Looking for some fresh ideas to make virtual poetry interesting? Well, look no further, teacher friend! This post shares 5 engaging digital poetry ideas that you can use with any online learning platform.
PLUS you can grab a FREE digital poetry activity that works great for upper elementary students.
*This post contains affiliate links that pay a small commission if you choose to use them. These links will be disclosed with this #affiliate. Please see the full disclosures here.*
What is Digital Poetry?
Even though the answer to this question may seem obvious to you, I do not want to make any assumptions.
Especially since so many schools and homeschooling parents have redefined the word “digital” for remote learning.
Throughout this post, the phrase “digital poetry” simply means any poetry learning activity that is completed online.
That could look like:
- a Google Slides poetry activity
- a poetry quiz completed through Google Forms
- responding to a poem through a video recording that’s uploaded to Flipgrid
- watching an animated read-aloud book on poems using Vooks (#affiliate)
And guess what?
I am going to talk about several more fun digital poetry ideas below. So, let’s dive into the first one now!
Identifying Poetry in Music
The first in the lineup of digital poetry ideas involves using music!
Many people consider music to be poetry that’s set to a melody and beat anyway. So, this makes it super easy to incorporate into your online poetry lessons.
Here’s how it could work for you:
- Choose popular songs that are kid-friendly or appropriate to use in your classroom.
- Break students into Zoom breakout groups and have them listen to the full song together.
- Then give them a Google slides activity similar to the one shown in the picture below. With it, they can analyze the poetic features of the song.
You could also allow students to choose their own song to analyze.
One thing I love about this digital poetry idea is that I can also include mini-lessons on figurative language since so many songs are filled with figures of speech.
Digital Poetry Vocabulary Puzzle: Drag-and-Drop Activity
The second engaging digital poetry idea you can use is to have students complete a puzzle by matching vocabulary words often used for poems.
For example, do your students know what a stanza is? Do they fully understand rhyme and meter? These may be very helpful for them to learn, especially if you try the music activity mentioned above.
Before I became an online teacher, I would have students do hands-on poetry vocabulary puzzles during our literacy center time.
Now, students will complete the same puzzles in an interactive Google Slides format.
Watch Animated Poetry Videos
Poetry can be serious, funny, or sad. Poetry can also be visual! Which is why I enjoy finding animated poetry videos that students can watch while listening to the poem being read.
Not only does this expose them to different types of poems, but it keeps them engaged during online poetry lessons.
Here are a few good ones that you may want to check out as you plan your next virtual poetry activity:
- The Fish That Couldn’t Climb Trees
- Once I Laughed My Socks Off!
- Hey, Black Child (performed live by a 3-year-old girl–NOT animated)
- Daniel Finds a Poem (a read-aloud poetry book video)
All of the above links are YouTube videos, which some school districts do not allow. If this is the case with your school, you may be able to use the free site Safe Share instead.
I also recommend finding free animated poetry read-alouds through Vooks.
What is Vooks? And How Do I Use It To Teach Digital Poetry?
I love Vooks!
It’s an ad-free library of animated storybooks that turn read-alouds into video content. That’s where the name comes from: video + books= Vooks.
As a part of your virtual poetry time, access the books you want through Vooks and share your screen with students to read along.
This actually works for in-class teaching as well; just show Vooks on your projector or Smartboard to students. This works SO well during transitions when you need students seated and engaged quietly!
I especially like how the words to the story show up on the screen with the animations.
So, if you want to spice up your digital poetry lessons, you can get 30 Days FREE here. (#affiliate)
Do a Poetry Scavenger Hunt with Your Students
Even when you aren’t able to huddle together in small groups, you can still take advantage of fun group activities by using technology.
And scavenger hunts usually amp up the fun factor with almost any lesson.
You can assign students a Poetry Detective Checklist through Google Slides that challenge them to search for elements or figurative language in a poem.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
Another type of digital poetry scavenger hunt can require your students to look for their own poem that they want to share with the class.
Having students search for their own poems may work best for older students, and it will give them more autonomy with their learning.
No matter which type of scavenger hunt you choose, both ideas will keep students engaged with reading different types of poems online.
Incorporate Food as an Object Lesson to Help Students Write Sensory Poems
Ok, confession time…I am a huge foodie! So, when I can find ways to add food to my lessons, it makes everything way more fun!
Which is why I adore combining food with sensory poetry.
Sensory poems focus on writing vivid descriptions with lots of adjectives and other details using your five senses.
You can have your students choose a snack during your Zoom lessons and have them write how it smells, feels, looks, and tastes. They can even include any sounds the food makes as they open the wrapper and eat it.
What makes the lesson even more fun, is when students DO NOT tell what food they ate!
Instead, have them read their poems to the class so that they can guess each other’s snacks based on the poem’s description.
If this sounds like fun to you, I have digital and printable sensory poetry units already made for you to use!
They require no teacher prep except to assign to your students, then watch the poetry fun times roll!
- Digital Sensory Poems Activity (includes poem examples)
- Printable Sensory Poem Writing Unit (has a PowerPoint slideshow with examples of good sensory poems + teacher lesson plans)
More Digital Poetry Ideas
Hopefully, these ideas help you get the ball rolling on your virtual poetry lesson plans.
If you want more general poetry activity ideas–whether you teach online or face-to-face, these posts share several:
- Fun Poetry Activities for Upper Elementary Students
- How I Teach Haiku Poetry
- Poetry Books That Also Celebrate Diversity
In addition to these posts, you can also grab more digital poetry ideas from these resources >> Upper Elementary Digital Poetry Lessons
FREE Digital Poetry Activity
But of course, you could just start with this fun freebie that you can use in your classroom this week!
Once you enter your email address, you’ll get an email with a direct link to the Google Slides poetry activity. So, be sure to use an email address that doesn’t block outside or new senders.
Happy Poetry Teaching
I love all of these ideas, but the scavenger hunt is my favorite. I think it is a fun way to have kids looking closely at a piece of poetry.
I think your students would really enjoy the scavenger hunt too!
I absolutely love the idea of scavenger hunts! My kiddos are sitting for such a long period of time so having them able to get up, even if it means walking around with their computers or iPads, makes it so much more fun. I also love the sensory words using snacks! My students have a bit of trouble with that so this week I am going to start with the basics in preparation for National Poetry Month in April. This week is all about figurative language with some sensory. Thank you for sharing!
The sensory words using snacks is so much fun! And you are right; students need movement. 🙂