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Poetry in minutes

February 23, 2011

I have not featured Scholastic in several weeks so it’s time to draw your attention back to their outstanding activity-rich website. Today I am recommending their Poetry Idea Engine. This tool allows students to write free verse, haiku, limericks, and more in just moments with just the click of a mouse. Students simply choose the type of poem they want to write and the engine will walk them through the steps to complete it. Students also get sample poems for each style and information about the form and characteristics of each. 

In order to write their own poems (except for free verse), students choose from words and phrases that pop up on the screen. So, any learner needs only to move & click the mouse to be a poet.

For some students, this will be a great warm-up activity to prepare for independent writing but for others, this may be a substitute for independent writing. Some learners with disabilities, for example, may not be able to write on their own at all but may be able to indicate which type of poem they want to write and communicate the selection of individual words. This site is a great tool for those learners as it helps them create a piece of writing with a very simple motor movement. Of course, if you have students who cannot manipulate a mouse, you can even adapt that piece. Simply take the word choices offered on screen and put them on a device or on index cards. Then, students can choose their word with eye gaze or pointing.

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