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Electronic Poetry Project

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Keywords: Poetry, Literature, Writing, Digital Presentation
Subject(s): Technology, Writing, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades 6 through 12
School: Pompano Beach High School, Pompano Beach, FL
Planned By: Sandy Melillo
Original Author: Sandy Melillo, Pompano Beach

Phase I of this lesson plan will be divided into 3 stages:
1) Hands-on overview of project process
2) Training on copyright policies and utilizing internet for research
3) Creating an electronic poetry project of using a poem by a researched poet

• Students will participate in technology-driven project-based learning
• Students will participate in collaborative groups
• Students will utilize several types of presentation software to create an electronic project
• Students will utilize the internet to research the poetry by poets from a particular era, literary
time period or geographical location
• Students will share their presentations with peers to enhance the student-as-teacher experience

• 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
• 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.

• A computer connected to an LCD projector, TV monitor, or electronic whiteboard.
• Laptop cart or 5 computers (or one computer) with internet access and presentation software
such as Powerpoint®/Keynote®, iPhoto®/Picasa®, Garage Band®/Audacity®, iMovie®/Windows Movie Maker®.
• An external drive or thumb drives to save projects.

• Part 1- One 60-90 minute class period
• Part 2- One 60-90 minute class period
• Part 3- 3 to 5 60-90 minute class periods depending upon the number of a computers

• Recordable CDs to save projects if computers have recorder drives
• All work will be executed on computers and saved to drives or CDs

Part I
1. Using demonstration and sample materials shown in Powerpoint® on Doc Melillo website
http://docmelillo.wordpress.com , allow selected students to create a mini- electronic poetry
project. (See Handout #1)
• Follow instructions in Powerpoint if using Mac® equipment and software.
- Choose one student to download 4 pictures- Red Wheelbarrow-Rain-Chickens-William Carlos
- Open iMovie (06). Create a new project and name it: The Red Wheelbarrow
- Have student add pictures to Clip tray. Save.
- Have another student go into Garage Band and create a new project.
- Using Loops, drag 3 sets of Cool Upright Bass o4 to 1st track
- Create 2nd track of 3 Lounge Jazz Drums 02
- End music with Single Ride Cymbal 02 added to end of Bass track.
- Share to iTunes naming as RW or save in Garage Band®.
- Go back to Media in iTunes and locate RW and drag to 2nd audio track in timeline mode.
- Have picture student drag pictures from tray to video line in order- RW, Rain, Chickens, WCW. Save.
- Have a student go to media tab and record a voiceover of poem on handout #1.
- Have student adjust length of pictures to match the poem by clicking on clip and putting
Playhead where a cut is desired. Go to edit and click on split clip. Click on section to remove and
delete it. Save.
- Have another student go into editing tab and under Scrolling Block type in the poem as
it appears on the handout #1. Drag the Scrolling Block words over 1st picture in video line. Save after
it renders. Using Center Title add William Carlos Williams name to his picture. Save
- Have student go to Edit/Transition tab and drag Fade Out to end of project on video. Save.
- Save entire project on a drive or on a CD by using Share as Full Quality QuickTime® Movie if project
is less than one minute. Otherwise save as a CD-Rom QuickTime®. (if you have a DVD save using
iDVD® for better quality than a CD QuickTime® movie.

• This project can also be created in Powerpoint® by making a slide show.
- Find the 4 pictures.
- Make each picture a separate slide.
- Add text to each picture.
- For each picture go to Media tab and Insert sound. You can create a voice-over in Garage Band® or
in Audacity® and save it as an MP3 or .aif file and import it to your Powerpoint.
- Save entire project as a .mov or a .wmv file or just show as a Powerpoint.

• Using a PC requires following the same procedure using Windows Movie Maker for the video and add audio using Audacity®. Check http://docmelillo.wordpress.com for flipcharts and instruction packets on how to use the following software:
• iPhoto® • Powerpoint® • Keynote® • Audacity®
• iMovie • Windows Movie Maker® • Garageband®
www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZXK68NS7gU Great Windows Movie Maker® video instruction.
www.wonderhowto.com/how-to/video/how-to-use-audacity-7810/ How to use audacity.
Part 2
If students create their own music using Garage Band® or Audacity®, there is no problem with copyright; however, if they choose to use prerecorded music under their poems, they need to be aware of copyright laws. A wonderful way to review copyright laws is to go to the website http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/documentary-film-program/film/a-fair-y-use-tale It is also on the YouTube web site, but you may not be able to access that. This is a hilarious video made by Stanford Law students using Disney clips. It is about ten minutes. Here is a fact-filled website about public domain and copyright: http://www.pdinfo.com/faq.php Review this with your students.

• Review software procedure with students according to what is available to them. Make appropriate
handouts for them from those available on http://docmelillo.wordpress.com either on the Electronic
Poetry Project page or in the links.
• Using a computer with internet access connected to an LCD projector, TV monitor, or presentation
whiteboard, review how to navigate the web for poetry and pictures depending upon the era, literary time
period, or geographical location from which you want students to choose their poems.
-Public domain picture websites include:
• www.freefoto.com
• www.freedigitalphotos.net
• morguefile.com
• nationalgeographic.com/siteindex/photogallery
• http://etc.usf.edu/fde/
- Good websites to find a wide variety of poems by poets, topics, etc.
• http://www.poets.org/
• famouspoetsandpoems.com
• http://www.poetryfoundation.org
• www.poemhunter.com

Part 3
If students have participated in the demonstration project using “The Red Wheelbarrow” they
will have already gone through all the steps to complete an Electronic Poetry Project. Now it
is time to actually create their own by choosing a poem as the focus of this project. The
instructor may either give students a list of appropriate poems from which to choose or better
yet, have students choose their own from their research based upon a particular time period,
theme, or from whatever parameters are set up by the instructor. Here is the process of creating and Electronic Poetry Project as indicated in Handout #1.
1. Choose a poem from a variety of literary internet resources and save a copy of the poem to your jump
2. Read the poem carefully to analyze the meaning that the poet is trying to convey. Research
authoritative critical studies for support.
3. Decide upon what kind of images would best convey your poem.
4. Either shoot digital photos/videos of your own or download copyright free images from websites onto
your jump drive or desktop in a folder labeled by the title of your poem.
5. You should also load these pictures into iPhoto or any appropriate photo program for later use. Crop
or edit them as needed before you load them into your project software.
6. Choose or create music that matches the theme and tone of your poem. You can access one of the
websites containing public domain music. They are listed in the Bibliography.
7. If you choose to create your own music, follow the directions for using Garage Band and export
your song to iTunes®. Tutorials and handouts for instructions are on docmelillo.wordpress.com
8. Create a project in iMovie® or Windows Movie Maker® and label it as the title of your
9. Lay down a voice-over of your poem in the audio track. SAVE.
10. Add appropriate photos or video to match the voice-over and edit them to fit audio and
video. Make sure you adjust the timing for any added transitions. SAVE.
11. Overlay the character generation of the actual poem on the video/pictures making sure the timing
matches both audio and video. SAVE.
12. Add your music to a second audio track and make sure it does not overpower your voice
over. SAVE.
13. View the entire project for timing and audio/visual quality, making the necessary
adjustments. SAVE final project as a podcast or Quicktime/WMV movie to your drive for
future viewing and recording for a CD or DVD. If your project is less than a minute, save
as full quality for best presentation.

After all projects have been saved on the external drive either as Quicktime movies, WMVs or directly from the editing programs, the drive should be attached to a presentation computer and projector so that peers may evaluate the work. This presentation may be utilized as a “first draft” round, so that projects may be evaluated and adjusted as necessary for a final assessment. The rubric handout can be used by both students and teachers for this process.

PC laptops can range from $250-$500 and can use Powerpoint or Windows Movie Maker. If school has computers available, then they can be removed from the budget,
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Math: Geometric formulas offer many creative possibilities for pictures in the shape of certain objects and creative students could compose appropriate music for their project.
Social Studies: A “decades” project that includes music and photos/videos of a particular era with the following: Informative voice-overs would be an exciting way to “live” history.
Science: Even movies are now emphasizing the danger of pollution on animals (Happy Feet) Students could show the journey of a poorly discarded six-pack holder to an animal.
Foreign Language: Students could create an overview of a particular country including phots and music.
1. Grades K-5
Instead of creating projects of entire poems, students could create a slide show of reading words with appropriate pictures, a voice-over of a student pronouncing the word, and even music playing under the slide or a sound effect that would be appropriate to that word. For example:
The sound effect may be “Meow” and a splash or the music of Leroy Anderson’s “The Waltzing Cat.”
Students could bring in their own photos to scan into the project. Putting a reading list into a Powerpoint® presentation that the students themselves have designed would be fun and engaging.

Phase II of this project follows the same procedure and includes the same objectives; however, this time the students create poetry projects using their own original poems. In this phase, digital cameras and/or video cameras are much more likely to be used due to the personal nature of these poems. This phase is also more likely to elicit more individual projects than group projects.
Links: Website with instructions and handouts
Poetry website
Public domain photos
Public domain music
Video instruction for software
Materials: Video Cameras, Flip Video, Digital Cameras, Point and Shoot, Short Throw Projectors, Digital Voice Recorders, DVD/VCR Players, Video Tools, Camera/Video Accessories, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Batteries, Memory Cards, CDs and DVDs, Cables, English/Language Arts, Reading, Writing, Office Suite, Art Tools, Podcasting, Inspiration, Slideshow, Clip Art, Screen Capture, Animation, Pro Composition, Midi Instruments, Integrating Technology
Other Items: 1 Macbook Intel core dual, $949 each, total of $949.00
4 Flip cameras @2 for $150, $150 each, total of $600.00
4 Kodak easy share digital camera, $84.88 each, total of $339.52
1 Portable hard drive 1TB, $100 each, total of $100.00
5 Flashdrives 2-4 GB, $9 each, total of $45.00
100 DVD-R, $16 each, total of $1600.00