Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Online Tools for Poets

Looking for some online fun as you celebrate National Poetry Month? These tools provide some great places to start!

  • Write the Acrostic Poems the typical way they are taught, asking students to compose poems that highlight their names or significant nouns. Try the activity with literature by having students compose poems for character and place names in a recent reading (e.g., Boo Radley, Maycomb, Atticus Finch). Extend Acrostic Poems to content areas by asking students to create acrostics for key vocabulary terms.

  • Invite students to publish their poems with the Stapleless Book. Students might write a series of shorter poems, one on each page of the book. Haiku lend themselves to this strategy. The Stapleless Book can also be used to publish one poem, with a line or two on each page of the book.

  • Combine a bit of grammar review with poetry by asking students to compose Diamante Poems, which use specific parts of speech to contrast different aspects of a single topic or to compare two different topics. The technique can work well in a review of thematic units such as “innocence to experience” or to compare two characters from a work of literature (e.g., Othello and Iago).

  • Explore the genre of Letter Poems with students and then ask students to use the Letter Generator to publish their work. Elementary teachers can use the ReadWriteThink lesson plan Letter Poems Deliver: Experimenting with Line Breaks in Poetry Writing, which incorporates the online tools.

  • Describe objects in poems that are published in the object's shape with Shape Poems. Students can publish poems about Nature, School, Sports, and Celebrations. For example, after a study of the Water Cycle publish shape poems in the shape of the sun, a raindrop, or a cloud.

  • Have a bit of fun online with Magnetic Poetry Kids' Kits, High School Kit, or general collections, including a Shakespeare Kit. Note that some of the general sets will not be appropriate for students (e.g., the Innuendo Kit or the Pickup Lines Kit), so provide students with the direct link to the tools that you choose rather than sending them to the general collections page.


Anonymous said...

I love the lesson ideas and resources at the Poetry Page at WritingFix: http://writingfix.com/poetry_prompts.htm

The Rudyard Kipling "If" assignment is my current favorite.

TexMetsFan said...

I love that the lesson ideas are so accessible.
Anonymous, would you share the Rudyard Kipling "If" assignment?

Mary Lee said...

Great collection of resources! Thanks!

Fast Granny said...

My ELA classes have done most of these suggestions but they still don't care to participate in poetry. Using technology doesn't help either. Any other ideas?

TexMetsFan said...

Have you tried...
1.Have students think of a loved one -- family, friend, pet, someone they know well and care about.
2.Then they need to select song lyrics that somehow represent that person (song they sand over and over on the way to camp, "their" song, a song that describes the person...)
3. Weave the two together --
line from song
line about person
line from song
line about person
and so on...

I have had some success with disinterested students.

If that doesn't make sense, let me know.

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