Romeo and Juliet

…Go Hippie!

“Be There or Be Square!”


The intent of this pathfinder is to aid 9-12th grade students in the search for information to adapt a scene from Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, to one of a more modern time. The play transcends the ages, and students are urged to focus on a period of time of interest to them. This pathfinder is to serve as an example with a focus on the 1970’s.

After reading Romeo and Juliet, you will select the scene that presents itself as most powerful and important based upon the identified criteria. Students will form small groups based upon the scene they are interested in studying. Your goal is to adapt this story and its themes into another time period. This might include civil war, Wild West, the Victorian era, the Roaring ’20s, post World War II, hippie culture, or the disco era. Based upon your historical research, you are asked to develop a portfolio that includes script, set design, costume design, a dictionary of terms from the era, and a marketing plan for the redesigned scene. When completed, you will present the scene to an audience beyond the classroom. Your evaluation comes through a rubric that assesses the script, presentation, and theatrical portfolio.

Iowa Core Curriculum Essential Concepts and Skills


Essential Concept and/or Skill: Use a variety of strategies and skills to comprehend and interpret complex literature.

Using a variety of skills and research-based strategies to comprehend and interpret literary text is an essential skill that a high school student must develop.
Opportunities to develop these skills may be offered most frequently in the English/Language Arts classroom but may be reinforced in other content areas using fiction that supports the content being learned.
Skills and strategies include:
Make predictions and draw inferences
Generate questions
Determine importance
Monitor and adjust as needed to make clarifications
Evaluate the text to include character motivation and literary devices (e.g., foreshadowing, symbolism)
Analyze literature based on the literary elements: setting, plot, characterization, theme, mood, point of view, and tone
Synthesize literary materials
Visualize by depicting key events and characters in non-text representations
Engage in small and large group discussion

Essential Concept and/or Skill: Apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

Demonstrate critical thinking skills using appropriate tools and resources to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems and make informed decisions.

Essential Concept and/or Skill: Understand cause and effect relationships and other historical thinking skills in order to interpret events and issues.

For more information on The Iowa Core Curriculum, click on the link below.
Iowa Core Curriculum

Dewey decimal numbers – keywords and phrases

305 Social Groups

306 Culture and Institutions

Popular culture – United States – History – 20th Century

Nineteen seventies

391 Costumes and Personal Appearance

700 The Arts

Arts and society
Popular culture – United States – History – 20th Century
Nineteen seventies
United states – Social life and customs – 1971 –
United States – Civilization – 1970 -

780 Music

Search Terms

How will you find what you are looking for? Choose terms that represent your search. Below you see my search terms for this pathfinder. Your year will probably be different.
Shakespeare, William; Romeo and Juliet; 1970’s, culture/fashion/slang/furnishings


Encyclopedias are a great place to begin your research. Using the search terms above and those associated with the time period you have chosen, you can search for background information about Shakespeare and his plays - in this case, Romeo and Juliet.

World Book Online
Click on the books to visit the online versions of World Book
Make sure you browse the links for further information.

Encyclopedias will help you find specific information once you have narrowed your focus, too!
Encyclopedia Britannica Academic Edition
Click on the books to visit the online versions of Britannica
Make sure you browse the links for further information.


Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language
REF PE 1625 .W36

pathfinder.jpg Atlas - click on the dude to the left to get a sneak peak at Stratford upon Avon...
Did you ever wonder where Romeo and Juliet was originally set? Search an atlas to find out exactly where Stratford upon Avon is located.
Hammond World Atlas (Hammond 2000) REF 912 HAM

An atlas provides maps and geographic, political, and economic information on every world region.

Biographical source

The Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia (Cambridge University Press, 1998) REF 920 CAM
Alphabetically arranged entries provide information on the life, work and achievements of over 26,000 individuals.
Search for Shakespeare and other individuals specific to your chosen time period - who was president of the United States at the time?

Subject encyclopedias

Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion (Gale, 2005)
REF GT 5-7 /E53 Data A-Z GVRL
Includes the social meanings of dress, as well as representative costumes from a wide range of historical eras.

Critical Companion to William Shakespeare: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work (Facts On File, 2005)
REF PR 2892 .B69 2005
Each play is covered in detail along with its characters. Shakespeare's poems are also covered. Biographical entries discuss the playwright's contemporaries and colleagues, leading actors, directors, and producers. Places, real and fictional, are explored, and useful theatrical and literary terms are explained.

Shakespeare’s World and Work: An Encyclopedia for Students (Gale/Scribner’s, 2001)
REF PR 2892. S56

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (Oxford, 2001;[2009])
REF PR2892 .O94 2001
Addresses every aspect of Shakespeare's life and work.



Romeo and Juliet by Richard Appignanesi, Amulet Books, 2007.
A graphic novel adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic tragedy about Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, two young people whose love for one another is doomed by the long-standing feud between their families.

Romeo and Juliet together (and alive!) at last by Avi, Orchard, 1987.
The eighth grade's plan to get two reluctant "lovers" together by means of a classroom production of Shakespeare's play has some very unexpected results.

Romeo and Juliet by Leon Garfield, Knopf/Random House, 1993.
An illustrated, abridged version of the Shakespeare tragedy with background information and explanatory stage directions.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, Dover Publications, 1993.
Contains the unabridged text of the tragedy about two young people whose love for one another is forbidden by their feuding families.


magazines.jpg Call Me but Love: Romeo & Juliet Speak

Click on the stack of magazines for a hyperlink to the article.

Lenhoff, Alan. "Call Me but Love": Romeo & Juliet Speak." Writing!. Feb./March 2000: 3. SIRS Renaissance. Web. 13 Nov 2010.


"Across the centuries and despite a changing language, the words of Shakespeare's young lovers ring true. Let Romeo and Juliet be a model for your dialogue writing." ( Writing! ) Excerpts from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet provide ideas and suggestions for giving "great emotional power" to dramatic dialogue.


newspaper.jpg Students Hurl Insults, With a Nod to the Bard

Click on the newspaper for a hyperlink to the article.

Wells, Stephen. "Students Hurl Insults, With a Nod to the Bard." New York Times (New York, NY). 21 Mar 2004: 14NJ8. SIRS Renaissance. Web. 13 Nov 2010.

The Hudson County, New York, high-school program "Shakespeare WINS!" attempts "to make the works of the Bard relevant for high school students, and to make the language of his plays more accessible to their contemporary sensibilities. 'Shakespeare WINS!' was the idea of the members of Actors Shakespeare Company, a nonprofit theater company that performs around Hudson County. Formed three-and-a-half years ago by a collective of 18 actors, the company's mission, according to its producing artistic director, Colette Rice, is to present Shakespeare's works much as they were originally produced in the 16th century, in 'a family-friendly, informal, casual atmosphere.'" (New York Times//) The tenets and objectives of "Shakespeare WINS!" are discussed. The success and popularity of the program are emphasized.



Romeo and Juliet

The history of Romeo and Juliet
Take a look to find out more about where Shakespeare got the idea for the play.

pathfinder11.jpg If you have questions, I have answers! Click on the my icon to email me!

Mrs. Means

– Please let me know how I might help!