"For the first time since we began reading Romeo and Juliet, we approached the text in a more regimented format that I think is another tool that the student can add to his "reading toolbox." I have tried to model the idea that there are multiple ways to approach a particular text that can depend on anything from personal preference, type of literature or mood on a given day. We have discussed the idea that everyone approaches reading in a different way, and comprehends literature in the same manner so it is important to test as many methods as possible.
In reference to Act 3 of Romeo and Juliet, his class has yet to cover this section of the story so we decided to try to get ahead a bit to discuss the major themes, characters, and events of this critical part of the story. While we have been using the "card catalogue" method of tracking the action in each Act, character development, and important themes...I made him pay more attention to routinizing this process so that independent work could become more efficient. Basically, in each scene within Act 3, I had him take a (3) step approach which included:
a) Identifying the main characters included in the scene, and pulling their note card.
b) Reviewing the main themes and keeping them in mind.
c) Active note taking (no reading and summarizing at the end, replacing with "stop and jot"
By the end of Act 3, I think that he was starting to get the hang of this approach and slight alteration to the note card method. Most important of all, the short review of relevant themes increased the frequency he was able to find examples of the themes of "Private vs. Public Persona," "Gender Roles," and "Passion vs. Moderation." In the future we can continue to work on properly documenting the example and WHERE it comes from specifically in the text. However, in terms of scaffolding a specific reading skill, I think this showed promise for implementing in the future."