For the Drama Course, GCE Sophomores investigated the following guiding question:

How would you give advice as a sonnet?

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

Chicago Shakespeare Theater started a public call for reviving the sonnet as a poetic form. They posted an open invitation to High School students from around the world to write a sonnet addressing any character created by Shakespeare. The sonnet needs to describe the character, as well as advise him/her on how to deal with a social or gender issue they are facing in their dramatic world.

Please read and click on different parts of the sonnet below to see the poets perform their sonnet. Write your own sonnet in response to any gender inequalities you see around you and leave it as a comment.

Alignment with Common Core Standards

Reading Standards for Literature

RL 7.5: Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.

RL-11-12.3: Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

RL-11-12.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

RL-11-12.7: Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)

RL-11-12.10: By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 11–CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Writing Standards

W.9-10.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

WHST-9.1a: Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
a. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

WHST-9.1: Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying data and evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both claim(s) and counterclaims in a discipline-appropriate form and in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.

WHST-9.2d: Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic and convey a style appropriate to the discipline and context as well as to the expertise of likely readers.

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Shakespearean Sonnets

For the Drama Course, GCE Sophomores investigated the following guiding question: How would you give advice as a sonnet? Here’s the scenario students were challenged with: Chicago Shakespeare Theater started a public call for reviving the sonnet as a p …


Learn more about our Shakespearean Sonnets Course