Talking Poetry with Blabberize
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In this lesson students are given the opportunity to be imaginative and expressive through the writing of three types of poems: acrostic, diamante, and theme. Building on their creativity, students then use Blabberize to create Blabbers of one of their poems. Sharing their Blabbers with the class and online community will make the students more excited about writing poetry as well as providing practice of technology skills.
- Blabberize: Students will use this online web tool to record their poems, upload a picture, and add a mouth to that picture.
From Theory to Practice
The use of Blabberize in the classroom supports the NCTE Definition of 21st Century Literacies. According to this definition, developing technology skills is critical to becoming a literate person; therefore, exposure to online tools, such as Blabberize is a vital part of the classroom experience. Additionally, this online web 2.0 tool supports the definition which state that students should create multi-media text that can be shared globally. Likewise, Parr and Campbell, who believe poetry is an important part of curriculum because students experience the connection between reading and writing, propose that students need to opportunitie sto share their own poetry. Blabberize provides the opportunity for students to share both in and outside of the classroom.
Common Core Standards
This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.
This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.
NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts
- 1. Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
- 2. Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.
- 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
- 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
- 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
- 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
Materials and Technology
- Classroom computer with projection capabilities and speakers
- Computers with Internet capabilities, headphones, and microphones
- Document camera (optional)
- Chart paper, chalkboard, or whiteboard
At this website students will bring their poetry to life using a mouth placed on a digital image. They will record their poems and the mouths will then move with the text.
Using The Children’s Archive selection of this website, one will search for recorded poems according to theme, form, or author.
This website has recordings of copyright free poetry, tongue-twisters, and nursery rhymes.
This website will provide examples of the three types of poetry the students will write.
Nesbitt provides detailed instructions and more examples of how to write an acrostic poem.
This website can be used for images, and most are copyright cleared with credits provided.
Copyright-friendly images can be found at this website that targets teachers and students.
Free photos can be found at this website.
- Sign up for a free account at Blabberize, and familiarize yourself with Blabberize using the Blabberize Instructions printout. Depending on the technology skills of your students, you might want to make one copy of this printout for each student.
- Students who have email addresses will be able to create their own accounts, but for those students who do not have email addresses, create an email account at any provider for class use. Use that email account to create a class account for Blabberize.
- Decide where you will post the students’ finished products. One possibility is to create a classroom wiki at Wikispaces, another free resource. Websites that will be used in the lesson can also be posted here.
- If a classroom wiki is not established, make one copy per student of the Image Websites printout.
- Reserve time in your school’s computer lab or library for three sessions.
- Select at least three recorded poems from the websites The Poetry Archive and/or Repeat After Us.com that will be shared with the students in Session One.
- If a document camera is available, choose at least three poems from Poetry Books with Good Illustrations printout to share. If a document camera is not available, find images to show with three more of the recorded poems at the aforementioned websites.
- Choose at least three poems from Blabberize by using the search words “poems” or “poetry” that will share as examples of the finished project. These Blabbers illustrate various success: Cupcakes (a diamante poem), Candy Canes (a shape poem), Solid (an acrostic poem), Poetry Project, and The Rock.
- Check that the student interactives Acrostic Poems, Diamante Poems, and Theme Poems will work on the classroom and library or lab computers. Flash Player is required for all interactives to work, and Technical support is available for the Flash plug-in.
- Make one copy of the following printouts for each student: Acrostic Discussion Questions, Diamante Discussion Questions, Blabberize Rubric, Acrostic Poem, Diamante Poem, and Theme Poem Rubric.
- create an acrostic, diamante, and theme poem, following the correct formats.
- create a Blabber of one of their poems using Blabberize.
Session One: Introduction
- Begin by playing at least three of the selected recorded poems from The Poetry Archive and/or Repeat After Us.com. After each poem, pause to ask the students for their reactions to the poems and to the readers.
- What do they imagine in their minds as they hear the poems?
- What words help provide these images?
- What feelings do they have as they listen to the poems?
- What do they like or dislike about the poem?
- Is the reader speaking clearly and loudly?
- Does the reader help set the mood of the poem?
- How is the speaker’s pace of the poem?
- If a document camera is available, show and read three poems from the Poetry Books with Good Illustrations printout. If a document is not available, share three more recorded poems and project images for each poem. Discuss how viewing images while listening changes the experience and if the images match the poems.
- Introduce the students to the Blabberize website by showing at least three examples of poems. These Blabbers could be used:
- Cupcakes (a diamante poem)
- Candy Canes (a shape poem)
- Solid (an acrostic poem)
- Poetry Project
- The Rock
- Explain to the students that these end products are called Blabbers. Discuss which Blabbers are most successful. Ask students to consider the following:
- Is the poem interesting?
- Does the image match the poem?
- Does the mouth position need adjustment?
- Does the reader speak clearly and loudly?
- Does the speaker use effective pauses to help comprehension of the poem?
- Is the mood of the poem reflected in the speaker’s tone?
- Share with the students that they will create Blabbers for their own poems. Explain that first they will write three poems, and then each student will choose his/her best poem to create a Blabber.
- Give the students the Blabberize Rubric and together grade one of the sample Blabbers.
- After evaluating the Blabber, ask students to summarize what makes a good Blabber. Be sure they mention the following:
- Good pacing
- Speaking clearly
- Mouth placement
- Voice tone matches the tone of the poem
- An interesting poem
Session Two: What is an Acrostic Poem?
- Project the website Different Types of Poems for Kids and read the acrostic poem aloud. Together examine the poem considering the following:
- What is the subject for this poem?
- What is the format?
- What images come to mind?
- What words create these images?
- Project the webpage How to Write an Acrostic at Ken Nesbitt’s Poetry4Kids.com to explain five steps for writing this type of poetry.
- Choose a topic
- Write the word vertically down the left side of the paper.
- Brainstorm about the topic.
- Experiment to fit those ideas to the letters of the topic
- Fill in the other letters to complete the poem.
- Project the Acrostic Poems student interactive on the whiteboard. Together as a class choose a short word to create an acrostic poem. If students have more ideas than the space provided for brainstorming, record these additional ideas on chart paper, chalkboard, or whiteboard. When completed, print the poem and post in the classroom to serve as an example.
- As a class, discuss what other words could be the topics of their poems. As students provide suggestions, record these topics on chart paper, a chalkboard, or a whiteboard so that students can refer to this list for Sessions 3 and 4, too.
- Hand out the Acrostic Poem printout and instruct each student to write his/her topic vertically down the side of the paper. Then tell the students to turn over the paper and brainstorm about their topics.
- After brainstorming, students are ready to fill in their poems. Help those who have trouble moving their brainstormed list into the poem. Also, question students about their word choice to express the tone of their poems.
- Assign students to finish their poems on paper for Session Three.
Session Three: What is a Diamante Poem?
- Provide each student with a copy of the printout Acrostic Discussion Questions. Divide the class into partners. Instruct students to do the following:
- Read their poems aloud to each other.
- Use the discussion questions to talk about each other’s poems.
- Revise their poems.
- Ask for volunteers to share their acrostic poems with the entire class. Question if the poem were to become a Blabber, what digital image could be used. Remind students that any image can be Blabberized, so that, for example, even a basketball can have a mouth.
- Explain that in this session students will write diamante poems, another type of poem that, like the acrostic poem, has a very specific format.
- Project the student interactive Diamante Poems. Show the examples and ask students to examine the lines closely to find the pattern for the format of this type of poem.
- First and seventh lines are nouns, either synonyms or antonyms.
- Second line is two adjectives describing the noun in line one.
- Third line is three verbs ending in –ing and describing the noun in line one.
- Fourth line is a four-word phrase.
- Fifth line is three verbs ending in –ing anddescribing the noun in the seventh line.
- Sixth line is two adjectives describing the noun in the seventh line.
- Review the meaning of the words synonym and antonym, too.
- Choose a topic from the brainstormed list created in Session 2 and then invite students to brainstorm about this topic. Record their ideas on the chart paper, the chalkboard, or the whiteboard. Then use the student interactive together to write a synonym diamante poem and then an antonym diamante poem on the brainstormed topic. When completed, print both poems and post in the classroom to serve as examples.
- Hand out the printout Diamante Poem and explain to the students they can write either a synonym or antonym diamante poem. Ask the students to turn the printouts face down and first brainstorm about their topics. For those students who have trouble deciding what to write about, refer them to the topic list created in Session 2.
- After brainstorming, invite students to fit their ideas to the diamante form. As students work, check that their word choices fit the format. For example, that the second and sixth lines are made up of adjectives. Assist students who are having trouble fitting the pattern. Also, encourage students to use vivid descriptive words to produce clear images.
- Assign students to finish their diamante poem on paper for Session Four.
Session Four: What is a Theme Poem?
- Provide each student with a copy of the printout Diamante Discussion Questions. Divide the class into partners. Instruct students to do the following:
- Read their poems aloud to each other
- Use the discussion questions to talk about each other’s poems.
- Revise their poems.
- Ask for volunteers to share their diamante poems with the entire class and discuss what images would be needed to Blabberize these poems.
- Explain to the class that today they will write theme poems that do not have a specific form, but like diamante poems and acrostic poems, this type of poetry has specific characteristics.
- If projection is not available in the computer lab or library, complete this step in the classroom. Project the student interactive Theme Poems and put in the name box the class’s name and click Continue. Read the apple poem and then together examine the format and characteristics of the example. Discuss the following:
- The image is the topic of the poem.
- This example rhymes but that is not necessary.
- The poem is written in lines, not prose form.
- Click Select a Theme and briefly preview the themes and types of shapes that are available. Choose a shape and then ask students to think of words and phrases to complete the eight blanks. If students have more ideas than the space provided, record these additional ideas on chart paper, chalkboard, or whiteboard. Together transform the brainstormed ideas into a poem. When completed, model for the students how to save the poem as well as print the poem. Post the class poem to serve as an example.
- Allow students time to work with the student interactive. Encourage them to brainstorm on their topics and use paper for extra ideas that will not fit in the student interactive.
- As students work, encourage students to think about their choice of words to reflect the mood and meaning of their poems.
- At the end of the session, remind students to save and print their poems.
Session Five: Creating a Blabber
- Divide the class into partners. Handout and discuss the Theme Poem Rubric. Ask the students to read their poems aloud to each other and evaluate them using the rubric. Remind students they may revise their writing after this evaluation. Model for students how to open the file they saved during Session Four if they want to revise.
- Remind students they will be making a Blabber using one of their poems. The first step then is for the students to decide which poem to use; assist those students who have trouble making this decision.
- Discuss with the students what type of images they will need to find for their Blabbers. Remind them that the image should reflect not only the topic of the poem but also the mood.
- Model for students how to find and save an image. Suggest students use the Image Websites (in my book trailer lesson) for copyright-free images.
- Using the Blabberize Instructions, model for students how to create a Blabber.
- Give students time to work on their Blabbers. Students who have their own email addresses can create accounts. For those who do not, share the created class login.
- As students work, assist students who might have trouble deciding on an image. Question students why they choose their images so that students consider if their images match their poems. Help students who might have trouble with the creating the mouths of their objects. As students record, listen for clarity and volume.
- Remind students they will share their Blabbers in Session Seven, and they can work outside of the classroom since Blabberize is internet-based.
Session Six: Working on Blabbers
- Model for students how to open their Blabbers so that they can edit and complete.
- When students have finished, pair students together to watch each other’s Blabbers and evaluate them using the Blabberize Rubric.
- Allow time for students to revise their Blabbers after the partner evaluation.
- If a class wiki has been established, post the links to each student’s Blabber.
- Again remind students they will share their Blabbers in Session Seven, and they can work outside of the classroom since Blabberize is internet-based.
Session Seven: Sharing
- Have each student share his or her Blabber.
- Allow time for students to comment on each other’s projects as well as choice of images.
- When all are done, give students time to answer some of the reflective questions in writing from the Assessment section. Then invite students to share their answers in a class discussion.
- If a class wiki has been created, encourage the students to share these with members of their families. Connect the class wiki to the school’s website so that the community at large can enjoy the poetry.
- Before creating their Blabbers, introduce the students to other types of poems, such as in the lesson Creating Classroom Community by Crafting Themed Poetry Collections.
- Let the students draw their own pictures for their poems. Using digital cameras, take pictures of their artwork and upload these to Blabberize.
- Have additional books from the Poetry Books with Good Illustrations printout in the classroom and encourage students to read these.
- Share the students’ poems with a younger class at school.
- Invite parents to a Poetry Coffeehouse and share the students’ work.
- Promote the class wiki page to the school community at large, so that others can enjoy the students’ finished projects.
- Encourage students to bring to life more than one of their poems using Blabberize.
Student Assessment / Reflections
- Assess the students’ finished products using the Blabberize Rubric.
- Examine the students’ poems, checking for each poem’s specific characteristics.
- Ask the students to explain in a few sentences the relationship between the image chosen and the poem.
- After all Blabbers have been presented, ask students to reflect on the learning experience by having them complete one or more of the following prompts.
- Because of this project, I learned ____________ about technology.
- Because of this project, I learned _____________ about poetry.
- I want to know more about _____________.