Indira Chakrabarti teaches English at James Logan High School, Union City, CA
What's On for Today and Why
After hearing sonnets read, students will pick one to which they have a strong reaction-favorable or unfavorable. They will choose one which contains words/phrases that strike them emotionally, visually and can be represented by images. Visual responses are more important than accurate definitions.
From a Readers' Response theory point of view, students should connect, react and relate to literature before undertaking any type of literary analysis. This is a good introduction to the language of Shakespeare and the sonnet form and can be the beginning of a more in-depth study.
What You Need
Copies of Shakespeare's Sonnets
Access to computers
Access to Photostory or i-Movie
Teacher Sonnet sample
What To Do
Teacher example is Sonnet 29 which the teacher will read aloud.
1. Have students select one of the more accessible sonnets ( 2, 12, 17, 19, 30, 55, 66, 73, 116, 143, 144, 147) to read aloud.
2. After reading, have students circle any words that stood out to them-perhaps those they understood or those that evoked images.
3. Have students then go through each line and create a story board with pictures to represent the words/lines of the sonnet. (Teacher can demonsrate this with Sonnet 29)
4. Have students ILLUMINATE by:
locating 14 photos (personal or from the internet), one or two for each line of the sonnet, focusing on specific words
, students will add pictures and use lines from the sonnet as captions for pictures
recording themselves reading the sonnet using Photostory
adding musical accompaniment, preferably instrumental to emphasize the text
presenting to the class on Share your Sonnet day, and discussing why they chose particular images for particular lines
How Did It Go?
Did students connect to specific words in the text and find emotional attachment to the sonnets?
Did students demonstrate the ability to transfer texts into visual interpretations?
Did students show ability to recite Shakespeare's language?
Did students recognize their ability to connect to specific words in order to gain a broader understanding of a full text?
If you used this lesson, we would like to hear how it went and about any adaptations you made to suit the needs of YOUR students.
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