Thursday, March 20, 2008

Adding Voice and Visuals to Poetry

During past poetry units, I have had students write their own poetry on a variety of subjects and then compile all of the poems together at the end in one big, creative poetry portfolio. Last year, I had the students podcast one of their poems (Period 2 and Period 5) as well as post at least one of their poems on the blog postings throughout our poetry unit Cut-up sonnet, Oprah Winfrey Poem, Metaphor 1, Metaphor 2, and Metaphor 3, Persuasive Poem, and Table of Contents Poem.

This year Maura and I had them complete some of the same poems ( Oprah Winfrey, Persuasive Poem, Table of Contents Poem) and we also added some new poems ( Dark Room Poem, Homonym Poem). I also had the kids post all of their poems as comments so that they could see one anothers' work. At the end of the unit, the students even commented each others' work under each poetry assignment.

After they completed writing each of their personal poems, the students were introduced to Voice Thread. They received some basic instruction and a couple of handouts here and here. The students were then to take one poem and through voice, images, and their own personal writing, make their poetry come alive.

Here are the wiki links to their Voice Threads (Period 2 and Period 5) . Please feel free to comment here or leave audio commentary on their Voice Thread works.

With my ninth grade class, we also wrote original poems and posted them online. For their first poem, they completed an I am poem and then added visuals illustrating who they are ( they could use Picasa to create the collage)- because they added images they needed to post this on our class blog rather than as a comment as their other poems were done. They also completed a ballad about school, personified a kitchen utensil, wrote a found poem, and finally they were able to write a free poem. These students also took one of their original poems and produced a Voice Thread original work.

One other assignment that I have always enjoyed completing with my ninth graders is showing them the power of poetry in music. Maura and I developed the assignment called Pop-up Poetry about 9 years ago and it has evolved as technology has evolved. Students select a song that they like and that is school appropriate. They then use PowerPoint to create a presentation showing what poetic devices they found in the song. They are to find at least 12 different poetic devices, 4 facts about the band or artist, and then 4 trivial tidbits or stupid facts that correlate to words in the song. The presentations are always interesting and a good application of poetic deivces with something that kids enjoy. The kids then present their PowerPoints to the class playing the song at the same time. Here are some samples:

Alena V. and Annie S.
Berek M. and Ethan L.
Joey W. and Nowlan S.
Mandi G. and Lauren P.
Angelica O. and Sean B.
Jackie N. and Xavia H.
Kelly S. and Samantha H.
Lauren E.

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