Ninth graders writing sonnets in English

The honors ninth grade English classes at both Peet and Holmes Junior High Schools are writing their own Shakespearian sonnets. 

The sonnet poems are made of rhyme schemes consisting of half rhymes and full rhymes. These are basically different formats of rhyming. Half rhymes are where the ending words of two sentences “half” rhyme with each other. For example, “love” and “above” where just the last parts of the words rhyme with each other. A full rhyme is not much different. An example of a full rhyme would be “cooks” and “looks.” 

Every student’s sonnet must be based on love and beauty. They must pick their topic and write 14 lines that each rhyme and have 10 syllables each—no more no less. 

Peet honors English student Drew Tjaden is writing his sonnet about fire. He said, “I really like how this project is going for me and all my classmates. It’s a challenge, but it’s really fun to write like this. It’s like solving a puzzle.”

These sonnets are all based on Shakespeare’s work. English teacher Brian Suitor said, “This requires my students to have to think outside of the box. Having to write every 14 lines in a rhyme scheme is more than difficult. It’s important for us to teach our kids how to do this, especially honors students. Sonnets are a very interesting form of literature, and I want my students to see how difficult it was for Shakespeare to write all of Romeo and Juliet in this format.”

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