The Sonnet Man

Sonnet Man Literature School Assembly sets Shakespeare's love sonnets to Hip Hop, a genre of music students know and adore.

Age Range
K-12

Finally, a way to make language arts and classic literature entertaining, exciting and fun! The Sonnet Man introduces and makes Shakespeare accessible to students through the medium of music in a genre they know and love – Hip Hop!

Devon Glover, an artist, teacher and modern-day Sonnet Man, delivers sonnets as originally written, and then breaks them down into today’s “spoken word.”  Students are inspired, motivated, and educated as The Sonnet Man raps Shakespeare’s sonnets to energetic beats.  On-stage volunteers and audience participants then get to make an attempt at rapping Shakespeare with The Sonnet Man as their guide.

Throughout the assembly, participants also engage in other activities with The Sonnet Man, including: songs with call-n-response prompts, multiple choice questions, storytelling songs, tongue twisters, contests, and more.  The Sonnet Man Brings It!

After your students see The Sonnet Man, they will come away with a greater enthusiasm for learning, an increase in creativity, an improved confidence in their communication abilities and literacy, and a greater appreciation for, and desire to participate in, the arts.

Perfect for schools, theaters, and organizations of all types, The Sonnet Man offers performances and Shakespeare workshops that both entertain and educate students.  Mr. Glover’s flows, and presentation and teaching abilities, embody a richness of Shakespeare’s language, and his passionate, yet natural delivery offers inspiring and creative experiences audiences of all ages love – kids, teachers, and parents too!

Topics covered for younger students:  literary devices (synonyms, antonyms, tongue twisters, etc.), literature, poetry, introduction to writing and sonnets, attempt at rapping

Topics covered for older students:  Shakespeare, sonnets, beats, iambic pentameter, rhyme pattern, metaphors, and similes, alliteration, writing, writing poetry and sonnets, attempt at rapping

Workshop

Sonnet Man Shakespeare Writing Workshop

In the more intimate classroom setting, Devon works with students to learn about Shakespeare, what is a sonnet, metaphors and similes, what is a couplet, what is an alliteration, a 15 minute writing session and group discussion.

The Sonnet Man Class Workshop Outline

Interactive Class Workshop Outline – 45-60 minutes

1) Introduction
--Sonnet Man Story (How did TSM start?)
--Devon Glover’s educational background & influences

2) What is a sonnet? (a poem with 14 lines) Latin meaning for love poems)
--Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. He wrote about love, hope, struggle, inspiration and beauty. He wrote them in a special pattern .
--Who is Shakespeare? (his life, writings, popularity. How he compares to hip-hop. Provide ex. of modern-day influences)
--Shakespeare wrote to a rhythm (exploring beats and iambic pentameter)

Utilizing Sonnet 18 and Sonnet 130 as examples

3) Sonnet 18 – Shakespeare’s most popular sonnet (Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day)
--What was the Sonnet about? –comparing a loved one to a sunny day (Metaphor)
  -- examples of metaphors/ differences between metaphors and similes.
--How was it structured? (explain rhyme pattern -ababcdcdefefgg)
--define what a couplet is.

4)Sonnet 130 –(My mistress eyes…)
--What was the Sonnet about?
--What does the 3rd verse represent? (Alliteration)
  --examples of alliteration
  --what is being repeated (“M-I-S”)

5) Class Exercise/Performance
--15 min-writing session in group or individuals
--Students are assigned and guided by Mr. Glover to write an original poem, that contains the elements of Shakespeare’s sonnets
--Class concludes with a performance from each group and feedback from students and teachers.

Workshop outline Datasheet The Sonnet Man School Assembly.jpg

Click the Image to Open and Print Workshop Outline PDF

About

Devon's Story

 

Mr. Glover’s story is an inspiration in itself.  Born and raised along with two brothers by a single mom in Brooklyn, he has strived all his life to make something of himself and to give back.  He went through the New York City Public School system and is a graduate of Ithaca College.  Mr. Glover teaches and conducts workshops/performances in Harlem, Queens and Brooklyn.  He performed The Sonnet Man in Negril, Jamaica by special invitation from the Board of Education in the Soul Rebellion Hip Hop Festival and will be touring nationally. 

Devon Glover was featured on The Today Show with a tremendous national response.  The producer said, “I’ve never had so many emails from people saying how much they enjoyed the story and especially the song!”

Sonnet Man Set-up Datasheet

Audience: K-12   Capacity: 300
Presentation Time: 50 minutes 
Set-Up Time: 30 minutes. 
Take-Down Time: 15 minutes

Presentation Area: Stage preferred; floor level is fine, but please go over layout of area with performer during your pre-show call.

Arrival: Devon will arrive at lease 30 minutes prior to show time to allow for set up and accommodation to any last-minute details.

Assembly Requirements: Please provide a PA system, a microphone, a power strip, and a table and/or music stand. Water is greatly appreciated.

Sonnet Man arm smile.jpg

Finally, a way to make language arts and classic literature entertaining and fun!

Using his love of Shakespeare and hip hop, Devon Glover will inspire your youth to look into literature and poetry like never before! The Sonnet Man is a new way to get kids excited about Shakespeare! 

Learning the meaning of word through music!

The Sonnet Man brings Shakespeare to students using music they already know and love. Instead of singing songs down the hallways, we hope they start singing sonnets! By performing for them first then breaking down the written word, students experience “aha” moments that have been in literature for hundreds of years!

Benefits of classical literature.

After your students see The Sonnet Man, they will come away with a greater enthusiasm for learning, an increase in creativity, an improved confidence in their communication abilities and literacy, and a greater appreciation for, and desire to participate in, the arts.

AE blue logo address phone 840.jpg

Download a Printable PDF of this Datasheet

  • It's really fantastic. In addition to being on the radio, it should be in ever inner city school in the country.
    David Friedman - Composer
    Disney Films, Award Winning Lyricist
    Norwalk, CT

  • Devon was absolutely terrific. Very professional before, during and after the performance. The students loved him and his presentation as he brought Shakespeare to life in a way young people can better appreciate. Devon also made himself available to chat for a few minutes with a group of English teachers who were asking for some tips. I highly recommend The Sonnet Man!
    Kathy Kravec - Director of Plus Program
    New Canaan Country School
    New Canaan, CT

  • The intelligence in the 'translations' is grand....this could be the way to inspire a new generation of Shakespeare-lovers!
    Andy Propst - Senior Editor/Theater Critic
    Theatermania
    New York, NY

  • He was awesome! My students have not stopped talking about him and my staff are still thanking me for bringing him to our school.
    Walt Smith - Director of Education
    Hoffman Academy
    Littlestown, PA

Other Video