The Learning Hub

3 Ways To Get Early Grades Students To Love Poetry

As National Poetry Month comes to a close, we hope we’ve provided you with valuable ideas to help you integrate poetry and mobile writing into your instruction. This is the perfect month to introduce and solidify a love for reading and writing poetry!

Here are three ways you can integrate the Write About This or Tell About This apps to teach poetry to students in grades K-2:

Make an “I Like” Poem

Students can search through the gallery for a picture of something that they like (or they can take a picture using the app).  They can then write a free verse poem “I like _____ because _____.”  For students who can’t type words yet, Tell About This is perfect for recording their poem orally.  The poems can be read and or “played” to the class!

If they already know what they want to write about, use the new Quick Write feature in Write About This to add their photo directly!

Quick Write

Recite a Favorite Poem

Students can research a favorite poem to be exposed to a variety of poetic forms and creative writing.  They can then find an image in the Write About This app gallery or take a picture that they find illustrates it best.  Finally, they can recite the poem using the audio feature and share with the teacher and parents.

Create a Word Poem

Students can practice selecting and writing out words they may or may not know by creating a poem made up of just a list of words.  They can find an image in the Write About This gallery and write a list of words that come to mind about the picture.  Have students pick a word to be the title and open and close the poem with that word.  Everything in between can include at least one noun, adjective, and verb for students who can approach it more critically.

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Reading, writing, and reciting are great ways for young students to get hands-on with poetry.  The main objective is to encourage students to make things their own and have fun!

Lani deGuia is a teacher, instructional technologist, and social media manager.  She has over 13 years of educational experience in traditional and online classroom settings for both K-12 and adult learners. She currently works in digital content and strategy for businesses and personally blogs at Rose Tinted Traveler.

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Partnered Cinquain Poetry

Subject:  Language Arts

Grades:  6-8

Overview

Students will use a visual prompt or text prompt to brainstorm elements of narrative writing for a partner.  They will then take brainstorming ideas from their partner to write a narrative cinquain.

Background

Poetry is not only a way for students to learn how to use words for expression and figurative language, but a great tool in approaching narrative writing.  Cinquains are a form of poetry that can help develop concise storytelling.  Based on syllables and structure, cinquains can appear similar or diamanté poetry.  Commonly they include a storytelling element that includes action, feelings, and a conclusion.  You can find additional information on its structure here.

The Activity

The teacher will define the structure and process of writing a cinquain.  The connection between narrative writing and cinquains will be further explained.  Examples will be shown to help students understand how cinquains can be written to tell a story.

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1.  Have students select a photo prompt of interest in the Write About This app gallery or take a photo using the iPad.  This should be a photo with action and/or at least one character experiencing an event or situation.
2.  From the selected photo, instruct students to “pass the iPad” to an assigned partner.
3.  Give the partner time to review the picture and brainstorm words and ideas for each of the following:  event, action, feeling, and conclusion.  They should write the ideas in the Write About This app.
4.  Return the iPads to it’s original student.  Each student will review the brainstorming notes from the partner and write a cinquain from it.
5.  After students have completed a rough draft of their poem, give students time to revise the poem by reviewing the words they have selected.  Invite them to use a thesaurus to find the best adjectives to articulate their ideas.
6.  After students have had a chance revising, have them create a final draft to publish and share with the teacher and family members using the share options.

What’s Next?

Supplementary activities include the following:

  • Have pairs of students take a picture of themselves doing an action as material for another pair of students to write a cinquain.
  • Do a class poetry reading of all of the cinquains to another class to the beat of an instrumental song.

 

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Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

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Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

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Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Lani deGuia is a teacher, instructional technologist, and social media manager.  She has over 13 years of educational experience in traditional and online classroom settings for both K-12 and adult learners. She currently works in digital content and strategy for businesses and personally blogs at Rose Tinted Traveler.

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Write an Earth Day Journal

Subject:  Language Arts, Science

Grades:  3-8

Overview

Students will create a daily log of their activities that help preserve the environment and planet.

Background

There is no day better than Earth Day, April 22nd, to start developing habits of Eco-awareness and environmental responsibility.  In our daily activities, students can make choices and take simple actions to preserve the environment.  This can include recycling, turning off light switches, and not letting the faucet run unnecessarily.  It’s important for students to be cognizant of their choices and their consequences.

The Activity

Explain to students that our simple actions and choices can have impactful consequences.  Brainstorm as a class the many ways students can help the environment both at home and at school.  From this brainstorming, instruct students to do the following:

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  1. Take a picture of themselves to serve as the prompt for their Earth Day journal.  The picture can be a profile picture or a picture of them doing an action that is environmentally conscious.
  2. Each day, give students journal time to list all of the things they did both at home and school that helped the environment.  They should then write a reflection on how it helped and any other personal thoughts.
  3. At the end of a week of journaling, students should share highlights of their journal entries to a partner.  While one is listening, students can write any new ideas and strategies they can implement in their own lives.
  4. The journal writing can continue throughout a related unit or for a single week.

What’s Next?

Supplementary activities include:

  • Create an awareness poster where students share at least one easy strategy that can be done to save the planet.
  • Create a mini-commercial for the school’s morning announcements to teach the student body tips on Eco-friendly choices.  Students can write it up I the Write About This app and use the audio feature to record the commercial.

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Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

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Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

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Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Lani deGuia is a teacher, instructional technologist, and social media manager.  She has over 13 years of educational experience in traditional and online classroom settings for both K-12 and adult learners. She currently works in digital content and strategy for businesses and personally blogs at Rose Tinted Traveler.

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Five Earth Day Writing Activities

With Earth Day approaching on April 22nd, classrooms across the country are abuzz with preparation and activity in learning about environmental awareness.  This is an opportune time to get students interested in saving the environment as well as collectively acting to make change on resolving environmental issues.

Here are five ways to get students engaged in environmental education using the Write About This app.

  1. Environmental Photo Walk:  Take a photo walk and capture an image of something that is damaging the environment.  Have students write about ways someone their age and their families can work to prevent or resolve the issue.
  2. Our Beautiful World:  Find an image in the Write About This app gallery that shows something we need to protect in the environment.  Research and respond to why it needs to be preserved and protected.
  3. Environmental Awareness Commercial:  Have students take a photo of themselves participating in an Eco-conscious activity.  Write the content of a commercial explaining what everyone can do to save the planet.  They can then use the audio feature of the app to record a “radio commercial” to share with others.
  4. Encyclopedia of Eco-friendly Products:  Have students bring in and/or take a picture of an Eco-friendly product they find or use in their homes.  Have them research how the product helps in preserving the Earth and complete an “encyclopedia entry” describing the product and it’s benefits.  The entries can be shared via email and the teacher can compile them for a class resource.

Letter to the Editor

5.  Letter To The Editor:  Have students take a picture or find a picture of a local environmental concern or issue.  Provide class time to complete research on the issue, including consequences and ways the community can help to resolve it.  They can then write a “letter to the editor” explaining the need for citizens to be called to action.

 

No matter what Earth Day writing project your students embark on, consider sharing their Write Abouts with an audience outside your classroom so that their voices can be heard! They are the future leaders who will ensure our natural resources are protected in the decades to come.

Lani deGuia is a teacher, instructional technologist, and social media manager.  She has over 13 years of educational experience in traditional and online classroom settings for both K-12 and adult learners. She currently works in digital content and strategy for businesses and personally blogs at Rose Tinted Traveler.

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MS/HS Poetry Collaboration

Subject:  English/Language Arts

Grades:  6-12

Creating sophisticated poetry can be an intimidating challenge for some at the middle at the high school levels.  Students may hit a complete road block when trying to get started on choosing a theme for their poem or even selecting the most effective words to articulate their verse.  Exquisite Corpse is a collaborative poetry game that can get students past their initial intimidation.  Coupled with the Write About This app, it may even help them realize how the arrangement of simple words can make amazing poetry!

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The Activity

Depending on the comfort and experience level of the students, the Exquisite Corpse game can be set up in different ways.  The premise of the game is based on participants contributing a word or line(s) of text after seeing only a concealed portion of preceding words/text.  The end result is a collaborative poem in which the theme, text, and flow is a surprise to the entire group.

Key Procedures for a Successful Poetry Collaborative

  1. Have small groups of students choose a Write About This image prompt or create a Custom prompt as a fundamental starting point for the collaborative poem.
  2. Students decide on a format for the lines of their poem.  This can include adjective, noun, verb, adjective, noun and so forth.
  3. Developing writers can create their poem by contributing words (and even include current vocabulary words!).  More comfortable writers can contribute single or multiple lines of text each.
  4. Conduct the game round in a “pass the iPad” fashion.  The first student can write their initial word/poem line in the Write About This app and pass the iPad to the next person.
  5. Remember that students must “conceal” everything written for the next writer except for the previous word/poetry lines that were just written.  This can be done by entering lines in the Write About This app or physically covering what was written with a piece of paper.
  6. Consider setting a time limit to create the poem.  This can range from 10 minutes to a little longer depending on the student level.  Remember that students are to exercise their focus on creating a single word/line from the preceding, so there shouldn’t be a need to give an extensive amount of time for the entire exercise.

The Product

Choose one reader to read the finished collaborative poem to the group.  The poem can be shared through the Write About This app to teachers and parents either as plain text or with an audio recitation by the group or a single student!

What’s Next?

Supplementary extension activities can include:

  • Have a poetry reading for the whole class and invite guests to hear the collaborative poems.  This can include other classes, parents, and community authors/poets.
  • Upload shared Write Abouts with audio recordings to class or student blogs, YouTube channel, or another online showcase.
  • Have students create an illustration for their poem.
  • Complete a poetry analysis activity with students regarding poems of other groups.  They can respond to questions based on the current poetry unit of study and identify elements such as similes, metaphors, alliteration, etc.

 

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Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.4
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.5
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Lani deGuia is a teacher, instructional technologist, and social media manager.  She has over 13 years of educational experience in traditional and online classroom settings for both K-12 and adult learners. She currently works in digital content and strategy for businesses and personally blogs at Rose Tinted Traveler.

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