Friday, January 29, 2010

2 Fun "Magnetic Poetry" sites

Here are two fun sites which I've used when students complain of "writer's block." They're a simple way to get the creative muscles working again. Fridge Poetry is a simple application that allows you to stick magnetic letters onto a "fridge" to write poetry, short messages, or whatever you like. You also have the option to send your Fridge Poetry to someone else via email.

Another similar site is called Shocked Poetry. This site functions like a virtual magnetic poetry kit. You can create a poem from scratch, start with a theme, or get inspired by others' work that has been saved to the site. You can save your poems to the online gallery or send your work as an e-greeting. I haven't found anything offensive on the site, and since the words for the poems are from a preselected bank, I assume that there aren't any taboo words. I never had an issue when I used this in my high school classes as far as inappropriate content, but you might want to preview it first. I wouldn't recommend Shocked Poetry for lower grades.

How can you use Fridge Poetry and Shocked Poetry in your classroom?

1. Use these sites for brief breaks during an extended creative writing task.

2. Use these sites as warm ups. Set a timer for 3 minutes then have each student share his or her creation. Vote for the best one.

3. Use Shocked Poetry to explain to your writing students that words are tools that all writers manipulate in a different way. By browsing the gallery of poems within a theme, your student will see how many others used (essentially) the same words each in his or her own way.

4. Use Fridge Poetry to leave messages in the voice of either a character in a story your student is reading OR a character from your student's original story.

5. Have students use Fridge Poetry to post comments from characters in your class content, then have other students try to guess who left the message.

6. If your student is having a hard time condensing a line of poetry, have him or her try to revise it using Fridge Poetry.

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