Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I realized yesterday why people go into teaching. It’s because when you put together a good lesson and the kids really take to it and you can see that they are having fun and learning at the same time, it is a truly indescribably great feeling. You just want to prance through the halls exclaiming “YES! I have just made a difference in those children’s lives.” Even if all you did was play a game.

This is the last week of classes and the kids are pretty much tuned out. They have come to expect a parade of videos in the last weeks and demand to know “are we watching a movie” the second they enter the classroom. I would have succumbed to the lure of the TV myself this week but other teachers beat me to the punch and I couldn’t book it for my seventh or eighth graders. What to do? And then it hit me – Jeopardy! The kids love playing games so much that they don’t even notice when you sneak in actual learning.

So I sat down for several hours and came up with a 50 question Romeo and Juliet Jeopardy for the 8th graders. 10 questions in 5 categories: Movie Madness (they watched the DiCaprio version earlier), Character Clues, Story Stumpers, Who Said It, and Shakespeare Trivia. I actually had a great time coming up with the questions and – wonder of wonders! – they had a super time playing it. We actually spent the entire 80 minute period playing and the kids were really into it most of the time. Interest waned toward the end of the first round when it was clear that the boys were going to soundly defeat the girls. But they all perked up again when I reminded them that in round 2, point values double and it’s anybody’s game.

I was very impressed by how well they all knew their material, too. There were some hard questions and they knew most of them. Here’s a few sample questions—how well do you know your Shakespeare? (answers at the bottom)

Movie Madness for 300 -- What is Friar Laurence’s tattoo?

Character Clues for 200 – How is Tybalt related to Juliet?

Story Stumpers for 500 – Why will Rosaline not have Romeo?

Shakespeare Trivia for 300 – What are the three genres of Shakespearean plays?

Who Said It for 500 – “Peace? I hate the word, as I hate hell…”
(Bonus points if you can complete that line)


The friar’s tattoo is of a huge Celtic cross on his back
Tybalt is Juliet’s cousin
Rosaline has vowed to live a life of chastity
The three genres are comedy, tragedy and history
Tybalt spoke those lines and the rest of the verse is: “all Montagues and thee”
Juliet is 13 years old

How did you do?


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