Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

Help your students gain a deeper understanding of Act 3 of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet with these study guides. An in-class activity allows students to up-date this classic piece.

Lesson Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify the major characters and plot points of Act 3 of Romeo and Juliet.
  • analyze how Shakespeare continues to develop timeless themes in the setting of Renaissance Verona


  • 100 minutes for all five scenes, plus 100 minutes for all activities.
  • You'll need about 40 minutes total per scene.

Curriculum Standards


Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.


Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.


For this lesson plan, it is assumed that students are reading the text of Romeo and Juliet prior to class as assigned reading the night before. They should also have their copies of the play for each lesson.

Warm up

  • Start each class by reviewing the text up to that point in the story. For example, for the first class of this series, you'll want to review Acts 1 and 2 briefly. For subsequent lessons, review those first acts for only a couple of minutes before then summing up what has been read of Act 3 thus far.


Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 1

  • Read the lesson Romeo and Juliet Act 3 - Scene 1
  • Have students point out the lines in the play that correspond to this section.
  • Summarize what happens in this scene.
    • Where do we find that Tybalt has been killed?
    • What is the fate of Romeo?
  • Ask students to identify a challenging segment to understand and dissect it.

Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 2

  • Read the lesson Romeo and Juliet Act 3 - Scene 2
  • Have students point out the lines in the play that correspond to this section.
  • Discuss:
    • How does Juliet's speech compare to Romeo's comparing her to the sun?
    • What news does the nurse bring? How does Juliet react?

Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 3

  • Using the lesson, Romeo and Juliet Act 3 - Scene 3, read the section 'Romeo Seeks Help from Friar Laurence'. Discuss:
    • How would you describe how Romeo is taking his banishment?
  • Read the section 'Friar Laurence Shares his Plan'. Discuss:
    • Why does the friar think that Romeo needs to calm down and realize it's not all so bad?
    • What is the friar's plan?

Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 4

  • Read the lesson Romeo and Juliet Act 3 - Scene 4, having students point out the lines in the play that correspond to this section.
  • Discuss:
    • Why is Juliet so upset?
    • How is Lord Capulet trying to be a good father?
    • How does this scene show dramatic irony?
  • Have students show examples of dramatic irony in this section.

Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 5

  • Read the lesson Romeo and Juliet Act 3 - Scene 5. Discuss:
    • How is foreshadowing used here? What do you think is going to happen?
    • What are the Capulet's reactions to Juliet's desire to marry Romeo?
  • Have students discuss what they think will happen next.


Depending on the interests of your class, you have two suggested options:

  • Ask your class to write an updated short story of Romeo and Juliet, with each scene being a new 2-3 paragraphs.
  • Alternatively, you could 'rewrite' Romeo and Juliet as a class. Start each activity on your own terms, using one of the motifs described below. Then, ask random students to each contribute a sentence to move the story along through the scene, keeping as much of the plot as possible while not abandoning your new motif.
  • Possible motifs include:
    • High school rivals
    • Pirates
    • Sports rivals
    • Cavemen
    • Science fiction


  • Many popular works have taken on the same general story as Romeo and Juliet. Have students identify some of these. What makes them similar? How are they different?
  • Encourage students to make a comic strip of the whole play as they read it.

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