The Learning Hub

Found Poems in the iPad Classroom

Subject:  English/Language Arts

Grades:  3-12

Words are all around us, but can you find words and put them together to make an interesting piece of poetry?  Whether you are teaching limericks, rhyme, haikus or free verse, students can stretch their brains in finding unique and creative ways to use the words they find in their classrooms (or the school)!


The Activity

In this critical thinking activity, students will search and gather words around them and use the Write About This app to to create a poem.  This can be done individually, pairs, or in a group of three.  The teacher will give an allotted amount of time for students to “collect” words around them and then move to arranging and adding to their collected words to create a poem.

Key Procedures for Creating a “Found” Poem

  1. Have assigned groups of students jot down words from their surroundings.  You can grant them permission to go around the school if you’d like.  Encourage students to look inside their personal belongings, books, notebooks, signs around the room.  Emphasize to them that the more creative the words are, the more potential they have  for an amazing poem!
  2. Give students time to share their found words/images with each other.  Assign one student to record the words in the Write About This app.
  3. Instruct students to decide which words they may like to use and which ones they may wish to discard.  By looking at their collected list of words, they may find a theme appear that they would like to pursue!
  4. Give students time to create and write their poem.  This can be done in the Write About This app on another iPad if students are working in pairs or triads.

Found Poem

The Product

Students will create a poem comprised of key words they found around them.  They can recite this poem to the class, make an audio recording with the Write About This app, and share it with the teacher and parents!

What’s Next?

Supplementary extension activities can include:

  • Have a poetry reading in the school library and invite other classes (or younger classes) to hear the poetry!
  • Have students compile images they collected of the words/text along with the Write About to make a visual collage of their poem using an app like Pic Collage.  The collage can also include images that can enhance the theme and meaning of the poem.  This can be displayed while students are reciting their poems for the poetry reading.


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.3 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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