Romeo and Juliet Act 5 Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

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

The play 'Romeo and Juliet' is a classic unit in teaching literature, though Shakespearean works can present a unique set of challenges. Use this lesson plan to guide your instruction of Act 5 of the play, making use of text lessons and an engaging activity that allows students to become experts on scenes.

Lesson Objectives

After the completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • summarize the plot of Act 5 of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • describe the miscommunication that leads to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet in the play


60-90 minutes


Curriculum Standards


Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text.


Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

Key Terms

  • Resolution
  • Soliloquy
  • Friar Laurence
  • Friar John
  • Symbolism


NOTE: This lesson is designed to support the learning of a class that is reading or has read the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. It may be used after students have finished reading Act 5 of the play, or as part of an overall review of the play as a whole.

  • Divide the class into three groups. Each group will be become 'experts' on one of the three scenes in Act 5 of Romeo and Juliet. Pass out copies of the text lessons to the students, assigning one text lesson per group.
  • Have students read their assigned text lessons, highlighting the most important points, vocabulary terms, and character information as they go along.
  • As students read, go around and support learning. When all groups have finished, check in with comprehension to make sure no one has any questions about their scene.
  • Provide chart/poster paper and art supplies. Students will create posters to use as visual tools in their teaching of their scene to other students.
  • Provide to each group a series of questions that must be answered on their poster and in their presentation. For instance, the expert group on Romeo and Juliet Act 5 - Scene 1 Summary should answer questions such as:
    • How does Balthazar mistakenly mislead Romeo?
    • How does Romeo's soliloquy foreshadow what is about to happen?
  • The group assigned Romeo and Juliet Act 5 - Scene 2 Summary should include questions such as:
    • Why doesn't Romeo get Friar Laurence's letter?
    • How does miscommunication affect the plan?
  • And the Romeo and Juliet Act 5 - Scene 3 Summary group should incorporate questions such as:
    • Who attempts to stop Romeo from entering Juliet's tomb? What happens to this person?
    • What becomes of the two families, the Montagues and the Capulets?
  • When posters have been completed, have each group teach the class their focus scene. Display posters around the classroom until you finish your Romeo and Juliet unit.
  • To evaluate understanding, use paper copies of the Romeo and Juliet Act 5 Summary & Study Guide Chapter Exam as exit slips.


  • How does Romeo and Juliet compare to other works by Shakespeare? Compare this play to A Winter's Tale and Twelfth Night.
  • Bridge your Romeo and Juliet unit with a history lesson and have students explore what was happening in Britain while William Shakespeare was writing the play.

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