Analyzing and Crafting Sonnets

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SWBAT to analyze a sonnet and compare it to a filmed interpretation in order to create their own sonnet.

Big Idea

Think sonnets are not cool, think again!

Lesson Opener

10 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling, I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect:  I will say, “Yesterday we revised a poem for meaning. Today we are going to study a form of poetry, a Sonnet.”

Teach: I will say, “In order to learn and try out a form of poetry we have not crafted we are going to practice the skill of using abab cdcd efef gg rhyme scheme to create a sonnet and the strategy of studying a sonnet. The process I will use is as follows:

1) Read through a sonnet

2) Annotate for literary devices and rhyme scheme

3) Watch an interpretation of sonnet

4) Create my own sonnet

I will show the students how I read through Shakespeare’s Sonnet analyze why he used certain literary devices (rhyme scheme, metaphors and similes) using "How to Write a Sonnet with Examples."

I will then show them the “Sonnet Man’s” rendition of Sonnet 18 in order to show students how you can take a poem and create your own interpretation. 

*My resource sheet is made from gathering a couple of resources on the internet. I do not remember which exact website though. 

Active Engagment

10 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say, “Now you are going to try out analysis with another poem, you can choose from the other three on your resource sheet.  You will read over this with a partner once, then stop and jot when you see that the poet used a literary device. You will infer why the poet used the device with your partner, then jot it down. I will listen in to student’s conversation, then have the whole class share out by asking at least 3 students what they inferred (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard).

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “In order to learn a style of poetry you haven’t used before, poets study that style and interpretations of that style, they then can make their own poem, using lines from the poem they studied.” 

Independent Practice

20 minutes

Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to create your own sonnet. You are going to craft another poem by following the rhyme scheme of a sonnet, going back to your brainstorming chart to pick a person, place or thing to write about and keep the three literary devices in mind. As you saw from the Sonnet Man’s rendition of the poem, you can take a line from one of the sonnets to start off your own poem.” I will show them my example (below).

As they write I will put on writing music (smooth jazz on Pandora) and conference with students using Possible Conferences for Crafting a Sonnet.

Partner Work: Students will be directed to turn and share their poem or beginning of a poem with their partner. I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A I want you to share your poem. Partner B, I want you to listen if Part A tried out using literary devices in their poems and the abab cdcd efef gg, rhyme scheme of a poem. If not, give them feedback; tell them an idea of what they could add or let them know the meaning you heard in thier poem. Then you will switch.” I will then give students time to revise, or have them make notes and revise for homework. 


5 minutes

I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an exit ticker in which students write down the response to a question.

Closing: I will have students jot down the first stanza of their sonnet.