Tag Archives: teaching

National Poetry Month: Web 2.0 Poetry~ Voki


Another Web 2.0 tool that can be used to share poetry is Voki. Voki allows students to create an avatar, chose a background, and record their voice(or use a computer generated voice). This is a great compromise when you are not able to post videos of your students to the internet.

Here are some ideas to try for Poetry Month: 

  • Have student chose a favorite poem and recite it. This allows students to practice fluency and gives them a creative option to share their favorite poem. Voki is asking people to submit their favorite poems in Voki form in honor of National Poetry Month. You can even find examples on their post
  • Chose a historical character and write a poem from their point of view explaining an event in history.
  • Have students chose their favorite form of poetry and record a Voki, then have their classmates listen to the Voki and guess what form they used.
  • Chose a current event to write a poem about, create a character and chose a background that accurately represents the event.
  • Introduce your students to a new poet, poem or poetry form by creating a Voki.
  • Create a digital poetry slam on your class webpage. Have students record original poems, stressing the idea of inflection and portraying emotion through their voice.

If you haven’t used Voki before, they provide a Getting Started Guide and a Voki Classroom Guide. Love the tool and want to use it in other ways? They even have a lesson plan resource guide that includes teacher submitted lessons.


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National Poetry Month: Writing Inspiration For Kids


As a student, I never knew what to write about, for some reason my mind always went blank when I was given an thinkingassignment. I think brainstorming ideas or looking for inspiration is something that some students need to be taught. Here are some ideas for inspiring poetry for your students: 

  • Allow them the use of digital camera, have them to pictures of things they like and then write a poem inspired by the photograph. 
  • Brainstorm a list of things that are important to them.
  • Ask them to to do one of the creative activities below, but don’t tell them why they are doing it. When they have finished their piece of art, ask them to write a poem about it.
  1. Create a clay sculpture. (Use a digital camera to capture their sculptures)
  2. Doodle for a few minutes.
  3. Create a watercolor.
  4. Create a collage using newspapers, magazines, photos and drawings.
  • Find photographs to inspire your students using Creative Commons (This allows you to find pictures that creativecommonslogocan be used on the internet, usually you just have to give credit).
  • Think about the content you are currently covering, can they write a poem about a historical character/historical event? Or create a rhyme explaining a scientific idea?
  • Use the Shel Silverstein Poetry Took Kit
  • Poetry Idea Engine from Scholastic Kids
  • Read a variety of poems out loud. Have students pick one they like and write a simliar one.
  • Have kids create a Book Spine Poem using some of their favorite stories. (Found at School Library Journal)bookspinepoem
  • Have students chose their favorite month, time of year, or holiday and write a poem about it.
  • Have them cut out words from a magazine or newspaper and create a poem with the different pieces.
  • Have students bring in their favorite item to write a poem about.
  • For older students have them pick a current event and share their opinion about it in poetic form.

Please feel free to share other ways you inspire your students! 


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National Poetry Month: Host a Poetry Slam

My favorite poetry activity that I did in my classroom was a Poetry Slam for 5th graders. I was inspired by Sarah Kay’s TED presentation.

After watching that video I was determined to show 5th graders the power of spoken word poetry. I did find it a little challenging because there was not a lot of appropriate examples for kids, but I was able to find enough to get the kids excited. Once I got them hooked we talked about what a good performance included, the kids wrote poems about something important to them and they  practiced, practiced, practiced! The day of the Poetry Slam, we got a set of risers(our stage), a portable microphone, and a lamp to act as the spot light. We also had hot chocolate and cookies to make it feel like a cafe. I video and audio recorded the performances, which allowed me to easily share on our class webpage and within our school. spokenword Here are some resources to teach kids about spoken word poetry and holding a poetry slam of your own!

Standards that Spoken Word Poetry meets: ISTE NETS:

  • 1. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. b. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression. 
  • 2. Communication and Collaboration: Student use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively  including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. b. Communication information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.

Common Core Anchor Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

Please feel free to share students work or other resources you might have for Spoken Word Poetry.


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April is National Poetry Month!

I loved teaching poetry…which is kind of ironic, because when I was young, I hated poetry. Well I shouldn’t say I hated poetry, I hated the work I had to do in school that was related to poetry. As a teacher I strived to

poetrymonthmake sure our poetry lessons were interactive and creative. While we did learn the different forms of poetry, I also incorporated activities that allowed the students to write poetry without any requirements, where they either wrote free form poetry or chose a form that they enjoyed. I wanted them to see that poetry was a creative and personal process.

My goal over this next month is to share quick resources and ideas for making poetry fun, creative and interesting for students.

Here are some resources to get started:

Poets.org: Introduces the idea of National Poetry Month and includes 30 ways to celebrate poetry month. They have several projects that students can participate in as well.

Poetry 180: A list of 180 poems for everyday of school, poems have been gathered by poet Billy Collins and is aimed towards high school students.

Poetry Archives: Has many poetry recordings and resources for teachers and students, including a section just for kids. 

Instant Poetry Forms: Forms that students can complete to help guide them through writing a poem.

Shel Silverstein’s Official Webpage: There is a kid section with games, printables, downloads, and a section atticwhere kids can send an ecard. There is also a teacher section that includes lists of poems and books, lessons and activities, and event kits. You will even find a Poetry Workshop Kit that has been developed for poetry month.

Jack Prelutsky’s Official Webpage: Similar to Shel Silverstien’s there is a section for kids where they can see several Poems and another section for teachers that has some activities.

Resources from Readwritethink. Includes websites, activities and lesson plans.

44 Ways to Celebrate Poetry all year long from Kristine O’Connell

The Learning Lab from The Poetry Foundation

One of my favorite poems from Taylor Mali, who is the author of the famous poem “What Teachers Make”.

What are some of your favorite poems? 


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