There are so many easy ways to integrate technology into your poetry writing! Many teachers have students type their poetry, but why not add even more technology options for your students? There are a number of free apps and websites that can be used to help students write poetry. Beginner poets will appreciate having the support some site provide, but even more advanced students will enjoy writing their poems with technology. I did find many paid apps, but for this post I only focused on free sites.
I found four iPad apps and three websites that can be easily added to your poetry writing routines.
1. ReadWriteThink Of all the poetry sites and apps I reviewed, ReadWriteThink was by far the most complete and easiest to use. The site is owned by ILA/NCTE and it shows. The interactives are student oriented and guide students through the writing process. The site also labels the appropriate grade levels for its eight different poetry activities. For example, the Haiku Poem Interactive starts by explaining what a haiku is, then it has students brainstorm words and track the number of syllables in each word. On the last page, students fill in the haiku template and track the correct number of syllables for each line. I highly recommend ReadWriteThink to teachers of all grade levels.
Poetry Creator is a decent free app. It is set up like a drawer of word magnets. The user creates a poem from the word magnets provided, or words can be taken from the word drawer or credits can be used to add a custom word. Words are limited to the free “dictionaries” provided, or the user has to buy more dictionaries. Credits can be earned, but if the app is used frequently, I can see that buying credits would become necessary to write poems that make sense. This is a nice app, but I believe in the long run it would end up costing money to buy more dictionaries and credits.
Rhymer is a useful website. It is a rhyming dictionary, but what I really liked about this site was that users can choose what type of rhyme they need. The site has six rhyming types: end, last syllable, double, triple, beginning, and first syllables. Having the ability to search by the type of rhyme sets this site apart from other rhyming dictionaries.
Rhymers Block is an app that is basically a rhyming dictionary. It is free and fairly easy to use. Users type in a word and the app pops up possible rhyming words. What it doesn’t differently from a rhyming dictionary is save the writer’s work. So, if I wanted to use it to write a rhyming poem, I could actually write the poem and save it in the app. It makes editing easier because it will then allow you to look up rhyming words for the words in your poem. It also allows you to share your poems, but I am not sure if users can control who sees their work. Caution: you can turn off “show curses, ” but an enterprising student could easily turn them back on.
The poetry interactive run by Scholastic is nice, but it is more of a plug and write activity. Whereas ReadWriteThink actually guides students to write their own poems, the Scholastic site has poems and students select words to complete the poems. This site features limericks, cinquain, haiku, and free verse. The site is labeled interactive whiteboard ready. This is one perk that might make the site attractive to teachers. It is also good for younger students or struggling poetry writers.
Experience Haiku is another site that allows users to finish a poem, but not write their own poem. I included it because it is free and it does force users to fit the syllable requirement. However, I found the app hard to read because the background is gray and the words are so small. It is a free option, but I would honestly go to ReadWriteThink or Scholastic before using this app.
Imagine trying to write a poem by clicking on words that are quickly flowing down the page. That is exactly what it is like to use Haiku Popper. I found this app to be very frustrating until I figured out how to turn off the timer. It’s free, and it is a bit like a game, but otherwise this app really did not do anything to help me understand haiku. For educational purposes, this app is not really helpful.
What are your favorite ways to integrate technology into your poetry writing?