TeachersFirst's Poetry Month Editor's Choice Resources

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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected by our editors from the hundreds of reviewed poetry resources and creative tools listed on TeachersFirst. Now April can be Poetry Month in any classroom. Even if you teach science or math, there is a place for poetry in your curriculum. Poetry is as brief and economical as a number sentence, but with feelings or messages between the words. Why not throw some poetry lines amid your chemical or algebraic equations to connect with verbal/linguistic learners and spark a new way of seeing any subject? Take time to plan a "poetry break" using these ideas from the TeachersFirst Editors. View all of our resources tagged for Poetry here

Here are some poetic possibilities to get your students' creative juices flowing: Have students compose a limerick explaining a science term or historic figure. Have students collect a list of words from your current unit. Then offer extra credit for a poetic interpretation to be shared as a daily "poetry break" during April. Use one of the tools featured here to share poetic visions of biology, geometry, and more during April. Cover a classroom wall with white paper for "curriculum poetry" during April: encourage students to share poetry graffiti (classroom appropriate, of course). Need other poetic ideas? Check out our "In the classroom suggestions" included in these reviews or try our keyword search for poetry AND a specific topic or grade level.

 

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Verse by Verse - Google

Grades
7 to 12
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Verse by Verse is an experimental poetry-creation project by Google that uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to help create poems using classic American poets' suggestions. Begin by selecting...more
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Verse by Verse is an experimental poetry-creation project by Google that uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to help create poems using classic American poets' suggestions. Begin by selecting up to 3 muses for inspiration. If you aren't sure who they are, click on any image to view short biographical information. During the next step, choose a poem structure, syllable count, and rhyme. Enter the first line of your poem and become inspired by options presented by your muses! When finished, choose from options to copy the text or add a border, then download it as a PNG image.

tag(s): poetry (180)

In the Classroom

Introduce different forms of poetry and poets using Verse by Verse. Offer students time to explore and experiment with the different features to become familiar with the different types of formats and styles of the included poets. Have students share their poetry digitally by creating an audio podcast using Synth, reviewed here. Synth features easy to use tools for creating short audio podcasts in up to 256-second increments. Encourage students to rehearse reading their poetry and add proper intonation, spacing, and reading techniques such as they would for an in-person poetry reading. Besides sharing poems, ask students to add images and record audio, read their poems, and then share their creative process when writing poetry. Share student recordings on a class blog created with a free blog tool such as Site123, reviewed here, or in a series of blogs based on different forms of poetry.
 

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Amanda Gorman Inauguration Poem Lessons - #TeachLivingPoets

Grades
5 to 12
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Amanda Gorman captured the nation's attention with the recital of her inspiring poem, "The Hill We Climb," during Joe Biden's 2021 inauguration ceremony. This site shares lessons and...more
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Amanda Gorman captured the nation's attention with the recital of her inspiring poem, "The Hill We Climb," during Joe Biden's 2021 inauguration ceremony. This site shares lessons and teaching activities to accompany this poem. Resources include links to a hyperdoc that explores the poem's craft, lessons comparing inaugural poets and poetry, and a black poets video playlist. Scroll through the site to find many ideas for engaging students in poetry.

tag(s): authors (97), inauguration (6), poetry (180)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as a resource to find many ideas for engaging students in poetry. Use Amanda Gorman's poetry to spark your students' interest in learning about poetry. Start by watching and sharing Gorman's inaugural reading on YouTube. Ask students to share their reactions to the reading using Answer Garden, reviewed here. Post a question to Answer Garden that requires a short student response, such as, "What is the predominant emotion you felt as you watched Amanda Gorman read her poem?" As students add responses, view the word cloud that is created to discuss how poetry is used to deliver emotions. Use a video response tool such as edpuzzle, reviewed here, to enhance learning by inserting questions and comments within the YouTube reading by Gorman. Include questions of your own and those found in the lessons shared on this website. Extend learning further by asking students to create and share poems. This Poem Generator, reviewed here, helps students develop confidence and learn the basics of poetry writing as they start on their poetry journey. Find many more ideas for teaching and sharing at TeachersFirst Poetry Month Editor's Choice Resources.

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Poetry Out Loud - Poetry Out Loud

Grades
8 to 12
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Encourage the study and creation of poetry using the national arts education program provided by Poetry Out Loud in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and other partners....more
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Encourage the study and creation of poetry using the national arts education program provided by Poetry Out Loud in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and other partners. Browse poems by collections, poets, or poetic forms and terms; each poem includes a short biography of the poet and links to their additional works. Choose from several offered lesson plans correlated to NCTE Standards. Immerse students further in poetry using the competition resources provided on the site. Information for poetry competitions includes options for competing on a classroom level or in regional and national competitions.

tag(s): authors (97), literary devices (13), poetry (180), rhythm (20)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and use the resources from Poetry Out Loud as part of any poetry unit or to encourage students to explore poetry within any classroom subject. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to curate and share students' favorite poems. Divide your Padlet into columns to organize by genre, be sure to create a column for students to share their original work! Share the tips for reciting poems as you encourage students to learn performance techniques. Ask students to record their work using FlipGrid, reviewed here. Flipgrid has a built-in coaching tool that provides real-time feedback to users. Feedback includes information on the number of hesitations, use of filler words, and pacing of the presentation. Share this tool with your students to encourage students to reflect and improve any audio or video presentation.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Poetic Devices Scavenger Hunt - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 5
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Become a Poem Detective with the lesson and printable activities provided by Scholastic. Use the suggested poems to teach poetic devices such as alliteration, personification, stanzas,...more
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Become a Poem Detective with the lesson and printable activities provided by Scholastic. Use the suggested poems to teach poetic devices such as alliteration, personification, stanzas, and more. Students become the detective by searching through the verses and identifying and recording information onto their activity sheet.

tag(s): literary devices (13), poetry (180), rhymes (21), rhythm (20)

In the Classroom

Though there is a note that this is not an introductory lesson, our editorial team found that the lesson with the suggested poems was perfect to use as a starting point for a poetry unit, then use technology to extend student learning further. Engage students through thoughtful use of collaborative activities such as asking student groups to create infographics for each of the different poetic devices. Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, is an easy to use free tool for creating infographics using pre-designed templates or by starting from scratch. As students become familiar with the different terms, move on to the scavenger hunt activity. Instead of using the activity sheets (printed out) for students to record their findings, take your scavenger hunt to a higher level by using GooseChase, reviewed here. GooseChase is a tool for creating and participating in digital scavenger hunts. In addition to taking a picture of the poem and labeling the poetic devices used, ask students to explain their answer within their GooseChase response. To extend student learning, have students research other poems by the authors suggested and when they find one that has all or most of the poetic devices within the poem have them take a picture of it and upload it to Thinglink, reviewed here, to highlight and label the devices they found, again explaining their answers. You may want to give extra points for finding literary devices in these poems that aren't on the original worksheet.
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Power Poetry - Power Poetry

Grades
8 to 12
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Encourage budding poets with Power Poetry. Power Poetry's mission is to close the literacy gap through poetry. This is a community where young people of all backgrounds come together...more
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Encourage budding poets with Power Poetry. Power Poetry's mission is to close the literacy gap through poetry. This is a community where young people of all backgrounds come together to process their emotions using poetry. Find challenges to write about social issues or to write a poem in only 140 characters. Scroll down the page and point out the topic "7 Famous Poetic Pop Songs" where students are sure to recognize current singer/song writers. Find many supportive community members to encourage you to develop your voice. From the dropdown menu on the top click Resources then Teachers to find lesson plans, a free "How to Teach Poetry" course, and lots more. Poets are free to write about any subject; however, there are site guidelines to prevent hate speech and other inappropriate content. Join with a username and email address. On your profile, there is the option of sharing your first name and last initial, profile picture, and a short biography. You can message each other within the site, but this feature can be disabled from account settings.

tag(s): poetry (180), social and emotional learning (56)

In the Classroom

Encourage your most avid writers to submit their poetry to this site. Use your whiteboard or projector to show them the "Take Action Guides." There you will find many issues of concern to youth today. Most students will enjoy uniting multimedia, poetry, and activism in one place. Challenge your students to choose a contemorary poet, either from this site's list or one they know of, and study their poetic form, then to write a poem in that poet's style. Enhance learning by having students keep a blog using a tool like Penzu, reviewed here, to write down their thoughts as they investigate different parts of this site. This will help them when it comes time to write their own poem. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Then extend learning by having students either publish their poems on the site or by using a multimedia tool like Genially, reviewed here, and publish their poems on your classroom or school web page. Counselors may want to encourage disenfranchised students to join the site and write about their deepest feelings. This is a supportive community that encourages students to develop their own voice.

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CurriConnects Booklist: Poets and Poetry - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This CurriConnects booklist features poetry books, biographies of poets, and poets' books about writing to make poetry more approachable and enjoyable for readers of all interests....more
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This CurriConnects booklist features poetry books, biographies of poets, and poets' books about writing to make poetry more approachable and enjoyable for readers of all interests. This list is a perfect companion to formal units about poetry or simply for anyone who would like to learn more about poets and how they write. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''® (where available) to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Be aware Lexile levels are based on prose (sentence length, words per sentence, etc.), and cannot be calculated for poetry, so Lexile levels are not available for poetry books. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): book lists (124), literature (220), poetry (180)

In the Classroom

This list will fit well during National Poetry Month or any unit on poetry. Finding Lexiles for poetry can be a challenge, but this list includes them where available. Augment or modify classroom technology use (depending on assignment requirements) by having your students "collect" their favorite poems as they read from this list and share them as a multimedia poetry reading using copyright-friendly images or even their own artwork. Upload images and add the poetry in the student's own voice using a tool like Powtoon, reviewed here, or moovly, reviewed here. Go "low tech" by hosting a live poetry reading celebration in your classroom or during lunch in the school cafeteria.

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No Water River - Poetry Resources - Renee LaTulippe

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore and listen to poetry at No Water River. Choose from many poetry videos offered to view and hear poems, some read by the actual authors. If you want to ...more
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Explore and listen to poetry at No Water River. Choose from many poetry videos offered to view and hear poems, some read by the actual authors. If you want to see the whole post for a particular poem (including an interview with the poet and extension activities) just go back to the home page and search the poem or poet via the search box in the right sidebar. Choose the resource link to find tips for performing poetry and for big lists of children's poets, poetic forms, and poetic terms. Some of the video clips are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): poetry (180), rhymes (21)

In the Classroom

View the author's video of "Doing Poetry Right" on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) after students have created or read poetry and are ready to perform readings. How many of these poetic terms do your students know? Review the list together then replace paper and pen and have students use an online flashcard maker like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here, to create flashcards for poetic terms to remember. Do the same with the big list of poetic forms. Use the videos as an example and have your students make their own video poetry readings. Modifiy classroom technology use for this by using FlipGrid, reviewed here. No Water River is a must for Poetry Month!

Comments

The posts at No Water River are always first-rate. You'll find a Who's Who of poets reading their own work, plus the text of the poems and fun intros by Renee LaTulippe. I really love the Poet-A-Palooza post featuring David L. Harrison (hamming it up with his trombone) and the energetic Bill Nye-style video of Michael Salinger--so much FUN! janet, , Grades: 0 - 12

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The Poem Farm - Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Grades
K to 8
6 Favorites 1  Comments
  
The Poem Farm is a wonderful resource for poems of all kinds by poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. Though there is a "Goodbye For Now" note, everything still works. Browse ...more
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The Poem Farm is a wonderful resource for poems of all kinds by poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. Though there is a "Goodbye For Now" note, everything still works. Browse the Poetry Peeks section to peek into poetry creations in classrooms everywhere. Find poems sorted by topic. Beware, there is an extensive list of topics! Looking for poems using different techniques? Search through the site for mask poems, riddle poems, personification, and much more. Another interesting portion of the website is the dictionary hike. View and listen to a poem for each letter of the alphabet. One unique feature of the website is that the author includes additional information with each poem such as teaching techniques, thought process during the poem's creation, and other ideas for creating similar poetry. There are also some lesson plans to explore.

tag(s): poetry (180), rhymes (21), riddles (14)

In the Classroom

Use this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as inspiration for lessons in poetry writing. Share it on your teacher web page for enrichment. Have students create their own poems using this site as inspiration then augment classroom technology use by having them create podcasts of a poetry reading. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here.

Comments

It's impossible to have writer's block after visiting this blog--there are always so many inspiring writing prompts and ideas to try here. (And the blog has a very comfortable, inviting, homey feeling--feels like visiting a friend for tea.) janet, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Poetry Read-Alouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This read-aloud collection is part of TeachersFirst's Help I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although...more
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This read-aloud collection is part of TeachersFirst's Help I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection of poetry books to read aloud and related activities and lessons will inspire young poets -- even reluctant ones. Invite them to read and write poetry on their own. Find both printable and online resources to extend the poetry reading and writing. Try this terrific read-aloud collection during April, National Poetry Month. If your library does not have the books you want from this list, try using the ISBN numbers to borrow them on interlibrary loan from a public library nearby.

tag(s): book lists (124), poetry (180)

In the Classroom

Use the before, during, and after reading activities in this read-aloud collection as the core of a poetry unit or simply to honor National Poetry Month. Mark it in your Favorites so you can use it from year to year. Share some of the activity ideas and links with parents to use at home or with other teachers to make poetry a schoolwide literacy celebration.

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Random Poem Generator - Mathijs1988

Grades
4 to 12
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Anything can be turned into a poem by using this web site! Enter a URL for a web page that has text, choose a rhyme scheme (Haiku, ABAB alternating, or ...more
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Anything can be turned into a poem by using this web site! Enter a URL for a web page that has text, choose a rhyme scheme (Haiku, ABAB alternating, or AABB), then select "poemize this page." Results will include words from the selected web page in poem form. Examples are included on the main page showing how this can be done with text from Romeo and Juliet, Pokerface by Lady Gaga, and more. After the poem appears, there is a choice for creating a new poem from the same site.

tag(s): poetry (180)

In the Classroom

Introduce your poetry unit by showing this site on your interactive whiteboard and demonstrating the three types of poems created from items known to students. Create poetry from student-created websites for classroom display. Have students create poems from websites then use this site to create poems and compare the different outputs. Choose websites that aren't language arts related such as math, history, or science sites and create poetry from their content. For some interesting, high level discussion, ask students what makes something a "poem" vs. simply a collection of words.

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The Interactive Raven - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 12
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Here's TeachersFirst's famous on-line presentation of Poe's classic poem, with notations explaining definitions and literary devices. Roll over words for definitions, literary devices,...more
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Here's TeachersFirst's famous on-line presentation of Poe's classic poem, with notations explaining definitions and literary devices. Roll over words for definitions, literary devices, and more.

tag(s): halloween (31), poetry (180)

In the Classroom

This is a great on-line independent study for students who need additional help with either vocabulary or poetic devices. Introduce the site on your projector (rollovers will not work on an interactive whiteboard), then have students work alone or with a partner to become acquainted with the full text of Poe's masterpiece, accessing definitions and literary devices on their own. Augment classroom technology use and challenge students to create their own dramatic readings of the poem using a tool such as podOmatic, reviewed here, or accompany their reading with illustrations using Thinglink, reviewed here. Thinglink presents a variety of levels for technology use in the classroom depending on teacher requirements for the assignment, or even student ability.

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TeachersFirst: The Highwayman - TeachersFirst

Grades
7 to 12
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This online edition of Alfred Noyes' poem introduces both the text and the poetic devices and vocabulary in this famous poem. The unit can serve as an independent study tool ...more
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This online edition of Alfred Noyes' poem introduces both the text and the poetic devices and vocabulary in this famous poem. The unit can serve as an independent study tool or a review for those who need a refresher on poetic devices.

tag(s): poetry (180)

In the Classroom

Share the start of the poem on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Then turn students or partners loose to explore the poem and discover the details on laptops or at home. Transform classroom technology use and extend the unit by challenging groups or individual students to create their own visual interpretations of a stanza using a tool such as Poster My Wall, reviewed here.

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Poem in Your Pocket - Michael Bloomberg

Grades
5 to 12
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Poem in Your Pocket is a site dedicated to the annual Poem in Your Pocket Day in April and hosted by New York City for the past several years. The ...more
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Poem in Your Pocket is a site dedicated to the annual Poem in Your Pocket Day in April and hosted by New York City for the past several years. The website provides background information about the day and ways to participate. A variety of unique activities, lessons, and ideas will help bring poetry to classrooms and schools.

tag(s): poetry (180)

In the Classroom

Go through this site with students and then have students read the suggestions for students under the curriculum ideas section. Have students create a plan of action for celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day for your class or school. Augment classroom technology use and have them use a plain and simple tool like Webnote, reviewed here, for their planning. Easily share Webnote using the URL. Or, enhance classroom technology use by using Pinside, reviewed here, where students can add images and have links to websites. Students can present their ideas using either Pinside or transform classroom technology use by creating an interactive multimedia poster using a tool like Genial.ly, reviewed here, where your students will have a choice of projects to complete.

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Poetry Everywhere - WGBH and David Grubin Productions

Grades
3 to 12
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Poetry Everywhere includes a mini biography on numerous poets followed by one of the poet's poems. Be sure to select poets and poems that are age appropriate for students. ...more
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Poetry Everywhere includes a mini biography on numerous poets followed by one of the poet's poems. Be sure to select poets and poems that are age appropriate for students.

tag(s): poetry (180)

In the Classroom

Share several poems with students and then have them create similar poet and poem podcasts. Augment classroom technology use by using a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here, to present to their classmates. Post the podcasts to a class wiki or website. Not familiar with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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Rhyme Brain - Steve Hanov

Grades
4 to 12
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This dynamite site makes rhyming all right. Save it as a favorite quick pick to have a slick trick for poets to click. The process is simple; just type in ...more
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This dynamite site makes rhyming all right. Save it as a favorite quick pick to have a slick trick for poets to click. The process is simple; just type in a word and Rhyme Brain finds ones that sound similar and sorts them so that the best rhymes appear first. You can also click to alliterate. Some of the choices are a bit of a stretch, so take what it reveals and appeals, without any waste-of-time ordeals. Some of your advanced poetry writers have the options of not only clicking on the link for instantaneously generating a list of rhymes, they can type in two words and then click on alliteration for another organized list. Sophisticated, witty language users may also have fun with the Insult button, which is similar to the British humor of rhyming Cockney slang.

tag(s): poetry (180)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how simple it is to find a word that rhymes on your projector or interactive whiteboard and then, provide a link to Rhyme Brain on your class web page for your students to have easy access to this tool. Transform classroom technology use and have your students share their created poems on an interactive online poster using Lucidpress, reviewed here, or Canva, reviewed here.

It's a real time saver. Use it to fascinate elementary students with the numerous single and multi-syllabic rhyming words and various spelling combinations that are generated. Older students will enjoy the play on words that it quickly reveals, saving them time to do the higher level thinking that the figurative language of poetry requires.

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Newspaper Blackout - Austin Kleon

Grades
4 to 12
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Newspaper Blackout is a clever way to unlock the secret poetry hidden within any printed page. This Tumblr site shares examples (unmoderated, so preview before sharing in a classroom!)....more
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Newspaper Blackout is a clever way to unlock the secret poetry hidden within any printed page. This Tumblr site shares examples (unmoderated, so preview before sharing in a classroom!). Poetry no longer needs to be a gray area; this activity makes it black and white! There are no gimmicks, no magic pens, and no camouflage paper, but this is certainly a tricky way to write a poem! All you need are newspapers and black markers. Hunt for and select a few words from each of the lines as you read a newspaper or magazine article. Remember to start with the title. Instead of the typical bottom-up approach to writing a poem by starting with a blank page and filling it with words, try this fresh, top down approach by starting with a page already crowded with words. Then use permanent markers to blacken out all the trivial words in each line until the poem appears. (Put something under your page so the ink does not bleed through on furniture!) Click Share your poem to learn how to upload your work to the site.

tag(s): creative writing (116)

In the Classroom

This poetry activity (aka Found Poetry) opens the doors to so many learning objectives. In a social studies or history classroom, you could direct your students to search for newspaper or magazine articles on topics that you have been studying, or current events. Suddenly you have social studies poetry! In an English language arts lesson, you might instruct students to blacken out all the words that are not nouns or verbs, or select other parts of speech. You could change the task to eliminate any word that is not part of the simple subject or predicate, and simultaneously teach or reinforce main idea. For classrooms with individual computers, students could access articles online. Copy the text into a document. Then, Instead of blackening out words with markers, they could get the same effect by highlighting over them with black, or changing the font color of the text to white, and printing them or saving a screenshot image. Another option is for students to email their Newspaper Blackout poems to the teacher. Each poem could then be put into a Power Point slide show for the class to see on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site to offer your students a new twist on Poetry Month (April). Enhance classroom technology use and take your new poetry collection to the world by uploading the PowerPoint to ThingLink, reviewed here, and have each student record a reading in his/her own voice. Thinglink presents a variety of levels for technology use depending on teacher requirements for the project, or even student ability; it allows for adding narration, videos, text and links to help explain what certain parts of the poem are about. Make poetry a participatory experience, no matter what the subject. If your school permits, have students take photos of their paper poems -- or screenshots of ones done on the computer --and share them on this site. You may want students to start saving their work in a digital portfolio. Suggestions are Mahara, reviewed here, for high school students.

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Shmoop Poetry - Shmoop University Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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As a companion piece to the Shmoop literature site, reviewed here, this is a wonderful addition if you teach poetry. Shmoop provides students (and...more
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As a companion piece to the Shmoop literature site, reviewed here, this is a wonderful addition if you teach poetry. Shmoop provides students (and teachers) with so much more than summaries. This is a great site with a unique voice. It is written by Ph.D. and Masters students at top universities (such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc.). While the list of poems is always growing, it includes many of the poems and/or poets commonly studied in high school. These include some of Shakespeare's sonnets, Whitman, Coleridge, Shelley, Dickinson, Browning, Rich, Yeats, and others. Especially appealing are the "Intro" sections, which tell the background of the poem. These should interest students as it places a very human "face" on the poem and sets it in context for them. Besides summaries, techniques, quotes, and study questions, this site also gives a "did you know?" page. It includes random trivia about the poet, poem, or topic, as well as a "sex rating" ("Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is rated "G"). This in itself will amuse students-- and amused students are likely to stay focused!

In addition to the literary content, some poems also have a photo slideshow that accompanies the poem and their authors. The slideshows would be great for readers who may need some assistance in comprehension or may just need something to sell the content and heighten their interest. While actually signing up (which is free) gives you the ability to "clip" files and keep them in a folder, you can access the majority of the information without signing up. Registration does require an email address. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): poetry (180)

In the Classroom

There are many possibilities at this website. Use it for reference, share the highlights on your interactive whiteboard or projector, or talk about the constructive use of a site like this without plagiarizing. One activity after reviewing a poem through Shmoop's process might be to have students use a poem not included on Shmoop and make their own entry for it, following the Shmoop template as an example. Try augmenting classroom technology use by using a simple slideshow tool like Sharalike, reviewed here, or use Slidestory, reviewed here, and use voice narration and images. Why not make your own wiki to include some of the same features for other poems? Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Note: one popular poem on Shmoop is Poe's "The Raven." Be sure to have students explore TeachersFirst's interactive Raven as yet another rich way to experience the poem along with Shmoop.

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The Music In Poetry - Smithsonian Institute

Grades
5 to 12
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If you want to get students involved in listening to poetry, try this site featuring real life SOUNDS of poetry in both ballads and the blues. Ballads are traditionally taught ...more
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If you want to get students involved in listening to poetry, try this site featuring real life SOUNDS of poetry in both ballads and the blues. Ballads are traditionally taught as story poems and, while this site does that too, it makes ballads more relevant to the music that kids listen to today. Use this site to teach about meters (iambic triameter and iambic tetrameter) in ways that students can HEAR. The images of the short films are great, too. The site includes readings and singing of great, classic examples of ballads as well as some rarer film footage of great blues singers (ex: John Jackson singing "Steamboat Whistle" at Wolf Trap in 1997). There is a wide variety of tracks to choose from and the site includes lesson plans.

tag(s): blues (16), poetry (180)

In the Classroom

Play the sound files on speakers in your classroom and be sure to include the link on your teacher web page for students to play at home, as well. If you are into podcasting, consider having students make their own recordings of ballads after hearing and studying these. Challenge cooperative learning groups to modernize one of the ballads and augment classroom technology use by creating a podcast by using sites such as podOmatic, reviewed here, or Buzzsprout, reviewed here. Help students create a checklist or rubric to use for self-evaluation or peer review. Use a tool like Quick Rubric, reviewed here, for the checklist and rubric. Use this same document to help students make constructive suggestions for story revisions. The lesson plans are printable PDFs and work with units/lessons on Langston Hughes and the blues as well as the meters of poetry.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Limerick Savant

Grades
10 to 12
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This is much more than a mere collection of contemporary limericks. It is rather a witty and provocative poetic commentary on politics, government, and economics. Original creations...more
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This is much more than a mere collection of contemporary limericks. It is rather a witty and provocative poetic commentary on politics, government, and economics. Original creations - inspired by what is in the news - are posted each day, and previous contributions can be perused by scrolling. It's acerbic ("Mr. Bush, we have heard you would banish our national anthem in Spanish...") and not for the easily offended, but it does provide a creative way to begin a class discussion on a hot topic. This is a personal blog site, so preview carefully before sharing with students.

tag(s): humor (15), poetry (180), satire (5)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to combine their creative writing skills with knowledge of poetic forms to fashion their own limericks using headline news as a prompt.

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Shel Silverstein's Official Website - Shel Silverstein; Harper Publishers

Grades
K to 6
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Shel Silverstein's outside-the-box style of poetry has delighted students for years. Now, his website extends that wacky literacy to another medium and level. You may be tempted at...more
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Shel Silverstein's outside-the-box style of poetry has delighted students for years. Now, his website extends that wacky literacy to another medium and level. You may be tempted at most sites to skip the intro. Don't skip Shel's. Familiar entities walk across your screen welcoming you. Screen Savers, animated Shel-creature-people to enjoy, reproducibles, and more await your enjoyment. Click on Poetry Month to find more activities and games that you can use during April. Your students will chuckle at Shel's own reading and lively animation of several of his poems. This is a site to explore with your class.

tag(s): humor (15), poetry (180)

In the Classroom

Take your students on this language-rich adventure using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Mark your calendar now to visit this site during April, when Poetry Month is celebrated. Download your free poetry kit from the poetry month link. Of course, Shel Silverstein's whimsical and slightly dark humor can be enjoyed any month. There is a link for Teachers and Parents with lesson ideas, printables, and more. This is a great site to share with parents and students for summer breaks.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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