INTRODUCTION | Sonnets

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Definition of Genre............................................
  1. A sonnet is a poem of 14 lines written in iambic pentameter.
  2. A sonnet is a lyric poem.
  3. Sonnets consist of three lines rhyming in a consistent pattern followed by a couplet.
    1. EX. abab bcbc cdcd ee

Audience. ..........................................................
Sonnets are typically appreciated by by two types of audiences who enjoy story-like or lyric poetry:
  • Literary scholars
  • Avid readers
Every-day or casual readers are not drawn to this genre because its sentence structure is complex and requires a lot of critical thought. Sonnet writing involves a lot of inference, and if the reader's vocabulary is limited the meaning of the poem may be lost.

Purpose. ...................................................................................................................................................
The overall purpose of any form of poetry is to convey thought about an object, person, or place,or feeling. Writers tend to write in sonnet form sonnets when trying to comparing two opposing ideas, which tell an explicit story about one main idea. Sonnets are typically based on romantic story-telling. These stories express a variety of themes. Some examples may include: romantic love, dangers of lust and love, real beauty vs. cliche characteristics of beauty, and the duties and responsibility of being beautiful.

Conventions. ...........................................................................................................................................
READING_POETRY_01.GIF
Example of unstressed syllable and stressed syllable sentence struture.

  1. Language: English Language
  2. Punctuation: Conventional functional rules can be used when writing a sonnet poem.
  3. Sentence Structure: 14 lines consisting of five meters of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable



ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Miller, Nelson (2012). Basic Sonnet Forms. Retrieved from http://www.sonnets.org/basicforms.html
The article Basic Sonnet Forms focuses on the basic forms of sonnet writing. The article outlines three basic forms of sonnet writing, of which consist of Italian, Spearian, and English. This article dissects the structure of the three basic forms, and provides teh reader with a detail guide on how to develop poetry in the sonnet form. I chose this article beacuse of its simplicity in format, explanation of sonnet structure, and easy access to sample poems provided for each sonnet form and structure.

Shakespeare Online (2000). Sonnet 1. Ed. Amanda Mabillard. Retrieved from http://www.shakespear-online.com/sonnets/1detail.html
This source offers the reader a sample poem written in sonnet form, and a paraphrased version of the poem. This source is valuable because it provides a reference that overall helps the reader check their own understanding of the author's point of view.

Shakespeare Online (2000). Sonnet 1. Ed. Amanda Mabillard. Retrieved from http://www.shakespear-online.com/18.html
Shakespeare Online offers to the reader a classic sample and paraphrased version of Sonnet 18, a classic English Shakespearean sonnet. This source is beneficial to beginning readers and writers of sonnet form because it provides a model of sonnet form, as well as a paraphrased version of the poem.

Poetry Foundation (2012). Sonnet 40. Retrieved from http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/180772
This web source offers a direct sample of William Shakespeare's Sonnet 40. This sample is valuable because it shows a clear comparison between love and deceit, of which is one of the major themes of sonnet writing: The dangers of love and lust. This sample helps the reader and writer see vividly how to compare two contrasting perspectives of love in order to convey one main idea.

Links to Teaching Resources
Videos
Teacher Resource Websites

How to Write a Sonnet
Sonnet-based Lesson Plan


Traditional Sonnet Analysis


Poetry Circles: Generative Writing Loops Help Students Craft Verse



CCGPS INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: Poetry Analysis
Grade 7 CCGPS
Reading Literacy RL
ELACC7RL4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.

Skills/Concepts for Students:
  1. Evaluate and analyze the effect of sound in poetry abd in narrative, especially with regard to how sound itself can contribute to menaing, tone, or mood (for example the assonance in "the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain" from Poe, evoking the sound of the curtains and the gloomy mood as well).
  2. Identify and understand the major types of figurative language (for grade 7: metaphor, simile, hyperbole, personification, and idioms).
  3. Identify and understand the major sound devices (for grade 7: alliteration and assonance)

Strategies for Teachers:
  1. Provide explicit instruction and scaffolding as necessary for the skills and concepts students should acquire for RL4.
  2. Use poetry in addition to extended and shorter texts to provide instruction on nuanced language, figurative, or connotative language, and sound devices.
  3. In instruction, differentiate between figurative language such as simile and metaphor, and sound devices such as alliteration or onomatopoeia (figurative language is not literal, while sound devices such as onomatopoeia can be literal; the bee actually does buzz but the tree doesn't actually wave hello).
  4. Take advantage of teachable moments to include concepts such as rhythm, rhyme, scheme, meter.


Activity Steps: Total Time: 150 minutes

Purpose of Activity. The students will focus on the Shakespeare sonnet as a form and analyze the sonnet in terms of structure, the particular rhyme scheme of the quatrains and the rhyming couplet, the rhythm of iambic pentameter, as well as any figurative language. The analysis will be presented as a slide show of a five slides. The students will then render an oral presentation accompanied by their slide show.

Materials. Library, Classroom, Computer Lab, Scanner, Internet, and ClipArt Library

Day 1. Students choose a Shakespearean sonnet from an anthology
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of poetry or the internet. Students will review the sonnet from (i.e. structure, meter, and rhythm). Students will also review the figurative language used in the poetry. Analysis should also include word choice, speaker, tone, and fluency. Students then apply the analysis to their particular chosen sonnet.

Day 2. Students will create a slide show of:
Slide One: Title Page that included sonnet number and first line
Slide Two: First Quatrain
Slide Three: Second Quatrain
Slide Four: Third Quatrain
Slide Five: Rhyming Couplet

Day 3. Students practice presentation coordinating sonnet slide show with sonnet analysis. Students present to class their sonnet with the help of their slide show. Students present to class their analysis of their sonnet with the help of their slideshow.


Criteria for Presentation (Analysis)
Discuss structure in terms of line number, quatrain, octave/sestet division.
Locate and identify figurative language and sound devices.
Discuss meaning of poem (diction and word choice)

Download Poetry Analysis Worksheet



Activity 2: Poetry Slam
Grade 7 CCGPS
Reading Literary RL
ELACC7RL4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (alliteration) in a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story.


Skills/Concepts for Students:
  1. Evaluate and analyze the effect of sound in poetry and in narrative, especially with regard to how sound contributes to meaning, tone or mood.
  2. Identify and understand the major types of figurative language.
  3. Identify and understand the major sound devices.
  4. Review and understand the basics of poetic structure and language appropriate to grade 7.

Strategies for Teachers:
Teachers will allow students to locate a poem of their choice from a designated website to interpret. Students will then search the Internet for performances of the poem they select. In addition to creating a written interpretation of the poem, including references to websites they visited to view other performances, students will perform the poem of their choice before a live audience. Prior to their performance, students will create posters using Publisher or Glogster to advertise the slam. As audience members, students will evaluate the performance of their peers.

Materials
Interpret Poetry PowerPoint Presentation (developed by teacher)
Rubric for scoring Recitation
Rubric for scoring written evaluation of poem
Rubric for scoring poster
Technology Needed
Monitor or Interactive White Board for PowerPoint Presentation
Computers with internet connection
Microphone and speakers (for presentation)
Poetry Out Loud website

Technology Needed
Monitor or Interactive White Board for PowerPoint Presentation
Computers with internet connection
Microphone and speakers (for presentation)
Poetry Out Loud website
Publisher or Glogster - poster making software
Video and/or audio equipment for recording event (optional)

Activity Steps: Total Time: 120 minutes

  1. Tell students that now that they've worked on evaluating poetry, they will have a chance to perform a poem of their choice at a Poetry 2500-Poetry_Slam_Logo.GIFSlam to wrap up the poetry unit. The Slam will take place in approximately one week. Students will be required to locate a poem on the Poetry Out Loud website and post it to a digital source selected by the teacher. It can be a forum, bulletin board, wiki page or blog. NO TWO STUDENTS IN THE SAME CLASS CAN CHOOSE THE SAME POEM. Poems must be a minimum of 8 lines. Once they have selected the poem, they must use the Evaluation rubric in the PowerPoint presentation to evaluate and explain the poem in a written essay. This will be due the day of the slam. In addition, students will be required to provide the teacher with two copies of the poem they have chosen. Provide students with the rubric to evaluate their written essays and the rubric used for evaluating the presentation.
  2. Introduce Microsoft Publisher. Explain that this is a poster-making website with digital capabilities, as opposed to being completely static. What this means is that not only will students be able to poster a poster as a print project, they will be able to create a digital poster which can include audio and video and can be embedded into a wiki page or personal webpage. Ability-group students (4 per group) to create one poster. Reserve computers and allow students to work on their posters in class. Posters should be completed at least three days prior to the slam, printed and posted throughout the school. Digital copies should also be posted at this time.

Two Days Prior to the Slam
  1. One or two days prior to the slam, allow students to practice their recitations in pairs. Allow five to ten minutes per pair, then have students switch partners to continue to practice, then switch again after five to ten minutes. Continue this for approximately 30 minutes.
  2. Once the posters have been created, invite parents, teachers, administrators, and/or possibly have teachers bring their classes to watch.

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Day of the Slam. Set up in the library or small auditorium, or create a more informal setting in the classroom. Allow students to have drinks and/or food if possible. Prior to beginning the slam remind students of etiquette rules for being a good audience. An option for the Slam would be to have the recitations recorded or videotaped. This would allow students to edit their advertisement and add audio/video of their performance.

If adults are going to "judge," please meet with them prior to the event to discuss with them how they should judge. Information can be found on the Poetry Out Loud website. Students should have a microphone to amplify/record their recitations. Call each student up to perform their poem.




Student Assessment Tool | Writing Prompts & Rubrics
Directions: Read carefully each of the following writing prompts, and begin writing.
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Think. Create. Respond. Writing prompts are a necessary tool to asses students' knowledge of content.


Writing Prompt 1
Now that you have selected a sonnet of your choice begin analyzing each line of the poem. Write your own interpretation of what the author is trying to convey. Be sure to include the author’s name and the title of the poem. Also, include some of the vocabulary discussed in this unit plan (i.e. metaphor, simile, stanza, verse, imagery, rhyme, alliteration, etc.).

Writing Prompt 2
Now that you can identify major types of figurative language (metaphor, simile, hyperbole, idioms, personification, etc.), review the basics of poetic structure and language of sonnets, and begin writing your own sonnet. Your contribution to this assignment will be used as an assessment of your ability to determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative language.

Authentic Writing Assessment | Rubric Download



ADDITIONAL RESOURCES | How-To Book & Visual Media

VIDEO: How to write a sonnet
This video teaches how to write a sonnet. Topics include rhyme schemes for Shakespearean sonnets, iambic pentameter, and the appropriate subject matter for a sonnet.

How-To Book: Writing sonnet poetry by Dionne Tyson
This book teaches teachers how to introduce sonnet writing to students.
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