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Whether in 17th century England or 20th century America, poets have used sonnets to express emotions, share observations, make arguments, and relay ideas.

With this set, students analyze these fourteen-line poems, grappling with the key question, “How do poets communicate their ideas through the traditional form of the sonnet?”

CERCA Slides by Grade

Grade 3-Mar-10-2022-04-02-41-19-PM

Grade 3: How to Write a Sonnet

How does the poem express the challenge and satisfaction of writing a sonnet? (CCSS.RL.3.5; CCSS.W.3.2)

Grade 4-Mar-10-2022-04-02-42-47-PM

Grade 4: The New Colossus

What message and values does Emma Lazarus express through the "voice" of the Statue of Liberty in the poem, "The New Colossus"? (CCSS.RL.4.1-4.6; CCSS.W.4.2-4.9)

Grade 5-Mar-10-2022-04-02-40-58-PM

Grade 5: A Wintry Sonnet

How does Rossetti use the structure of the sonnet to capture the change from winter to spring? (CCSS.RL.5.2-5.5; CCSS.W.5.5)

Grades 6-3

Grade 6: Reuben Bright

How do Reuben Bright’s actions reveal how he feels about his loss? (CCSS.RL.6.1-6.4; CCSS.W.6.4)

Grades 7-Mar-10-2022-04-02-42-10-PM

Grade 7: Sonnet 8

What does the speaker in Millay’s sonnet think about traditional gender roles? (CCSS.RL.7.1-7.5; CCSS.W.7.2-7.9)


Grade 8: Sonnets 18 and 130

What do both of these poems reveal about Shakespeare’s feelings toward his beloved? (CCSS.RL.8.1-8.5; CCSS.W.8.2-8.9)

Grade 9-Mar-10-2022-04-02-43-65-PM

Grade 9: London, 1802

In what ways does Wordsworth use the sonnet to make a commentary on the society in which he lives? (CCSS.RL.9-10.4; CCSS.W.9-10.9)

Grade 10-Mar-10-2022-04-02-42-04-PM

Grade 10: If We Must Die

How does McKay use the form of the sonnet to make an argument against oppression? (CCSS.RL.9-10.6; CCSS.W.9-10.9)

Grade 11-Mar-10-2022-04-02-43-46-PM

Grade 11: Ozymandias

What does Shelley’s sonnet suggest about the effects time has on people, political power, and art? (CCSS.RL.11-12.6; CCSS.W.11-12.9)

Grade 12-Mar-10-2022-04-02-39-68-PM

Grade 12: The Oven Bird

How does the poet use the images of changing seasons to help readers reflect on what it means to grow up? (CCSS.RL.11-12.6; CCSS.W.11-12.9)

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