Teacher Review for The Sonnets, by Shakespeare

Singing Through Shakespeare

Tracey W.
Media specialist/librarian
P.S. Is 54
Bronx, United States
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My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
This product can be used to familiarize students with language, flow and Shakespeare's literary elements. Teachers can introduce essential terms with definitions and require students to locate examples within the sonnets. Analysis of sonnets does require guidance as students need confirmation of theme, action and intent. Higher functioning students can scaffold and support low level readers to work in pairs. After reading sonnets, the class worked on constructing their own sonnets after picking themes from a bowl. In addition, students charted sonnet poetic features, characteristics and emotional responses. The Sonnet app fostered creativity and dramatization in the classroom. Students enjoyed this new format once they had more practice reading them and as they developed better understanding of the written format.
My Take
The Sonnets by Shakespeare app is the perfect tool to stimulate more thorough understanding of Shakespeare in the classroom. This app allows the user to search sonnets by first line index, key words or sonnet by sonnet. Students can read sonnets on their own, or listen to them read aloud, which is especially helpful for English language learners, low level literacy or special needs populations. Videos and visuals of artwork play as the sonnet is read aloud. This reinforces comprehension and expands the student's vocabulary. One particularly nice feature is the app has a share button that allows users to share the sonnets with other users through email or social media. The computer generated voice makes good use of intonation and it allows students to work independently or in small groups. What would make the app even handier would be to have a modern day translation in teenage slang and lingo.Teachers can save time and use this app to pair with a nonfiction text in order to prepare students for ELA exams.