"Tear him for his bad verses:" Cinna the poet and Shakespeare's Sonnets

Poor Cinna, the poet. His dream of “things unlucky” certainly comes true as the mob tears him apart, at first because they mistake him for Cinna, the conspirator, and then continue to “tear him to pieces for his bad verses.” As part of their study of Julius Caesar, class members get their chance to rate a series of sonnets (supposedly written by Cinna) as good or bad verses. Groups examine one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known sonnets, create a tableaux that illustrates the story, and then, using a rubric the class developed, rate their sonnet as good poetry or “bad verses.” Easily adapted to Common Core standards.

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CCSS: Adaptable
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English Language Arts
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Lesson Plans
3 days
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  • Rubric