I am now officially seeking donations for a class set of Romeo and Juliet through Donors Choose!
Requesting: 120 copies of Romeo and Juliet (enough for each student to have a copy to take home, plus in class extras for forgotten or misplaced books)
The Project Idea: When brainstorming with my team teacher, he thought that Romeo and Juliet might be the perfect vehicle to get our students to discuss and consider the effects of gangs on communities. I thought this idea was genius. The comparison between the feuding Capulets and Montagues can definitely be made to modern gangs (and has in both West Side Story and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet). And even the differences are worth examining. For example, these two warring families have forgotten why they are fighting in the first place, yet consider their actions with the death of our title couple. Today, however, despite how many people die, gang violence still continues. In addition, this topic connects a community issue that definitely affects our students as a lens into Shakespeare’s work. Our kids come to the table with the preconceived notion that Shakespeare is difficult, that they’re not going to understand him anyway. Focusing on a topic that is very real for them gives them something to pay attention to while reading and a reason to tackle difficult text.
Our hope is that through the reading of this play, our students question the role of gangs in society, examine the effects, are inspired to discuss what is happening in their own community, and begin to think about how to make a change.
How you Can Help: Please consider making a donation via our Donors Choose site. Use the gift code HORACEMANN12, and your gift will be matched up to $100. It’s like giving at half the price! (:
Thank you so much!
UPDATE 2/2/13 — We’re fully funded!