Valentine’s, Poetry & TEFL


As Valentine’s approaches it’s time to resurrect our Blended MEC Valentine’s poetry competition. Last year we asked you to get your students to write variations on the ‘Roses are red, Violets are blue…’ poem format, using it to deliver some untimely bad news. You can build on this by turning their attention to the English language’s most famous poet of all, William Shakespeare.  Below are lines taken from two of his most famous love sonnets. Show them to your students and introduce them to the Elizabethan-era language. Then task your students to come up with their own less flattering versions, a couple of examples are given below. Post any of your class’s creations below!

Sonnet 18
“Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate”

“Shall I compare thee to a juicy orange?
Though art every bit as bright, acidic and round.”

Sonnet 147
“My love is as a fever, longing still
For that which longer nurseth the disease”

“My love is as a cold, ever unwelcome
Lingering for too long and best avoided”

As a treat when your students have shared their entries with the class and a winner has been chosen, show them this bite-sized version of Shakespeare’s most famous work, Romeo and Juliet:

To keep your students in the poetic mood below are a handful of MEC exercises in keeping with the romantic theme:

Have you ever been in love? (MLG002947)
This language exercise practises the present perfect with ever and never in a conversation between two teenagers.

A titanic romance (MLG002577)
This language exercise practises the present and past simple as you complete a text about the film Titanic.

Women’s dating rules (MLG003658)
This language exercise practises mixed prepositions. You choose the correct preposition to complete sentences about romance.

The poetry of Emily Dickinson (MLG006547)
In this English for Academic Purposes (EAP) reading activity, you read a text about the life and work of poet Emily Dickinson.


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