Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story - Compare and Contrast

West Side Story, the modern retelling of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, won ten Academy Awards for its rousing depiction of the tale of star-crossed lovers. But how closely does the plot align to its source material? Compare and contrast the characters, settings, and plot elements of both plays. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Have class members choose one literary element to compare in a thorough analysis essay
  • Project the worksheet onto the whiteboard for a collaborative discussion after watching the film as a class
  • For advanced learners, have them try to align the elements themselves without the help of the worksheet
Classroom Considerations
  • Learners may need more space to conduct an in-depth analysis
  • Worksheet aligns with both the stage play of West Side Story and the 1961 film
  • Covers an array of details from the plays
  • None