Sonnet Teacher Resources
Find Sonnet educational ideas and activities
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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.
Model for your class how to craft an analysis of a sonnet by examining the literary techniques used, the background of the poet, and critical reviews of the poem. As guided practice, learners are assigned a sonnet, complete a preliminary worksheet, and then travel to the library to research their poet and locate critical reviews. Alas, the referenced “A Sonnet for Your Thoughts” worksheet is not 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.
The Sonnet Challenge
Students are given information about two popular sonnet forms-English and Italian. They are given the rules for writing a sonnet. Students are asked what type of sonnet they would use. They are each given a sheet of paper and asked to write a sonnet. Students write the sonnnet together. They are explained the rhyme schemes and how the sounds of words are symbolically tracked with the letters of the alphabet.
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.
Writing A Shakespearean Sonnet
High schoolers examine one type of lyric poem; the English Sonnet. By studying the form of sonnets, students can explain the English Sonnets more effectively in their future reading if them, and they ill also have the tools to compose a sonnet of their own.
Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Shakespeare
In this online interactive reading comprehension worksheet, students respond to 14 multiple choice questions based on various Shakespearean sonnets. Students may submit their answers to be scored.
Complexities of the Sonnet
Discover and identify how William Shakespeare created complex systems within his sonnets using both words and the structure of the poem. To begin the instructor will review the basic structural elements, characteristics, and style of Shakespeare's sonnets. Next, learners will read several Shakespearean sonnets and analyze the wordplay, subject relationships, tone, and imagery used. Then learners will read and analyze a chosen sonnet.
Create sonnet puzzles for learners of all ages! Simply take some of your favorite sonnets, type them out (increasing the font size), and cut them into 14 strips. Have a few glued into place for your learners to get started. Can they put them in the correct order? Complete a think aloud with them to help them develop a strategy!
EMMETT TILL: A Classroom Sonnet
Students empathize with the story of Emmett Till and memorialize him. They learn the elements of a sonnet by writing one students practice summarizing through the writing of the sonnet
An Introduction to Sonnets
Designed for AP English, this presentation begins with the definition of a sonnet, information about the various types of sonnets, as well as a history of the sonnet. Viewers then have an opportunity to apply their knowledge and analytical skills to Billy Collins' "Sonnet," and Pablo Neruda's "Sonnet 17".
I Am Death: Views of Death and Afterlife in Three British Poems, Part One: John Donne's "Holy Sonnet 10"
Twelfth graders read and analyze John Donne's 'Holy Sonnet 10,' and examine their personal beliefs about death. They identify the nouns and adjectives in the poem, watch various video clips, and write a paraphrase of the poem.
Students identify and compare the characteristics of both Italian and English sonnets. They read examples of each, then write an original sonnet in either the Italian or English style.
Students explore the sonnet form. In this lesson on sonnet form, students explore various sonnets and how a sonnet can range from conventional to experimental.
Students examine the structure of sonnets. They compare and contrast them with modern day poetry. They write their own sonnet after changing the language in another sonnet to see why the author choosed certain words.
Reading Shakespeare Sonnet 116
Students examine Shakespearean sonnets as it pertains to the bard and the poet. For this reading Shakespeare lesson, students read Sonnet 116 and review the structure of a sonnet and how it works. Students share their thoughts on love and make connections regarding Shakespeare's sonnet.
Exploring the Sonnet
Students research English/Shakespearean and Italian/Petrarchan sonnet forms. They write an original sonnet on their preferred form (English or Italian), write the poem on the wordprocessor and publish and post it on the net at the Sonnet Central site.
Young scholars create presentations of digital sonnet illuminations along with sonnet research. In this Sonnet activity, students view images, colors, and listen to sounds of their own choice to illuminate Shakespeare through a connection with the student’s own life. Young scholars present their research to the class to foster, particiapte in a discussion on the findings, and identify the diverse interpretations of Sonnet 138.
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.
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.