The cover of our reading guide for studying West Side Story, with a photo of the Sharks gang dancing.

Our West Side Story Reading Guide Has Arrived

Posted by Speakeasy News > Monday 19 February 2024 > Pedagogy Shine Bright Lycée

If you are studying the 1961 film of West Side Story with your LLCER 1ère students, our Reading Guide will help them analyse key scenes, explore the background and inspiration to the work, and different iterations of this story of star-crossed lovers.

West Side Story is a 20th century retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set in a working-class neighbourhood of Manhattan. The Capulets and Montagues are replaced by street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, representing different immigrant groups. The 1961 Oscar-winning film, directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical which features songs by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim and choreography by Robbins.

Find out more about the guide, and scroll through an extract, on the Nathan site.

Why not check out this Lumni programme about the film presented by Erwan Gouraud and Lynda Itouchène, the author of our guide. We also have a downloadable resource about Steven Spielberg's recent remake.

And Don't Miss

The cover for the Reading Guide Fahrenheit 451, a hand holding a burning book..Our Reading Guide for Fahrenheit 451 was published in November.

Bradbury’s 1953 masterpiece is set in a dystopian future where books are banned. The protagonist, Guy Montag, is a fireman, whose job isn’t to extinguish fires, but to burn books. (451°F is the temperature at which paper burns.) Then he meets a young woman, Clarisse McClellan, who resists the dictates of the society they live in, and Montag begins to have doubts about his work.

Find out more on the Fahrenheit 451 page of the Nathan site.

You might also like to use the resource we produced on Bradbury for the centenary of his birth.

Ready to Use Downloadable resources ready to use in class
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> West Side Story 2021