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Shakespearean Sonnet Lesson - Similes, Metaphors and More

written by: Kellie Hayden • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 2/19/2014

Using Multiple Intelligences, students will study Shakespeare's sonnets 29, 116, and 130. Students will focus on metaphor, simile, mood, end rhyme pattern, and iambic pentameter of the Renaissance Poetry.

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    Shakespeare's Sonnets 29, 116, 130

    Many students groan when they hear that they will be starting the Shakespearean Sonnet Lesson. This lesson is a fun and creative way William Shakespeare from Amazon to study his love poems. And, it incorporates many of Gardner's Multiple Intelligences.


    Students will understand and appreciate classic Shakespearean sonnets and explore the nature of love. Students will focus on the poetic devices of metaphor, simile, mood, rhyme pattern and iambic pentameter by studying the poems, choosing a song that shows the mood of the poem, creating a poster, sharing the poster in a dramatic reading and writing a reflective piece.

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    Steps for Teaching the Lesson

    Materials Needed: Shakespearean sonnets 29, 116, 130

    Note: Each step will tell the Multiple Intelligence used in parenthesis.

    Step 1 -- In groups of three to five, students will read all three poems and discuss the meaning of each poem. (linguistic and interpersonal)

    Identify Metaphors, Similes, Iambic Pentameter, & Rhyme Pattern

    Step 2 -- Students will identify the metaphors and similes in each poem. Students will then discuss what the similes and metaphors mean. (linguistic and interpersonal)

    Step 3 -- Students will identify the iambic pentameter and rhyme pattern in one of the three poems. (logical-mathematical and interpersonal)

    Select Music & Make Poster

    Step 4 -- Students choose music that might reflect the mood of the selected poem. (musical and interpersonal)

    Step 5 -- Students will create a poster of the poem and decorate the poster with items that reflect the ideas and themes in the poem. (spatial and interpersonal)

    Posters should be assessed using a rubric. Criteria for a rubric are creativity, neatness, use of color and use of photos, pictures, clip art or stickers.

    Present Dramatic Reading

    Step 6 -- Students will stand up and present their chosen poem. Students will give a dramatic reading of the poem. Also, they will share and discuss the poster. In addition, they will play the music they chose that shows the mood of the poem and explain their choice. (body- kinesthetic and interpersonal)

    A rubric can be created to assess this reading. Creativity and performance is key in the assessment.


    Step 7 -- For a final assessment, give students two Shakespearean sonnets that they have not read in the past. Individually, students will need to identify the poetic devices of metaphor, simile, mood, rhyme pattern and iambic pentameter in the poem. They will also need to give the basic meaning of the sonnet.

    The Shakespearean Sonnet Lesson will allow students to analyze the sonnets and utilize most of the Multiple Intelligences. Hopefully, students will gain an appreciation for Shakespeare and enjoy the creative activities.