George Lucas Educational Foundation
Technology Integration

Celebrating National Poetry Month with Technology

    Poetry is one of my favorite forms of writing. As I wrote in a recent blog post, there was a time when poetry was "my grounding force, my way of grappling with the world, questions, uncertainty, joy, sorrow, conundrums, beauty, ugliness, and all forms of life that living could throw in my direction."

    In 1996, April was named National Poetry Month by the Academy of American Poets to celebrate poetry across the country. If you are planning on incorporating National Poetry Month into your classroom or your school, here are a few of the many great ways to celebrate through the use of technology.

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    1) Scholastic's National Poetry Month Resources

    • Online Poetry Publisher: have your poem published online to Scholastic's site.
    • Poetry Idea Engine: an interactive way to learn about different poetry types and get ideas for building your own. Great for use for modeling on an Interactive Whiteboard before students start writing poetry on their own.
    • Scholastic also offers different ways to bring poets into your classroom through podcasts, interviews and other activities.

    2) Poets.org Listening Booth

    Listen to hundreds of poems read by poets themselves. This is a great way to help model a variety of styles of poetry reading as well as how poets hear poems in their heads. Try having students read a poem out loud before they hear how the author reads it.

    3) The National Poetry Map

    Learn about poets who are from your state and learn about poetry events going on near you.

    4) Poem Flow

    Poem Flow is an app that lets you access poetry through mobile devices in your classroom.

    5) A Poem in Your Pocket

    Don't forget that Thursday, April 26th is Poem in Your Pocket Day! Use your mobile device to record a poem (with apps like iPhone's Voice Memos, iPhone Recorder, or Voice Recorder for Android) or use the Poem Flow app, and play a poem out loud from your mobile device (kept in your pocket!).

    Here is my poem for National Poetry Month. It came to me while sitting in my small Philadelphia back "yard."

    South Philadelphia Evening
    The city is breathing.
    It inhales with the hum of an airplane
    and exhales with a child's laughter.
    I close my eyes and breathe in unison with the distant sound of sirens, a barking dog, and a slamming door
    Soft rhythms in the cool Spring air at dusk.

    In the comments section below, share your strategies for blending poetry with technology -- or share your poems!