TECHNOLOGY EMBEDDED LESSON DESIGN                                     

Teacher:   Reggina Kailan

Lesson Title: Visual Imagery and Tone in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Grade/Level: 9th grade English

Unit/topic:  Identity (Listening and Speaking)

Length of this lesson: 2 session (81 minutes each)



9-10 RL.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

9-10 SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

Content Area:

Often a writer manipulates textual information through literary techniques that motivate the reader to anticipate, predict, and interpret plot  and character development.

Awareness of potential audiences guides writers in decision making about content, tone, voice and purpose.


2a: Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.

4a: Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.


Students will:

  • collaborate in small groups to analyze Shakespeare’s use of imagery as a means to develop characters, plot and thematic concerns;
  • draw conclusions about the tone established as a result of imagery;
  • interpret written language to create accurate visual representation;
  • Fuse together various visual elements to function in a new context.


Introduction: Independent and Whole-class Teacher Modeling

  1. I will introduce this lesson by discussing the goals of the lesson, so that students have a clear understanding of the progression of their learning.
  2. Then, as a “Do Now” initiation, students will:
  • Define imagery by either crafting a personal definition or consulting an online dictionary.
  • Engage in a “quick chat” where they walk around the room to share their definitions at least two peers.

        c.  At this point, we will come back as a whole class to discuss the definition of imagery (an author’s use of vivid  

             descriptive language and sensory details to help the reader form a mental picture) and to engage in a

             preliminary discussion about why an author (or playwright) might choose to employ imagery in his or her

             writing.  In this whole-group session, we  will analyze a passage for Shakespeare’s use of imagery by discussing      

             how the imagery contributes to elements like character development, tone and thematic concerns. During

             this modeling session, the passage will be projected on a shared white board and students will be able to      

             engage and we work as a class to analyze the passage.  After the session, I will post a link to this document to

        Google classroom so that students will have access to our work. They will also have their own copy of notes

        taken during the session.

Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;

Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;

Being vex'd a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears:

What is it else? a madness most discreet,

A choking gall and a preserving sweet

(I, 1, 190-194).

Development: Small Group Collaboration

After the shared experience, students will transition to the collaboration and application session.  They will form groups of 4 and each group will be assigned a passage from Romeo and Juliet which they will analyze for Shakespeare’s use of imagery.  [Depending on the class, there may be a need for differentiation here, either group assignments, support with paraphrase, assignment assignments.]The directions will be as follows:

  1. Create a shared Google document and as you work pay attention to your your process--what questions are you asking of the text?  Of each other? Of images found?
  2. Read the passage independently and aloud several times.
  3. Using the paraphrase strategies we have discussed so far, craft a paraphrase of this passage.
  4. Underline and discuss all the words and phrases that contribute to the mental picture created by the use of language.
  5. Engage in analysis of the effect of this image within the particular moment, as it relates to characterization, plot progression and/or thematic concerns.  Use the language of the passage to help draw conclusions.
  6. Based on your analysis, what tone does the playwright create as a result of employing this image?
  7. Once you feel like you have thoroughly analyzed Shakespeare’s use of imagery in the passage, discuss the mental picture that the words and phrases allowed you to create.  Then, collaborate to create a digital image that will accurately convey the mental image depicted in the written text.  As you discuss your choices and make your collaborative decisions, be sure consider the tone, as well as sensory details, shading, placement, space, etc., to inform your visual image.

Passage Choices:

Passage 1 (I, 1, 131-142)

Many a morning hath he there been seen,

With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew.

Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs;

But all so soon as the all-cheering sun

Should in the furthest east begin to draw

The shady curtains from Aurora's bed,

Away from the light steals home my heavy son,

And private in his chamber pens himself,

Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out

And makes himself an artificial night:

Black and portentous must this humour prove,

Unless good counsel may the cause remove.

Passage 2 (I, 4, 106-113)

I fear, too early: for my mind misgives

Some consequence yet hanging in the stars

Shall bitterly begin his fearful date

With this night's revels and expire the term

Of a despised life closed in my breast

By some vile forfeit of untimely death.

But He, that hath the steerage of my course,

Direct my sail!

Passage 3 (I, 5, 45-54)

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!

It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night

Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear;

Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!

So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,

As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.

The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand,

And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.

Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!

For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.

Passage 4 (II, 2, 15-25)

Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,

Having some business, do entreat her eyes

To twinkle in their spheres till they return.

What if her eyes were there, they in her head?

The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,

As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven

Would through the airy region stream so bright

That birds would sing and think it were not night.

See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!

O, that I were a glove upon that hand,

That I might touch that cheek!


Summary: Conclusions and Reflection

At the end of this session, each group will share their visual image with me and I will post each to our Google Classroom page.  Students will read their peers’ passages and view the associated  image.  Then, they will post a response about what they noticed about the impact of an author’s use of imagery on characterization, plot progression and/or thematic concerns.

A whole class discussion will follow to share thoughts about imagery in Romeo and Juliet and about the process of creating a visual representation of written language.


The first type of formative assessment will be conducted during the initiation portion of the lesson as students raise their hands to the two initial questions.  Based on their contributions, I will be able to assess their understanding of the term and text.Also, during their collaborative session, I will circulate around the room to facilitate discussion and provide necessary support--ranging from help with paraphrasing, posing questions for deeper inquiry and feedback on work completed so far.

Based on how students perform during this lesson, I will be able to gage how successfully they can engage in passage analysis to examine key elements of a text, as well as their capacities to reflect their conclusions in another medium (visual image).  Follow-up lessons may include independent practice or dividing students into readiness groups to reinforce this learning.

Ultimately, this lesson and collaborative work will serve as practice for an end-of-unit Shakespearean Player task where students will create a 5 minute digital micro-talk in which they recite their chosen lines, as well as present their analysis of Shakespeare’s use of imagery and figurative language to support characterization, plot progression and thematic concerns.


In this particular lesson, the integration of technology will begin with a shared document to help students establish their “work space.”  With it, they know that each member has a way of contributing to their task.  

The next portion of technology use requires students to apply what they have learned about using images responsibly. Through the “free to use and share” setting on Google images and Flicker, they will locate and select images that best represent imagery in their selected passages.

Finally, student will upload their work onto our Google Classroom page so that they may interact with the work of their peers in a deeper way.


Goals:  This lesson will begin with an articulation of this lesson, so that students are able to see the progression of one phase to another.  

Instruction:  In this particular lesson, I will provide direct instruction and modeling of how to examine portions of text for imagery and tone.  I chose to include this direct instruction, including modeling, because although students have examined imagery before, for many, this is their first experience with a Shakespearean text.  

Collaboration:  A large part of this lesson depends on collaboration. First, we collaborate as a whole class to examine a portion of text together and then students work on in small groups.  The reason I chose to have students collaborate in this experience is so that they may work together and ask questions of one another.