When I taught elementary, I used some of these tools as stations during library class time, setting up an app on an iPad or at a computer, and letting students rotate through different projects. I also set up a poetry section of my web site where students could access the tools during choice time or at home.
- Read Write Think - This is one of my favorite sites for finding interactive activities. There are Haiku, Diamante, Shape, Acrostic, and Magnetic Poetry activities, along with lesson plans, handouts, calendar activities and more. The site also provides state and national standards alignment.
Most of the activities are web-based, but the site has also created several iOS apps that can be downloaded onto iPads for students to use. At the high school where I teach now, we’ve embedded the interactives on our website using an iFrame so students can play directly on the web site.
- Magnetic Poetry at Kasey Bell at ShakeupLearning.com - I love Magnetic Poetry! Kasey Bell at ShakeUpLearning had the brilliant idea of making this a collaborative project with her students using Google Apps. She created a template using Google Draw with pre-set words, and a “refrigerator” for students to stick the words on. I love the idea of students working in a group to create poems. She’s even created a template that you can copy to try this project with your students!
- Erasures from Wave Books - Erasure or black-out poetry uses existing texts to create new works. Student poets cross out or erase the words to reveal the poems hidden within. My students love doing this with pages torn from weeded books. But of you’re not ready to start ripping up your collection, why not try a digital version? This web site lets you choose source texts from classic works (think Moby Dick) which you erase, click by click. When you’re finished you can save and print your poems, and upload to their site if you want to share.
- PoetryGames.org from Creative Communication: The poetry machine has explanations and templates for more than 50 poem prompts and formats. There’s also a “free verse 101” course to get kids thinking about about this form as well.
- Tweet and/or post a poem a day - this can be something you pick, something the kids pick, something a teacher picks. Are the kids writing poems? You can share! Include #NPM16 or #NationalPoetryMonth to be included in the conversation.
- Favorite Poem Project Watch videos of poems being read aloud
- Poem-A-Day From the Academy of American Poets. Includes original, previously unpublished poems as well as a classics.
- Poetry 180 A poem a day for American high schools, hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
- Animated Poetry Animated films created by students, in association with The Poetry Foundation and PBS.
- Artemis Literary Sources - This database is especially useful for older students. When I taught elementary I had tons of books of poems by theme - sports poems, dog poems, poems about school, poems about food. But now that I teach high school, aside from a few collections of love poems, most of poetry collection tends to be author-based: The Collected Works of Emily Dickinson, or whomever. But we often have students come down saying for class, they need to find a poem about death, or about happiness, for example. This database is a wonder - you can search through poetry journals, newspapers, magazines and other resources. You’ll find SOMETHING that works! This database is available from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners - if your library doesn’t have access, all residents of the Commonwealth can access the resources here.