What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Sonnets by William Shakespeare will appeal most to poetry lovers and those who already have a profound appreciation for the Bard. Although the professional recordings and analysis of the sonnets can really help kids begin to understand the content, they may fail to appreciate the care that went into each recording nor are they likely to have the same deep appreciation for Shakespeare and his work as many of the actors, authors, and Shakespearean experts reading his sonnets. You can encourage kids to get past the scholarly vibe and focus more on using the deep resources to help them understand this set of highly complex but rewarding poems.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- reading comprehension
- text analysis
Thinking & Reasoning
- part-whole relationships
- thinking critically
- identifying emotions
Engagement, Approach, Support
The academic feel makes it ideal for kids who already appreciate Shakespeare, not those still getting used to the Bard. But world-class actors and poets bring the words to life as much as possible.
Kids can read the sonnets themselves, listen to audio and video recordings, and get extra comprehension help from high-quality commentary.
A well-organized menu helps kids discover sonnets by number, keyword, and artist. Additional materials within the app help improve kids' understanding of sonnets and Shakespeare overall.
What's it about?
THE SONNETS BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE introduces kids to all 154 of Shakespeare's infamous sonnets. This includes some of the more popular ones such as "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" (Sonnet 18) and "Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds" (Sonnet 116). Video and audio recordings of well-known Shakespearean actors such as Star Trek's Patrick Stewart, famous authors, and other Shakespearean scholars reading the sonnets accompany the text. As kids read or listen, they see individual lines highlighted. A notes feature lets kids save their thoughts, questions, and interpretations, and they also can save their favorites. Before or after reading the individual sonnets, kids have access to additional notes, commentary, and perspectives on Shakespeare, his sonnets, and the general form of poetry.
Is it any good?
Although a bit scholarly in its appearance and approach, kids get the opportunity to see Shakespeare's sonnets outside the pages of a traditional textbook. Rather than struggling to read the poems themselves, they can first hear the poems read by actors who have performed in numerous productions of Shakespeare's work, acclaimed authors, and those who have dedicated their lives to studying Shakespeare and his works. As they hear the words pronounced by these scholars and read the notes and commentary connected with each sonnet, kids will begin to gain a general understanding of each sonnet. This will in turn help improve their understanding of Shakespeare's language as a whole, particularly because many of the Bard's sonnets appear in his plays. Unfortunately, to truly get kids interested in all this resource has to offer, parents will have to encourage kids to get past the pretty academic vibe and focus on the poems themselves.
Families can talk about...
Stage an old-school poetry slam, imagining how it would've gone down in Shakespearean times.
Rewrite one of the sonnets using modern-day language.
Families can talk about the themes of the sonnets and how they apply to life today.