124, pp. 178-182). Explain to students that this is the
famous “balcony scene” and is probably the best known scene in
all English literature. In this scene, Romeo and Juliet declare their
love for each other; however, as the scene begins with Juliet on
her balcony and Romeo in the shrubs beneath the balcony, Juliet
is unaware of his presence and speaks aloud to herself as if she is
CR 9.6b
or Read the scene or have students listen to an audiotape/CD Possible listening strategy
CR 95b. reading. Ask students to consider the significance of Juliet’s lines: check.
“O Romeo, Romeo … no longer be a Capulet” (lines 33-36). What
does Romeo’s initial reluctance to let Juliet know he is there
CC 9.7b suggest to you about him? In what ways are their feelings for one
another similar and different?
In pairs, have students try “echoing” the words of Romeo by
taking lines 1-32 and sitting facing each other. One student reads
the lines aloud. The other listens (or follows in the script) and
quietly echoes certain words (a) all words to do with light or
brightness or eyesight, and (b) all the words that refer to
something overhead. As the “upward” words are echoed, a finger
also can be pointed upward. What do these “light-giving” words Possible oral language
and “upward” words tell you about Romeo’s feelings? (Gibson, check.
2002, p. 52).
CR 9.4b Possible viewing strategy
CR 9.2b Provide a video recording of Act II. Pause and discuss: check.
CR 9.3b • The prologue to Act II includes the following quotation. What
is the problem that Romeo and Juliet must now address?
“Being held a foe, he may not have access
To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear,
And she as much in love, her means much less
To meet her new beloved anywhere; …”
CC 9.6b • Scene I: Romeo hides from his friends, Mercutio and Benvolio, Possible comprehension
and hears them making jokes and teasing him about his love and response to Act II check.
for Juliet. Ask students if their friends have ever teased them
about a girlfriend or boyfriend. How have these teasing
statements made them feel and what did they do about it?
• Scene II: In the balcony scene, what techniques does
Shakespeare use to allow Romeo to quickly find out Juliet’s
feelings for him? Who is the most practical of the lovers?
(Support interpretation with quotes.) Both Romeo and Juliet
are willing to give up family loyalty for their love. Ask students
if they would be prepared to do the same. Why or why not? Do
the students think that Romeo and Juliet are being foolishly
Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca 27
romantic? Why or why not? Ask students if they think romantic
love is “real love” or love that will last? Would they ever
consider marrying someone whom they had just met? Why or
why not?
• Scene III: Friar Laurence plays a vital part in what happens to
Romeo and Juliet. In this scene Romeo goes to visit Friar
Laurence, his confidant and advisor, to tell him he is in love
and make a special request (to marry Romeo and Juliet). What
would happen if you were in the same position? Improvise in
groups of four or five a number of short examples of a modern
teenager, like Romeo, head over heels in love with a new girl,
talking with an adult (e.g., priest, teacher, parent). Work out
what happens in each case. What does the adult say to the
teenager? Use some of Friar Laurence’s techniques: Accusing
Romeo of mere infatuation (lines 66-80), making jokes (lines
75-6, 83-4), using proverbs (lines 80-94) (Gibson, 2002, p. 68).
• Scene IV: What signs are there that Benvolio and Mercutio are
Romeo’s loyal friends and that the Nurse is a loyal, trusted
friend of Juliet’s?
• Scene V: How does Shakespeare increase the dramatic tension
by portraying Juliet’s increasing impatience to learn the
Nurse’s news and the Nurse using all kinds of methods to delay
telling her?
• Scene VI: Shakespeare does not show the wedding of Romeo
and Juliet. Would the dramatic effect of the play be increased
by adding a wedding scene?

Reflecting on Act II: Choose One

CC 9.7b • Have students select three or four lines from Act II that appeal Have students use the
CC 9.9b to them. Instruct students to write these lines on a sheet of Consolidating Learning Log
CC 9.5b paper and then listen again to an audio or video recording of found in Appendix B to map
the lines to get a sense of their cadence. Have the students their consolidating activity
practise saying the lines and then learn them by heart. In for each act.
groups of three or four have students work out a way of
presenting their lines together with the favourite lines of the
other students. When sufficiently practised, have students
recite to the entire class or on audio recordings that can be
played to the class.
• Imagine that you are Juliet. Write a diary entry that she might
have written after the balcony scene in Act II, Scene II.
• Friar Laurence goes against the wishes of the Capulets and
Montagues in marrying Romeo and Juliet, and helps deceive
the families as well, in order to accomplish what he believes is
a worthy goal. Does “the end justify the means”? Do you
agree? In a paragraph, explain.
• Rewrite the dialogue between Romeo and Juliet in Act II,
Scene II, lines 2-60 in modern language, as you would use to
speak to a peer. Practise reading it aloud. Which version is
more dramatic? The original or yours? Why?

28 Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca

• Imagine that you are going to stage the balcony scene from
Act II in a contemporary theatre. Make plans for the set design
for the scene. Create a written description and a drawing of
the stage set (including what might be painted on the
backdrops). What objects might be placed on the stage and
what lighting effects might the scene require?

Language and Technique in Act II

CR 9.3b
• The Nurse uses malapropisms (e.g., she uses “confidence
instead of “conference” and “indite” instead of “invite” in Scene
IV, lines 105-106). Malapropisms are named after Mrs.
Malaprop, who muddled up her language in Sheridan’s play
The Rivals.
• Shakespeare uses verse in five of the six scenes in this act. Why
did he change his style from verse to prose in one scene?

CR 9.6b
Trouble again heats up between the Capulets and the
Montagues. Mercutio and Benvolio meet Tybalt in the street.
They taunt each other. When Romeo enters, a fight breaks out.
The result is the death of both Tybalt and Mercutio. Have
students read silently the synopsis for Act III (Identities 9, p. 183).
CR 9.6b
or Scene I: Read Scene I, lines 30-128 (Identities 9) to students or
CR 9.5b have them listen to an audio recording. Have the students
describe the fight in their own words and consider who caused
the fight. How do they think the Capulet family will respond?
How will this influence the parents’ reaction to news of the
wedding? How might the story have differed if Tybalt were killed
instead of Mercutio?
CC 9.7b
In groups of four, have each student take a part – Benvolio,
Mercutio, Tybalt, Romeo. Two are to pick a quarrel (fight); two
wish to avoid one. Have students read through lines 30-65 to
gain a feeling of what’s happening. Next, each person speaks
only the words that are intended to avoid or provoke a quarrel.
Change parts and repeat the activity to see if the same words are
chosen. How do the words we choose tend to start a fight or
avoid it (Gibson, 2002, p. 92)?
CR 9.6b
Finally, consider Romeo’s line 127, “O, I am fortune’s fool” – What
does he mean?
CR 9.4b
View a video of Scene 1.
CR 9.4b
or Have students view or listen to the rest of the act. Use the Possible oral language
CR 9.5b following outline as a viewing or listening guide. check.
• Scene II: How does the Nurse demonstrate her love and loyalty
CR 9.2b to Juliet?
CR 9.3b
Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca 29
• Scene III: Friar Laurence brings news to Romeo that he is
banished for killing Tybalt and Romeo talks of suicide (lines 1-
106). Pause the video and have students consider what advice
they would give Romeo. How does this compare with the
advice that Friar Laurence does give? What is the Friar’s plan?
Have students summarize it in their own words.
• Scene IV: The scene is full of dramatic irony. The audience
knows something the character does not know. As Lady
Capulet plans Juliet’s marriage she is eagerly awaiting her
husband Romeo in her bedroom. Identify five examples of
dramatic irony in the scene and suggest what makes each
• Scene V: How do the Capulets respond? What does the
arranged marriage suggest to you about male-female
relationships in Verona? If you are female, what would you do
if you were suddenly told that your father had arranged a
marriage for you to a man you barely know? If you are male, do
you think fathers should decide who their daughters should
• What should Juliet do? If Juliet were a friend of yours today,
what advice would you give her at this point?

Reflecting on Act III: Choose one

CC 7.6b
CC 9.5b • Ask students to consider the fight scene again. If they were Possible Act III
directing the fight scene in modern time, how would they comprehension and
update the scene? What would they use instead of swords? response check.
What other changes would they make?
• Ask students to imagine they are a reporter for The Verona Mail
(or make up a newspaper title). Have them report the action of
the events in Scene I.
• Imagine that you are Benvolio, Romeo’s best friend. Write a
letter to Juliet, describing what has happened and assuring her
that Romeo has behaved honourably (Farrell, 2001, p. 376).
• Were Romeo and Juliet wise to get married so quickly? Did
they think enough about how their parents would react? In a
paragraph explain your point.
• What arguments does Lord Capulet use to suggest that Juliet
should obey him? How have generational conflicts changed in
500 years? How have they stayed the same? In a paragraph,
explain your point.
• With which character do you identify in Act III and why? With Have students use the
which character do you least identify with and why? In two Consolidating Learning Log
paragraphs, explain. found in Appendix B to map
• If you were to choose five sites, somewhere in or around the their consolidating activity
school, where the five scenes of Act III could most suitably be for each act.
staged, where would they be and why? Sketch the five sites
and explain on the back of each sketch why you chose this site.

30 Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca

Language and Technique in Act III
CR 9.3b
• In a very few lines (often the first four), Shakespeare sets the
mood for each scene in this act. Read aloud the first lines of
each scene. What mood is set by these lines and the words
that they contain? What are the differences between the
language of each?

CR 9.5b
Juliet’s father announces that she will wed Paris. How must she
feel? What can she do?
CR 9.6b
or Review the synopsis of Act IV (Identities 9, p. 189). View or listen
CR 9.4b to Act IV, Scene I and then ask students to consider, in groups of
three to five, lines 77-86 in Scene I. Juliet says she is prepared to
do at least six things rather than marry Paris. What are
they and what are some of the things the students would rather
do than marry someone not of their own choice?

CR 9.tb In Scene II, Juliet deceives her father. View or listen to Scene II.
or Talk about whether you think it is right to lie to your parents.
CR 9.4b When might you deceive your parents?
Explain why you think the Friar’s and Juliet’s actions were wise or
foolish. What alternate plan might you have suggested if you
were Juliet’s friend?

CR 9.6b Read Act IV, Scene III (Identities 9, pp. 187-188). Have students
consider the “Pause and Think” question. When an actor makes a
speech alone on the stage, s/he uses a soliloquy. How does this
technique help the audience feel Juliet’s situation at the end of
Act IV, Scene III?

CR 9.4b View or listen to Scenes IV and V: Have students create a reaction

or chart such as the following:
CR 9.5b
Character Quotation Interpretation
Select one or more Explain what each
quotes that express of the quotes
each character’s reveals about the
grief upon finding speaker and his or
Juliet “dead”. her feelings for
The Nurse
Lord Capulet
Lady Capulet

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca 31

Reflecting on Act IV: Choose one
CC 9.7b
CC 9.9b • Assume the role of Friar Laurence and write a personal letter to
CC 9.3b Romeo, explaining the plan to free Juliet from marriage to
CC 9.4b Paris.
• Imagine that you are Paris, overcome with grief at the “death” Possible Act IV
of your fiancée, Juliet. Write a prose eulogy or a poem about comprehension and
your love for her and your feelings about her death, to be read response check.
at her funeral (Farrell, 2001, p. 391). Have students use their grid
• Imagine that you are preparing a step-by-step procedure for a to map their consolidating
stranger to implement Friar Laurence’s plan in Act IV, Scene I, activity for the act.
lines 90-125. Write the plan, making sure that your instructions
are clear and in the appropriate order.


CR 9.5b The play comes to an end in Act V. Have students view Act V,
Scenes I and II. In Scene I, Romeo is informed that Juliet is dead
and has been placed in the Capulet monument. He is determined
to join her in death and convinces an apothecary to sell him
poison. In Scene II, Friar Laurence is worried about the
consequences of the undelivered letter and again writes to

CR 9.6b Ask students to consider Romeo’s line, “Well, Juliet, I will lie with
thee tonight” (line 34). Is Romeo brave or foolish or ...? Does he
really have any alternative? In Scene III, the play ends. Read with
the students the summary of Act V, the synopsis, and the excerpt
from Scene III in Identities 9 (p. 189). What happens and who does
the prince hold responsible for the tragedy?

CR 9.4b Have the students view or listen to a recording of Scene III. What
or do they think of the ending of Romeo and Juliet? How has
CR 9.4b Romeo’s understanding of love matured from when he first
spoke of his love for Rosaline? How is Romeo’s more mature
understanding of love contrasted with Paris’ idealistic view of
love (Act V, Scene III, lines 1-21)? How could Shakespeare have
ended this story differently?

Three Final Considerations: Friends, Family, and Relationships in

Romeo and Juliet

CC 9.7b, • Have students consider the types of friendship, loyalty, and

CC 8.3b love found in the play:
CC 9.4b a) Friendship: Romeo and Benvolio, Romeo and Mercutio,
Romeo and Friar Laurence, Nurse and Juliet
b) Parental Love: Lord and Lady Capulet for Juliet, Lord and
Lady Montague for Romeo, Nurse for Juliet
c) Love of Family Honour: Tybalt, Mercutio, Romeo
d) Romantic Love: Romeo and Juliet
e) Unrequited Love: Romeo for Rosaline, Paris for Juliet
f) Love of Self: Tybalt and Mercutio
32 Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca
• Have students find and cite examples that illustrate each of
these types of love.

Possible Mini-Lesson: Proper Citation Form

CC 9.7b • Did Romeo and Juliet die in vain? Why or why not? Discuss.
• What message does this play teach about relationships and
love? What might be the moral or theme of the play? Discuss.

CC 9.5b, Reflecting on Act V and the Play as a Whole: Choose one

CC 9.7b • Who do you feel is to blame for the tragic fate of Romeo and Possible Act V
CC 9.8b Juliet? Consider how each of the main characters in Romeo and comprehension and
CC 9.9b Juliet contributes to the tragic end. response check.
CC 9.3b • What personality characteristics do Romeo and Juliet both
CC 9.4b have that help bring about the tragedy? What characteristics
do their parents have that contribute to the tragedy? What
roles do Tybalt and Benvolio play in the tragedy? What parts
do the Nurse and the Friar play? Write an essay to support your
• How do you think Friar Laurence feels at the end of the play?
Does he feel responsible for the deaths? Does he blame the
Montagues and the Capulets? Compose a letter that Friar
Laurence might have written to either Romeo’s or Juliet’s
family, expressing his feelings.
• Recall a time when your own good intentions went awry and
you unintentionally caused a bad outcome. What might have
averted that bad outcome? What could you have done
differently? (Farrell, 2001, p. 407). Recount in a paragraph the
experience and outcomes.
• Improvise scenes to act out different love relationships in the
Have students use their grid
play or in real life.
to map their consolidating
• Write an epitaph to be used on a tomb or written in
activity for the act.
commemoration of Romeo, Juliet, Paris, or Lady Montague.
• Show your version of the play in five tableaux. Each “frozen
moment” must have a caption – in either your own language
or in Shakespeare’s (Gibson, 2002, p. 219).
• You have been commissioned to design the golden statue of
Romeo and Juliet. Prepare a tableau to show your statue and
write an inscription that you would include at the base of the
CR 9.6b • Read the play or watch the film West Side Story. Compare it to
Romeo and Juliet. How is it similar and how it is different?
Which version is more effective, for you, at conveying the
lesson that hatred and feuding cause only grief and heartache?
Why? (Farrell, 2001, p. 409).
• Create a modern scene with two to four characters based on a
theme in Romeo and Juliet. Devise a new situation, setting,
and character names, but be faithful both to the theme from
Romeo and Juliet and the basic personalities of the characters
(Farrell, 2001, p. 412).

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca 33

• Choose a few lines of dialogue from either the balcony scene
or the fight scene. Work with a partner to develop a dramatic
reading of the episode.

What Have You Learned?

AR 9.1b
AR 9.2b • Ask students to reflect on their learning. As you worked
through this unit, what did you learn?
• Consider the focus questions:
o Why do people need each other?
o What does it mean to be a loyal and true friend?
o What does it mean to belong and be loyal to our family?
o What does it mean to be in love?
• How well did you complete your assignments?
• What were your strengths? What do you need to work on in
the next unit?
• Did you work collaboratively with others?
• What have you learned about the English language?

Peer Assessment

Did my partner(s) and group member(s):

• participate effectively in group activities
• listen respectfully to others
• help and build on ideas of others
• stay on task
• respond appropriately to others
• encourage others through nonverbal and verbal cues
• work collaboratively and co-operatively?

34 Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca

Appendix A

Reading Log for Unit

Date Number
Title Author Start Finis of Comments Rating
ed hed Pages

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca 35

Appendix B
Consolidating Learning
Romeo and Juliet
Act Consolidating Activity Criteria Used Mark
Act I

Act II


Act IV

Act V

Concluding Activity

36 Saskatchewan Ministry of Education | www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca