April means a couple of things to educators: poetry and taxes. Although we hate to make any associations between the two, the way we feel about taxes may (unfortunately) mirror the way many of our students feel about poetry. In a recent blog we offered two alternative poetry lessons to make enthusiasts out of even your most reluctant students, but we realized that our technologists may be feeling a bit left out. So here are 5 of our favorite apps for enhancing your April poetry lessons.
5 Apps to Enhance Those Run-of-the-Mill Poetry Lessons
The Poetry App (free)
We’ve always believed that good poetry should be read aloud and it looks like the Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation shares our opinion.
The opening screen of The Poetry App takes you into a cozy, book-lined study, complete with portraits and a crackling fireplace. Tap paintings on the wall and you’ll be able to listen to 30 performers (including Juliet Stevenson, Jeremy Irons, Dan Stevens and Eileen Atkins) as they read work from some of the most beloved poets in history. This is only half of it.
Tap on "My Poems" and you’ll find a template not only to write your own poems, but also to record them and then share (both text and performance) via email. Stuck for a word? There is an "inspire me" button that provides word clouds of poets' favorite vocabulary that just may ignite a creative spark!
Instant Poetry ($2.28)
By providing your students with random words, which they can simply drag and drop onto their screen, Instant Poetry gives your students the creative nudge they need to create their own masterpiece.
After students select a theme, the app’s algorithm provides you with an endless stream of related words. Your students will also enjoy adding their own backdrop photos, customizing font, and having the ability to email their work.
Magnetic Poetry (free)
Magnetized words have found their way onto countless refrigerators and for good reason: they’re a blast. Now your students can have the same fun, but do it online. Like Instant Poetry, this web application allows users to simply drag and drop words. Don’t like the “word hand” you’ve been dealt? No problem, click on “more words,” piece together your poem, and email it when you’re done.
Rhyme Zone (free)
If you’re worried about your students “playing tennis with the net down” and feel, like Robert Frost did, that poems must have form and rhyme, send them over to Rhyme Zone. Your students will appreciate being able to organize the results by syllable and letter. You can also include phrases, which renders some interesting results.
Poetry allows you to take thousands of poems—from Shakespeare to T.S. Eliot and Emily Dickinson—with you wherever you go. We’re particularly fond of the app’s “shuffle effect,” which randomly selects a poem whenever you give your phone a shake.