English Instructor Introduces Romeo and Juliet Competition


Charlotte Murphy

Holly Jensen’s English 2 class is in a competition for their “Romeo and Juliet” unit, where the students earn roses by completing their assignments.

In Westside English instructor Holly Jensen’s English 2 class, she has adopted a new way of teaching Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. In order to make the class more fun and competitive for her students, she created a game where students have to complete their assignments, go to class and work hard in order to earn “roses”. 

“I took inspiration from the show ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ because it is romantic-based… and basically, [the students] are competing against each other to win the hearts of Romeo and Juliet,” Jensen said. “[They do this] through getting 100% on assignments, doing extra work, being a good human, being kind, doing something for someone else, working hard and all of those types of things. They earn roses and the person in the class who has the most roses at the end of the unit will win a prize.”

Jensen said that she thinks to add the element of competition encourages students to engage in the unit. 

“I think that there’s a lot more buy-in when they are competing for something,” Jensen said. “It’s tough because not everybody loves poetry and Shakespeare so anything I can do to get them engaged.” 

Sophomore Dominic Rezac said that he thinks Jensen’s new method for teaching “Romeo and Juliet” gives students more of an initiative to read the book and complete their assignments.

“Every time we finish a unit or finish an extra challenge, she puts a rose up on the wall for us,” Rezac said. “It’s kind of just like a fun competition within the unit to make it more interactive and fun for everyone. I think [the competition] gives it more initiative to pay attention and get your stuff done because you know that there’s gonna be a reward at the end. It’s easier to be more engaged in the book.”