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Mar 29, 2022

Teach Students to 'Be a Poet and Video It'

Olivia Nelson
PD Specialist

Spring is here and what better way to celebrate than with National Poetry Month. The monthlong celebration started 26 years ago as a way to build awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. 

Students of every age study poetry based on the Common Core Standards, but finding creative ways to get students excited about and invested in poetry can sometimes be tricky. 

This month, try adding videos to your poetry month celebrations to get students fired up!🔥🔥 (Speaking of the power of words — listen to author Jake Miller talk about the parallels between Wordle and EdTech below!)

Write and recite ✍️

Start by having your students create their own poetry. They can change the content and style of the poem depending on their grade level. For example, first graders might explore rhyming patterns by creating a poem with rhyming words. High school students can create poems that use different types of figurative language.

Regardless of what kind of poem your students create, they can create a video of themselves reciting the poem.

Have students display their poem on the computer screen, enable the embedded webcam, and record! Once students are done recording, they can use Screencastify to make it even more exciting. Zoom in on certain words and stanzas or even add some exciting text. 

When students have finished creating their videos, you could have them share with a gallery walk. Use the share with QR code option on the Video Management Page to print a QR code for each video. Place the QR codes around the room and students can do a gallery walk to view each other’s creations!

Read a poem 📖

If you have students that don’t want to create their own poetry, have them read someone else’s poem instead!

Using Screencastify Submit, try creating an assignment. Choose a screen and webcam recording so that the video will include the poem on screen and the students’ webcam as they read. In the assignment instructions, add a hyperlink to the poem you would like students to recite. 

When students access the assignment, they will be able to open the poem and read it on camera. You can even choose to adjust the settings to that students can view each others’ videos–then they can see how their friends’ readings may differ from their own. 

Close reading 🔍

Poetry is ripe for close reading–students can examine rhyme, figurative language, tone, and more. For older students especially, video is a great way to do a fun and engaging close reading of a poem. 

Have students create a presentation on their close reading using Google Slides. There are many different ways that students could structure the presentation, but here is one example of some of the slides they could include:

  • Introduction: Background information on the poet as well as when and where the poem was written. This will provide the audience with some good context for their analysis.
  • Structure: Students can examine things like rhyme scheme and stanza structure in this portion of their presentation.
  • Craft: Here, students can examine the actual language in the poem. They can include slides about specific lines or make more general statements about the tone or types of language used.

Bring video to your poetry lessons 🎬

Poetry can be fun for students of all ages and using video is a great way for students to share poetry with each other and the larger community. Bring video to your classroom today and give students the tools to create and build confidence in their creations!

Olivia Nelson
PD Specialist

Former elementary school teacher helping educators use video to enhance the learning experience.