‘This is-not a-Shakespeare-sonnet-of course’: Iambic Pentameter Without Question

Over two classes, we focused on the Shakespearean Sonnet and iambic pentameter. In Sonnet 127, William Shakespeare muses on beauty and its perception as a ‘currency’ in the modern world: ‘In the old age, black was not counted fair.” Students took some time to experiment with iambic pentameter and rhyme scheme. Below are some examples.

Lesson Note: A strict form such as the Shakespearean Sonnet, might actually allow for creativity rather than hinder it. Here students experimented with the creative power of limitations!

 Rhyming Quatrains and Couplets

Ms. Munoz, 8th Grade
Period One

Celena H.

On a bright summer day flowers bloom bright.
I love the way the wind blows in the sky.
The summer breeze flies throughout the air.
People walking on the beach with out care.

Cecilla B.

It is very gloomy and grey today.
Snow comes down in like the April showers.
I would like the white snow to go away,
but that will take many many hours.

Oh please, summer let us go out and run.
It would be a lot of very good fun.

Amy W.

I found a shiny seashell on the beach
But it’s the home of a now homeless crab.
It’s home is now useless floating leeches
Now this crab is getting chased by my cab.

I like to go to the beach and have fun.
And having my back shined on by the sun.

Alex B.

Secrets are lock in a room in my house.
All of them locked out waiting to be told.
Secrets are kept as quiet as a mouse.
Some long, some short and some young, some old.

One day the secrets will be letting out.
And then all of the secrets will be shout.

Hugo G.

When this island becomes inhabited,
the shots ring out and hit the untamed souls,
Although this land will one day be enlightened,
Few will survive the poison coming through.

Lauren H.

On a bright summers day I went to school.
The wind was calmly blowing through the air.
I walk in trying to act lit and cool
time for homework, but I needed a prayer.

Ms. Munoz, 8th Grade
Period Three

Biplop G.

Today the snow fell in the beginning light.
I really don’t want to go to my school.
Do you want to get these hands in a fight?
Do you want to play the Pokémon dust.

I don’t know how to write this kind of poem.
I feel like I’m in a gigantic dome.

Damien D.

Today the snow fell in the morning light.
It’s freezing outside and I want to fly.
Away to Mexico by cover night.
It is hot there and has very nice skies.

William W.

The flower looked really dead inside.
Because the sun decided to fall outside.

Maurycy M.

Today the snow fell in the morning light
I was quite mad when I woke up today.
And then I shouted with all my might.
The complete opposite of Hooray!

Then my mother yelled from the other room.
‘Be quiet, lower your voice from that boom!’

Burak A.

Today the snow fell in the morning light.
Why is it snowing in April-its Spring!
When I woke up the snow was nice and bright.
The cold is so messed up-it’s confusing.

Ms. Munoz, 8th Grade
Period Six

Yasmin A.

Flowers in Spring smell like wet, happy dew
Splashing and clashing in the pool
Following the shadow and the clue
This would bel so cool.

Sarah C.

Flowers in Spring smell like wet happy dew.
Grass and trees that are pretty are in bloom.
Outside by a fire cooking warm stew.
At a beach where fire works go boom!

When it’s warm I like to eat S’mores.
In the museum taking tours.

Natalia D.

Flowers in the Spring smell like wet happy dew,
Explaining when I look out side I see snow.
Its April so wake me when the day is new
So please excuse me for I have to go.

In the Spring I love to go on the swing.
And watching the bird fly by with its wing.

Samantha P.

Flowers in Spring smell like wet happy dew.
The trees make home for the new animals.
The colorful fish swim in the bright blue
and kids run around drinking danimals.

Spring is when the flowers bloom big and bright.
Soaking up the sun and using its light.

Nicole C.

Flowers in Spring smell like wet happy dew.
The do thing to people far and wide.
People want to keep them so fresh and new.
I would like to go down a fresh spring slide.

Ms. Munoz, 8th Grade
Period Seven

Ali M.

Spring is very near this is the line end.
Climate change is changing the world today.
It shouldn’t be something like a big trend.
But it is happening almost every day.

But we are changing and so is the world
And I really wanted to see it unfold.

Aiden Z.

Spring is very near this is the line end.
It should not be snowing this time of year.
Our attitudes is what we all should mend.
We all should not have to live in great fear.

Oliva H.

Spring is very near this is the line end.
I love the air so crisp and clean and nice,
but in your bed is not a way to spend.
So go out and play with the cute, small mice.

Josephine P.

Spring is very new this is the line end.
Time to begin another poem line.
In Spring there is no plants to really tend.
I really think this poem is a crime.

Fintan S.

Spring is very new this is the line end.
Flowers bloom in the Spring’s daylight today.
But I very enjoy the cold winter.
But I guess that Spring is kind of O.K.

Unless you happen to be in Chicago
Where it is always winter constantly.

Ariana R.

Spring is very new this is the line end.
The season brings the flowers and the birds.
The birds chirp outside my window gently.
The flowers bloom with the rain from yesterday.

The sun smiles upon us shining above us.
Spring is hands down the best season of all.

Ms. Munoz, 8th Grade
Period Eight

Hayden P.

Today we wait for the weekend to come.
I hear classmates talking about their plans.
I hope that my weekend is fun like some.
Maybe I can go and buy some new Vans.

Annie A.

In the open field still snows in Chi-Town.
Spring is gone and winter slowly freezes.
The sun hides behind clouds make me frown.
Oh how I will miss the warm April breeze.

Sherlyn C.

In the open field still snows in Chi-Town.
I like to go outside on my Spring break.
The cold makes me so sad and I frown.
I like to bake because I always weep.

Spring Break always makes me feel so gloomy.
I that that I don’t have any horses.

Joaquin G.

I like to play Fortnight duriing my Spring Break,
Even though I don’t clutch up while playing Fortnight.
Sometimes I play with my friends Carlos and Wilson
But now I can play my friend Luca.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.