TED talk: Hip Hop or Shakespeare? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSbtkLA3GrY
Pause video after the examples to ask the class which they think is right.
Some of the examples are really challenging.
A lot of poetry uses comparisons, like similes and metaphors- often, they are really advanced rhymes and comparisons.
1. First, have students present their powerpoints/videos from the previous day. Students should be able to explain their choices of pictures and tone as a group clearly and coherently.
2. Review what a Shakespearean Sonnet is- rhyme scheme, meter, line number.
Examples: Shakespeare’s sonnet 18, as demonstrated in the video.
What makes some of these raps and poems so impressive, is the quality of the comparisons they use.
3. Following this, the students will go back to their computers. They will be told to pick a subject (like a flower, rock, food, etc., from a web page without copyright, or free use pictures, just as they were instructed yesterday)
4. After the students have picked their objects, they will collaboratively write a quatrain of a sonnet-using a simile of metaphor to compare their two objects within the poem.
5. Their sonnet should be typed, and then published to the internet as a PDF
This can be done through Google Docs, and the students should already have an account through the school. If they do not, then they can make one for free.
6. This should take much of the class time. If there is still time at the end, ask students to use earphones, and go to
Using the “hip hop” setting, at 110 BPM, have the students see if they can match the words in their poem to the beat- if their iambic pentameter is correct, it should line up well.