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Electronic Poetry Project

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Keywords: Digtal Project, Poetry, ENGLISH, FLIP
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Reading, Writing, Podcasting, Technology, Video
Grades 6 through 12
School: Pompano Beach High School, Pompano Beach, FL
Planned By: Sandy Melillo
Original Author: Sandy Melillo, Pompano Beach
Because most of our computers are Apple, much of the software mentioned in this lesson plan is Apple-based. However, this project can easily be duplicated using similar PC associated programs.

As a prelude to this project and a way to train students in the use of all the possible software available, students choose a poem from a particular literary time period, such as the Harlem Renaissance, for which they must research and download suitable pictures (or shoot or create their own) and add them to iPhoto. Internet websites often contain suitable pictures, but this is a good opportunity to discuss copyright rules and guide students to legal public domain sites. In many cases this influences them to create their own images. Then they must create their own music that reflects the mood of their poem. Garage Band is a wonderful tool that not only allows students to create their own music, but also allows them to add a voice over (narration) of the poem with the musical background. This can be done by either using the microphone in the computer, which can be difficult in a noisy class, or using a Flip camera to record a voice over, loading it into Garage Band as an MP4 and deleting the video portion. Once the music and voice over are create in Garage Band, they can be sent to iTunes and converted into an MP3 and saved for later use either in iMovie or Powerpoint as an audio file. If students use IMovie, Powerpoint, or Windows Movie Maker, the video/photo and audio files can be easily brought in for editing. If this is a group project, each student can have a different responsibility according to his or her strengths. By using jump drives, each student can create his or her section on a laptop and add it to the movie program later. If students are using iMovie, the editing tabs of audio files will show the created music/voiceover file in iTunes and the photos or video shots loaded from the Flip camera stored in iPhoto. All programs are interactive for easy operations in editing. It is much easier to lay down the audio tracks and then edit the video/photos to match the sound. Finally, character generation, sometimes labeled as "titles' can allow adding the actual word of the poem overlayed in the photos. In Powerpoint, an individual slide can be created for each line of the poem and sond files can be added. However, it is important that a folder is made for a Powerpoint project that will include the project and the sound files so they can be accessed.
After students have created this project to present to the entire class using the whiteboard, they are ready to develop a presentation individually, this time creating an original poem. These presentations particularly fulfill Florida Sunshine State Standards Benchmarks LA.910.3.5.1, The student will prepare writing using technology in a format appropriate to the purpose (e.g., for display, multimedia); LA.910.6.3.2, The student will ethically use mass media and digital technology in assignments and presentations, citing sources according to standardized citation styles and LA.910.6.4.1,The student will use appropriate available technologies to enhance communication and achieve a purpose (e.g., video, digital technology) which fall specifically under writing skills utilizing technology.
When they are able to display their own work, this kind of personalization really engages them. With so much current emphasis on standardized testing, student-directed, technology-driven instruction allows students to gain lasting knowledge in a creative manner.
This particular project can be adapted to any curriculum to present a historical time period, a series of statistical data, a biological process, an environmental issue or whatever fits the vision of the student creator. Infusing technology into a program can only enhance teaching and learning. Saving this project as a Quicktime movie makes it easy to use as a podcast format to use for a school broadcast or on a website.
A step-by-step Powerpoint and description of this process can be accessed on my web page: docmelillo.wordpress.com under the Electronic Poetry Project tab.
All projects can be saved on the 500G external drive to create a collection of poems for future use in English classes and for models for future projects.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This project can be used in history for a "decades" over view; in math to convey a geometric formula with a practical application, in science in environmental issues to show the journey of a poorly discarded item like a six-pack holder. The technology offers student creativity to thrive in any curriculum.
Once students master this projects they could serve as mentors for others to duplicate these, even on the elementary level using whole books as well as poems.
Links: Royalty and fair use laws
Royalty free music
Free photos
Step-by-step project instructions
Instructional videos on software programs
Materials: Flash/USB Drives, Batteries, Tripods, Digital Cameras, Flip Video, Video Cameras, Whiteboards, English/Language Arts, Reading, Literacy, Writing
Other Items: 2 Kodak Easy Share C 140 Digital Camera, $84.88 each, total of $169.76
5 Laptops Macbooks, $949 each, total of $4745.00
10 Flip Cameras on sale @ 2/$150 (usually $150), $150 each, total of $1500.00
1 Verbatim External Drive 500G, $85 each, total of $85.00
10 SanDisk 8G drives, $17 each, total of $170.00