Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April is the Cruelest Month or, Happy Birthday Shakespeare

The Poetry Challenge today is not a popular one with my sixth graders, but I like to think of it as character building. In honor of Shakespeare's 449th birthday, I asked them to write a Shakespearean Sonnet.

For those of you who are a little rusty, that's a 14 line poem in iambic pentameter (10 syllables, with an unstressed-stressed pattern) with an ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme. Now you can see why the sixth graders are a little cranky, right?

As always, I don't require them to succeed on the first try; I just ask that they try. Someone did a pretty good job:

Sonnet 1
By Evan

A bird once sang on a midsummer's night,
an owl joined in, hooting rhythmically,
next a wolf howled, singing sharp notes, and bites,
and the forest became a symphony.
The evergreens withdrew their mighty thorns,
made way for ticks and mice to chant the bridge,
and hawks and crows subdued their woeful mourns
to find a place in choir along the ridge.
Beetles buzzed and foxes pawed oaken drums,
and frogs played tunes with slime and lily-pads.
Bears scratched trees with strong muscular thumbs,
and long-legs played the limbo with their dads.
The woods trembled until the very morn,
and now, all of the land is back to norm.

Oaken drums and muscular thumbs? Awesome!

1 comment:

  1. I am absolutely amazed that a sixth grader could produce that sonnet. Shakespeare himself would probably be impressed.