Quatrain Teacher Resources
Find Quatrain educational ideas and activities
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Opera and Poetry
Sixth graders examine the basic elements of an opera in a three part lesson. Part one includes listening to opera excerpts and analyzing the excerpts in writing; part 2 includes recognizing the elements of a quatrain, identifying and creating rhyme schemes, and writing their own quatrains based on Greek or Roman myths. The unit is culminated in part three where students compose and perform an opera based on a Greek or Roman literary source.
Eighth graders focus on the Shakespearian 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.
Poetry to the Core
Second graders examine several examples of poetry in the six lessons of this unit. The lessons focus on five poetic forms, couplets, quatrains, limericks, Haiku, and free verse.
The Sonnet: Renaissance Representative
High schoolers compose couplets, quatrains, and sonnets after learning about Italian and English sonnets. In this sonnets lesson plan, students read sonnets, analyze them, connect them to the Renaissance and present times, and then write their own.
Young scholars write quatrains based on themes recently heard in songs.
Quirky Quatrain Poetry Lesson
Middle schoolers discover what a quatrain is, and are taught the three poetic devices: alliteration, hyperbole, and onomatopoeia. Everyone chooses a favorite hobby or activity, then attempts to write a poem about it. They must write two quatrains, and use two of the three poetic devices in their poem. Everyone reads their poems aloud to the whole class. This would be a good beginning-of-the-year lesson to employ as a way for the kids to get to know each other.
Shakespeare's Sonnets 29 & 130
Use the ideas here for a Valentine's Day activity (or anytime you study sonnets) with your 11th graders. Demonstrate how to analyze a love poem by conducting a think aloud about Shakespeare's Sonnet 29. Then small groups analyze Sonnet 130 by taking turns thinking aloud about specified couplets or quatrains while groupmates take notes. Finally, groups conduct a similar analysis of a romantic greeting card and compare its message to that of the sonnet. Two student handouts are included.
"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" by William Wordsworth
Read William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" with your poetry enthusiasts. First, learners review seven literary terms (like quatrain, hyperbole, and alliteration), and then they read the poem at hand. Using the second page, they focus on each of four stanzas, summarizing the events.
Contemporary Chinese Ink Painting
Students explore China and analyze Chinese Ink Painting as well as incorporating poetry into artwork. With the theme of "Peace" as their foundation, in groups they practice painting bamboo with an original Quatrain poem.
Listening to Poetry: Sounds of the Sonnet
High schoolers investigate how sound influences meaning in poetry by listening to sonnets. They write an analysis after listening to and reading sonnets.
Word Beads: Writing Poetry
Second graders write rhyming poems. In this poetry writing lesson, 2nd graders discuss the meaning of the word "funny." They use word tiles to create a rhyming poem which they transpose into their writing journals. They listen to readings from Shel Silverstein's, Where the Sidewalk Ends." They use the tiles to compose a quatrain which they also write in their journals.
The Language of Shakespeare
Words, words, words! Any reader of Shakespeare needs to know these words. Tragedy, tragic flaw, sonnet, quatrain, couplet, and meter are all defined in a short, text-heavy presentation. Alas, poor (teacher), few examples are given.
The Craft of Poetry: Understanding the Structure of the Sonnet
Pupils write a sonnet using iambic pentameter. They select appropriate lyric topics, follow the rhyme scheme of the Shakespearean sonnet, display an understanding of sonnet structure and share their sonnets with their classmates.
Pupils review the fantasy of Alice in Wonderland and discuss the author. After reading the poem, "Jabberwocky," they look up unfamiliar words in the dictionary. Working as partners, they create a list of "protmanteau" or invented words found in the poem.
Analyzing Poetry and Characters
Students investigate historical context by reading poetry. In this language arts lesson, students discover the work of Michael Longley and examine his poem "Ceasefire." Students identify the sonnets used in the piece and discuss the personal relationships of the characters.
Poetry from prose: A different kind of "book report"
Why have your writers analyze the themes in literature in boring prose when you can have them practice their creativity and writing skills by producing an explication of a novel’s theme through verse? Start by explaining different types of poetry and poetic devices they can use, and discuss the most important parts of the novel that your readers can explore. They write, collaborate, revise, and submit their creation to the instructor. Modification can be made to have your middle schoolers create a visual representation of their theme or, instead of a written assessment, the class can present their findings through a poetry slam.
Pandemonium: Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth
Using the film Pandemonium as part of a study of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth? Here's a great study guide that asks viewers to take notes on the context of the film, as well as on the poets and their works. In addition, learners research key features of the time period, reflect on the main themes and values of the poets, and examine Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud."
Break this presentation into two or three days so as not to overwhelm your kids. Fifty-four slides is a lot of slides, but the PowerShow is well-organized, and terms are defined clearly and illustrated in examples provided. A general overview of poetry, different poetic forms, and figurative language in poetry are all included.
From George to Martha: Writing a Sonnet Using Primary Sources
What was the relationship like between George and Martha Washington? To protect their privacy, Martha Washington destroyed all her husband’s letters after his death so historians have little evidence of their lives together. Two letters were later found in an old desk. After examining these writings as a class, pairs lists words and phrases that reveal Washington’s feelings for his wife, and then share their lists with the whole class. Individuals use these lists to imagine the relationships of this famous couple, assume the role of Washington, and craft a sonnet from him to his wife. Directions for writing an English sonnet are included.
Beginning with Bosch
Students become familiar with surrealism through the artwork of Hieronymus Bosch. In this Bosch lesson, students explore symmetry and surrealism. Students create step by drawings on the computer in the style of Hieronymus Bosch. Students write verse with their drawings.