Technology Education Know-How

Helping Teachers Teach with Technology

Online Tools for Poetry in the Classroom

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

A few weeks back I twittered out to my PLN to get ideas for online resources that 4th grade could use in their poetry lessons. I wanted to share some of those ideas I got back with you.

I tested this site out and had lots of fun with it. You can pick a background that goes with your poem and thin type your poem out on it. Or, you can accept the challenge to select a background and use a limited word bank to write a creative poem. I did both and it was a challenge but a good experience. I signed up for an account so I could embed the picture and poem into my wiki page or blog. That’s probably the coolest part about it. It generates the code for me to embed it. This is a cool way to share your poetry with the world, family or just your classroom.

I played around with Voice Thread a year or so ago and introduced it to a lot of people but I never thought of using it as a tool for poetry. Good Idea! Students can create their poem on a Voice Thread and other students in the class can leave “constructive” comments on it. The final product can then be imbedded into a class wiki or blog. Voice Thread provides all the necessary code for it. This is an awesome idea! If you pay for the upgrade version you can even do more cool stuff, but I like free! (This is also a good way to teach your students about appropriate responses and constructive input.)

I thought this was a good way to make every student want to do poetry. You can have all of your students create a personalized Voki Avatar that recites their poem. What kid wouldn’t want to create one of these? (This is also a good way to help your students with public speaking ability along with proper word annunciation.)

Poetry often includes rhyming words and this tool can help them when they are stuck. You simply type in the word you want to rhyme hold down the Ctrl key and click it. It then gives you a nice list of words to pick from. They simply pick the word they need and continue writing. It’s kinda like the happy place between a Dictionary and a Thesaurus.

This page has several good examples of poetry, ways to teach it and even a sample of a Voice Thread being used in a poetry lesson. It’s full of resources so check it out. It will take you to other great tools that can be used. It’s well worth a look.

Thanks to all who gave input via Twitter, helping to provide these awesome ideas! If you have other ideas, tools or links please leave a comment. Your ideas help others,thanks!

VoiceThread / World Wide Telescope / Exciting Time

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Weekly Tech Tip

I’m going to stray today and do a back post.

** A few weeks back I did a post about VoiceThread and how it can be used in the classroom. This morning early when I was reading a blog from one of my feeds I found another post about VoiceThread. This post showed a perfect example of how it can be used in the classroom. I had to watch and read the whole VoiceThread!!! It was that good!!! (not normal for me, I get bored easy!) Please, do yourself a favor and look at the VoiceThread – You will find students engaged, empowered, problem solving and passionate while learning at the same time. Thanks for the example, Cool Cat Teacher Blog! She even has a follow up post about what her students are doing to extend their learning experiences. Awesome Stuff!!!!

(Note:) I’m only giving an example of how it can be used. I’m not promoting any views in the VoiceThread.

** World Wide Telescope coming soon! This sure sounds exciting for the Education and Science worlds. Here is a description from their web page. “The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a rich visualization environment that functions as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best ground and space telescopes in the world for a seamless, guided exploration of the universe. WorldWide Telescope, created with Microsoft’s high-performance Visual Experience Engine™, enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky blending terabytes of images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a media-rich, immersive experience.” You can check it out further at I hope to be bringing you more info on this when it’s released this spring”

** What an exciting time to be a part of education in such an “information available” age! When I first started teaching we only dreamed of having this kind of information available to us. Now we can not only have it available we can have our students producing it, collaborating on it, and making it available for the rest of the world to see. There are over 100,000 new blogs created daily with a majority of them being student aged creators. There are about 300,000 new MySpace / FaceBook users every day. This is growing by leaps and bounds.

This is where our students are at: Capturing their interests + Capturing their hearts = Capturing their minds!

 Happy Educating with Technology!