It’s…Fasten Your Seat Belt Friday!

It’s Fasten Your Seat Belt Friday!

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What does that mean? Well, we are 6 days in and it’s not going to get any easier!  Poetry is not for the weak of heart!

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I’m sure, at this point, some of you are reconsidering your choice to be here and that’s okay. These lessons are time consuming and involved if you are doing absolutely everything offered here. I don’t expect that you are, nor should you expect that of yourself. You should make it what works for you.

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I felt your same frustration weeks ago when I began writing these lessons. I promise they are as tight as I could get them and still give a full explanation of the concepts. We won’t even talk about all the exceptions to the rules! Think of RhyPiBoMo as a buffet…take what you like, try a few things you’ve never tasted before and come back for the dessert, which I think will be the picture book part of this event.  I have no expectations of anyone but myself and I’m thrilled to have so many writers attend the feast. Please remember…it’s not polite to say you don’t like something…try it and spit it out quietly on your plate if it doesn’t taste good.

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The daily pledge requirements are not that time consuming; read the blog posts, comment, write a poem, read a rhyming picture book. The rest offered here is a bonus! You can save it, look at it later, catch up when you can, or ignore it completely…make it work for you and your journey.

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If you need to quietly bow out now, we all understand. You may just quit commenting on the blog and consider yourself removed from this process.  I hope you can find the time to join us next year!

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The only one who has any complete commitment to this event is me as I decided last November to dedicate myself to learning everything I can about poetry and writing rhyme. I decided that if I was going to do all this research and spend all this time reading and studying poetry/rhyme, that I should invite some writing friends to join me…it snowballed from there. And RhyPiBoMo was born.

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I hope that you can take what works for you from these lessons and apply it to your writing.

I hope that you are learning something that you didn’t know before you got here.

I hope that you are writing poetry.

I hope that you are reading picture books.

I hope that you are meeting new writing friends in our Facebook Group.

I hope that you are being introduced to amazing guest bloggers that will inspire you.

I hope that you are working on a rhyming picture book  manuscript.

I hope that you have joined or are in a rhyming critique group.

I hope that even if you step away from this event you will continue to learn and grow with your writing.

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I hope you stay.

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RhyPiBoMo Mission Statement:
My goal is to guide those aspiring to write rhyme and poetry through the process of learning the craft and offering resources, lessons, writing prompts and the wisdom of experienced folks in the business to improve the reputation and quality of rhyme and poetry for children.

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Today’s guest blogger is a friend I met while taking The Hero’s Art Journey Course with Mira Reisberg and Maya Gonzalaz at the Children’s Book Academy. She is a writer, a photographer, an educator, an artist and an editor…and very talented in all her endeavors. She is going to cover something very important about poetry and rhyming picture books, especially if you want teachers to use your books in the classroom.

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So, without further ado, I’m honored to present today’s

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Mary A Livingston

              Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge     Mary A Livingston 1

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Common Core State Standards and Rhyming Picture Books

by Mary A Livingston

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Recently, I’ve been working with a team of educators to make some select locally published picture books Common Core State Standards (CCSS) ready. One of the eight titles we’re creating CCSS Modules for is a rhyming picture book.
The rhyming picture book CCSS Module has a little more meat when compared to its prose counterparts.

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At first I focused on the K-5 standards when looking for rhyme applications, but two members of our team are middle school teachers, both use rhyming picture books to reacquaint their older students to meter, rhythm, and rhyme prior to working in their grade level texts. One stated, “Using picture books is a fun, non-intimidating way to introduce literary concepts to my older students.”

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Common Core State Standards (http://www.corestandards.org) specifically referencing rhyme:

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English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Foundational Skills » Kindergarten
Phonological Awareness:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.2.a
Recognize and produce rhyming words.

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English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Literature » Grade 2
Craft and Structure:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.4
Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.

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English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Literature » Grade 7
Craft and Structure:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.

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Rhyming picture books also add benefit in categories referencing verse, rhythm, and meter:
English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Literature » Grade 4
Craft and Structure:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5
Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.

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A positive aspects of CCSS is the integration of literature into the curriculum, both fiction and nonfiction. We all know wonderful teachers who’ve already adapted their teaching style to include literature in the classroom. The integration of outside literature as part of a core curriculum now requires documentation to substantiate how the literature addresses CCSS. Many teachers I’ve spoken with have expressed concern about additional paperwork related to citation requirements of CCSS. Unless the teacher uses only canned curriculum ready materials, CCSS means a lot of additional paperwork for the teacher when citing exactly how the book and supported materials fit the standard. The canned curriculum may be limiting and not able to address local needs. By Implementing Common Core Ready Modules provides teacher, parents, and librarians with documentation and guidelines to support CCSS when using a title in the classroom.

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Some publishers are adding CCSS content specifically for their published titles, thus adding market value and aiding teachers who wish to integrate those titles into the classroom.

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I encourage picture book authors to be aware of CCSS. The full text of Common Core State Standards is at http://www.corestandards.org. Some states have added modified components. For specific state variations, use the search term: state name common core. If your rhyming picture book is CCSS ready, it increases market value and helps parents, teachers and librarians make the common core connection.

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More resources on Common Core:
Common Core State Standards Initiative – http://www.corestandards.org
Cut to the Core – http://www.scoop.it/t/cutothecore
Common Core Toolkit (NY) – http://www.engageny.org/resource/common-core-toolkit
Common Core State Standards (CA) – http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/cc/
Children’s Book Academy, the site search “common core” returns several articles- http://www.childrensbookacademy.com

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Mary A Livingston 2

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Bio:
A Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award recipient and California Federation of Chaparral Poets honoree, Mary, grew up in the forested communities of Humboldt and Trinity Counties of northern California. She attended Shasta College, Humboldt State University, and Loyola University. She has worked in photography, education, publishing, and liturgical design. Her career in children’s literature focuses on nature and environmental education. Fall 2014, she will be teaching a Children’s Book Academy course Using InDesign for Picture Book Dummies and e-Books.

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Website: http://www.maryalivingston.com
Blog: http://www.backdoorartist.com
Blogs every third Friday: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/blogettes.html
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maryalivingston.backdoorartist
Twitter: @BackdoorArtist
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mary-a-livingston/87/22/265

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Mary A Livingston 3

Thank you Mary A Livingston!

 

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Friday April 4th

By Angie Karcher © 2014

Lesson 6

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Sestina

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A Sestina is a French form of poetry believed to have been invented by Arnaut Daniel, a troubadour from France.
A troubadour was a composer and performer that mainly wrote songs about chivalry and courtly love. There were troubadour schools that emerged in the early 12th century in England, France, Italy and other European countries.
I want to be a troubadour! It sounds very romantic. Technically, I would be called a trobairitz as a female performer. I like the word troubadour better…

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troubadaur*

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As we are learning to follow rules of poetry, I thought it would be interesting to try our luck at writing some poetry that doesn’t rhyme but has crazy rules about the ending words of each line.

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End word – the last word in the line of the poem. (write this down)

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A sestina is traditional form of poetry
In a sestina there are repeating end words in VERY specific patterns.
The sestina repeats words, not sounds.
Sestinas do not rhyme
You choose 6 words that will be repeated throughout the entire poem at the end of each line.
Usually all the lines have the same number of syllables.

There are Six stanzas with six lines each. Sestet – a stanza with 6 lines. (write this down)

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Other forms similar to a sestina are a villanelle and a pantoum. We will not talk about these but you might want to research them on your own.

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I’m sure there are reasons why the words are placed in this certain order and these decisions were made hundreds of years ago by some very serious poets.
That being said, I don’t know why the words must be in this order so…we will just follow the rules.

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Let’s have fun with this! Think of it as a puzzle that you are trying to work…

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Here…is the pattern of end words.
This is a technique known as “lexical repetition.”
You don’t have to write that down! LOL

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Here is the order of the end words for each stanza:
Stanza 1: ABCDEF
Stanza 2: FAEBDC
Stanza 3: CFDABE
Stanza 4: ECBFAD
Stanza 5: DEACFB
Stanza 6: BDFECA

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This is a different graphic to help explain the same thing, the pattern of the end words.

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sestina image 2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sestina

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Rules:

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1)Choose 6 words
Some people choose related words and some pick the first 6 words that pop into their head.
2)Follow the rules for placement of those 6 words at the end of each line.

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After I choose my 6 words, I list them in the order according to the rules, where they will remain as the end word for each line. After all the words are in place I go back and begin to write each line, knowing that the word listed must be the end word. Seeing them all sitting there, top to bottom, helps me to focus on the story. It gives me somewhere to go and helps me to connect the words.

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To complete the sestina, there is one more stanza after the 6 stanzas called an envoi. I will address this after we have learned how to write the main part of the sestina…

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I wrote this sestina after attending an SCBWI workshop in Brown County, Indiana many years ago. Helen Frost gave a talk on her poetry techniques.
I was hooked but haven’t looked at this in years. It was challenging yet fun to try to make it work with ALL the rules and have it make sense as a story.

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I’m not saying it works…just that I tried to make it work! LOL
We will go through this poem step-by-step as an example of how to organize the end words. Hold on tight…here we go!

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STEP-BY-STEP EXAMPLE:

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WHITE PICKET FENCE

My 6 end words

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A fence
B life
C house
D worked
E ocean
F rust

*These words are assigned to each letter. Where that letter goes in the pattern, that word must go!

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Here are the end word rules again.  Refer back often to these rules until you have your words in the right order.

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Stanza 1: ABCDEF
Stanza 2: FAEBDC
Stanza 3: CFDABE
Stanza 4: ECBFAD
Stanza 5: DEACFB
Stanza 6: BDFECA

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Stanza 1ABCDEF

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Now I start writing the first line…

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A Paint was silently peeling on the white picket fence.
B It stood, weakly, wearing gray with white patches, just like Megs life,
C chipped and sad. Her parents rented out her grandmother’s beach house,
D knowing that people who took vacations would come. It worked.
E Everyone, but Meg, loved the relaxing breeze of the ocean.
F The salt water made everything rust.

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The next stanza must follow this pattern with the end words.
Stanza 2 FAEBDC

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F The screen door, the hammock chains, the car fender; rusted.
A The sandy yard was surrounded by this rickety old fence.
E Leaning. Falling. Sad. Except for the sturdy gate to the ocean.
B The fence needed paint. So did Meg’s life.
D Chaos and joy. Madness and Glee. It worked,
C Dysfunctional and loud; her life. She wanted a pristine white picket fence at her house.

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The next stanza must follow this pattern with the end words.
Stanza 3 CFDABE

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C She ached to abandon this tired house
F for something better. Leave behind the rust.
D Meg dodged their storms like a ship lost in the ocean
A and it’s permanent harm. Nothing worked
B here. Her parents needed the fence
E between them. They fought everyday of her life.

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The next stanza must follow this pattern with the end words.
Stanza 4 ECBFAD

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E Today she felt an ocean
C of emotions. In the newly-rented, beach house
B there was a family with a great life.
F Somehow, they didn’t notice the rust.
A They never saw an old, worn out picket fence.
D To tourists, it was charming and quaint. It worked.

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The next stanza must follow this pattern with the end words.
Stanza 5 DEACFB

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D Meg heard the car door slam, as her dad left for work.
E She felt waves of relief crashing in her ocean.
A She saw chips of old paint falling from the old fence.
C The gate stood up strong, facing the house.
F Strangely, it was the only part of the fence that fought the rust.
B Meg imagined running through the gate to find new life.

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The next stanza must follow this pattern with the end words.
Stanza 6 BDFECA

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B A coat of paint would give the fence new life.
D Would it be worth all that work?
F The paint would only hide the peeling and the rust.
E It wouldn’t take long for the ocean’s
C wind and sun to attack once again. Soon Meg’s house
A will look the same as the fence.

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My envoi:
BE

She knew her life would wash away like the waves on the ocean.

DC

Nothing worked here; the anger and dysfunction were locked in the beach house.

FA

The rust, might free her from what kept her here, inside this white picket fence.

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I just realized that I forgot the rule about each line having the same syllables…that gives me something to work on!

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Sestina image 1

This is another chart showing the order of the end words. 

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Now, we will tackle the envoi

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Envoi – The envoi is the last stanza consisting of 3 lines using the same previous 6 end words one or more times.
The traditional order of the end words in the three lines is BE, DC, FA
The first word used is somewhere within the line, the second word is the end word. (write this down)

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Rules for the envoi:
BE
DC
FA

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So that puts my words in this order of usage:
life, ocean
worked, house
rust, fence

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The second word of each pair is the end word.
BE life, ocean
DC worked, house
FA rust, fence

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Thus…my envoi:
BE She knew her life would wash away like the waves of the ocean.
DC Nothing worked here; the anger and dysfunction were locked in the beach house.
FA The rust might free her from what kept her here, inside this cagey fence.

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This is very dramatic for me and I have never written anything this emotional before or since writing this poem. Those 6 words forced me to dig deep to find emotions and to be clever with their usage. Using a varied form of a chosen word is permitted.
To give this poem something unique, or my special touch, I added a rule. Look back at the first stanza, notice the first letter of each line going down.
Each line begins with the letters in the word picket, spelling downward.
The title of the poem is White Picket Fence.
It’s something I did consciously but not without a great deal of time and effort.
Once you are committed to following rules, it becomes very freeing in a strange way. The limit to the word usage really forces the writer to be clever and creative and thrifty with the words when telling the story. You know what the last word is…let the story take you there in each line.

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You must read Helen Frost’s books but particularly Keesha’s House to see

how amazingly good she is at writing poetic forms.

Keeshas house

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=keesha+house&tag=mh0b-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=1696691885&ref=pd_sl_8hmlmea59f_ee

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Keesha’s House is written in strict poetic forms and there are wonderful sestinas throughout. Another favorite of mine is The Braid. Helen has invented her own poetic form for this book. The words are literally braided throughout each poem!

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More examples:
Here is a sestina titled Sestina by Dante Alighieri
http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/dante_alighieri/poems/44

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Here is another one titled Sestina by Elizabeth Bishop
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/sestina/

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This is a diagram that explains the pattern for the changing end word rules. Honestly, this confuses me as I am fine to just plug in the assigned word at the end of each line and then come back and write the line. I added this image because we all learn in different ways so maybe it will be helpful to you.

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sestina image 3

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Writing Prompt: Now it’s your turn! Write a Sestina
Choose 6 words and fill in the blanks.

List your 6 words
A _______________
B _______________
C _______________
D _______________
E _______________
F _______________

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These are your 6 end words. Now, follow the rules and see what happens.
Who knows where this will take you! Good Luck!

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Why learn about writing a Sestina? They don’t even rhyme…
Because…it will help us understand about traditional poetry structure, methods and patterns. It will help us become more well-rounded writers in general and help us to learn other patterns and rules in poetry as we go along.

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Sonnet

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The sonnet originated in Italy. In Italian, sonnet means “little bird or little song.”
It is the most flexible and common poem of fixed poems
There are 3 common types of sonnets written; Petrarchan, Shakespearean, and Spenserian.
In honor of Willy S. we will learn the Shakespearean form which is of course the English sonnet.

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Rules for a Sonnet:
It has 14 lines
Written in iambic-pentameter
The first 8 lines are called the Octave.
A problem or the question is set up in these 8 lines.
The 9th line is called the volta.
It is the line that changes the shift from problem to solution.
The last 6 lines are called the Sestet. A resolution or response to the octave occurs here.

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There are other rules that are more specific to the content and what each stanza is supposed to say. As this is all new to many of us, I will not go into more detail about that but please venture on if you are interested.

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Iambic Pentameter (write this down)

An unstressed/stressed foot is known as an iamb. Remember…da-DUM.
Penta means 5 feet
It has 10 syllables.
So a line of poetry written in pentameter has 5 feet, or 5 sets of stressed and unstressed syllables da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM

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For example:
if we | can see | the sun | be-hind | the clouds
da DUM | da DUM | da DUM | da DUM | da DUM

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Often, in Shakespearean plays high class characters speak in iambic pentameter; lower class characters speak in prose. (I thought this was very interesting.)

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For example:
A Shakespearean sonnet from Romeo and Juliet
Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie,
And young affection gapes to be his heir;
That fair for which love groan’d for and would die,
With tender Juliet match’d, is now not fair.
Now Romeo is belov’d and loves again,
Alike bewitched by the charm of looks,
But to his foe suppos’d he must complain,
And she steals love’s sweet bait from fearful hooks:
Being held a foe, he may not have access
To breathe such vows as lovers us’d to swear;
And she as much in love, her means much less
To meet her new-beloved anywhere:
But passion lends them power, time to meet,
Temper extremity with extreme sweet.

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Writing exercise: See if you can identify the iambs, the pentas, the rhyme scheme, the octave, the volta and the sestet. This is our first quiz! Ha…you didn’t know there would be quizzes did you? Just kidding but try it anyway!

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Let’s explore Stanzas in more detail.
Stanzas have special names based upon the number of lines. (write this down)

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2 lines – Couplet
3 lines – Tercet
4 lines – Quatrain
5 lines – Quintet
6 lines – Sestet
7 lines – Septet
8 lines – Octave
9 lines – Nine-line stanza
10 line – Ten-line stanza etc…
Longer stanzas of poetry have a variety of couplets, tercets and quatrains.
These 3 are called the “Building Blocks” of poetry!

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Rhyme Scheme
The rhyme scheme for a Shakespearean sonnet is:
A-B-A-B-C-D-C-D-E-F-E-F-G-G

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The end words rhyme in this pattern. I think it helps to look at it in a vertical way to understand that each line must follow these rules for rhyming end words.

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For example:
A Shell
B Alone
A Dwell
B Stone
C Stroll
D Eve
C Knoll
D Weave
E Breeze
F Drops
E Tease
F Stops
G Find
G Mind

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My attempt at a sonnet:

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           IN SEARCH OF SOLACE
1)I search with eyes intent to find a shell.
2)The clouds roll in and leave us all alone.
3)My thoughts retreat from where they often dwell.
4)No shells today; one lost and lonely stone.
5)I slowly roam the beach; my nightly stroll.
6)In search of what is lost this bronzing eve.
7)The waving grass blows gently on the knoll.
8)The beauty and the sadness start to weave.
9)Then suddenly a brisk and violent breeze,
10)Just one, then two, then many rainy drops.
11)The lightning strike tonight is not a tease.
12)I rush back; causing searching now to stop.
13)And when you stop the search is when you find.
14)A shell and solace; smiling peace of mind.

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This needs lots of work as it is my original draft, but it was fun to keep all the rules going. Again, as when I write sestinas, I plugged in my rhyming end words first. I ended up changing one word…I changed well to dwell. This seems to help me immediately focus on a possible connection between the words and helps begin the story.

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Now it’s your turn!

Writing Prompt: Write an English Sonnet, Shakespearean Style!
May Willy S. be ever at your side!

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I had no idea that iambic-pentameter is something that I am very comfortable with…Over the years I’ve learned to play the clarinet, saxophone and piano. I am certain that this musical background helps me immensely with meter and rhythm.  This just happens to be one poetic form that I enjoy. I hope you find one that you enjoy too!

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                                                        Happy iams and pentas to you,

                                                                                          ~Angie

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Resources:
http://iambicpentameter.net/
http://www.sonnetwriters.com/how-to-write-a-sonnet/
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/writing-a-sonnet.html
http://www.sonnets.org/basicforms.htm

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Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo Pledge
Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize!
Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week.
To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and
comment after each days lessons.

84 thoughts on “It’s…Fasten Your Seat Belt Friday!

  1. Writing poetry is requires solving lots of different puzzles! Meter, rhyme, storytelling. That’s the challenge of it.

  2. I am learning so much. I am also saving these posts in a folder in my email. It’s all so much to take in. But I’m loving it and feel like I’m taking private lessons on rhyme. Off I go to write a sonnet. ACK! Also, me being a homeschooler, I’m not a fan of CC. But loved reading anyway.

  3. I’ve tried to note where my prose pictures books align with the Common Core, so it only makes sense to me to do the same with rhyming ones🙂

  4. Very informative tip about incorporating the Common Core Standards when writing. I never knew poetry was so involved, but rhythm and meters and stanzas are starting to make more sense now.

  5. Oh Shakespeare, how could we have a month of poetry lessons without mentioning you?

    I was glad that I had a chance to revisit Iambic Pentameter through this lesson. I feel like Iambic Pentameter is a term we hear so often, but its definition always slipped my mind. I think I got it now, (by no means does that mean I’ve mastered it, just that I remember now what it means). And thinking about Sonnets reminded me that I wrote one for my husband years ago, before we were married. I just reread it to him right now. 🙂

    Also, I appreciated the Common Core Standard discussion. That it certainly relevant to for me since I’m debating sending an editor who’s considering one of my PB’s, a CCS teacher’s guide that could go with the book. Do you think something like that could be a “deal sealer?”

    Thanks again for all the information and for all you do for us hungry poets!

  6. So much information and such a big challenge. I think I can; I think I can! Thank you, Angie. As an educator, I appreciate the connection of rhyming picture books to the Common Core State Standards. Thank you, Mary. ~Suzy Leopold

  7. My Dad’s a TEFL teacher and has used my picture book in his classes – including to teenagers. Apparently they really enjoyed it and he could get a good discussion going with it. The subject matter (Dragon’s and Spiders playing hide and seek etc) is more suitable for a younger child (written for a 3-4 yr old) but it proves what’s said above – picture books are fun and unthreatening. Interestingly, I did Romeo and Juliet at school – an never realised half of what was said in this post. Now off to try my sonnet…

  8. I may not be keeping up exactly but love having it all there for days like today when I can do a little catch-up. Thank you for all these great lessons!

  9. Thank you, Mary, for leading us through some of the thinking is CCS. It seems so intimidating, but you’ve eased our path into it. I’m WAY behind, Angie, so the poetry forms are stacking up on my ‘to-do’ list!

  10. What an amazing post, Angie! Thank you so much to Mary Livingston…I was thrilled to read that picture books are considered important tools to teach common core subjects…I’ve always believed that we should never stop reading picture books…there is so much value in them on so many levels.🙂

  11. Angie, you are opening a world of to me that I have never experienced before. All these various formats are fascinating. Thank you. T.

  12. How I wish all teachers would use rhyming picture books. As Mary quoted, “Using picture books is a fun, non-intimidating way to introduce literary concepts to my older students.”
    I think kids woulds love this. I applaud teachers who bring picture books into their curriculum.

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