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Teaching with Poetry Tools

These learner based tools are flexible, extensible and focused on process as opposed to product. The poetry tools allow student writers to actively and mindfully work through lessons in metaphor, syntax, word choice, and parts of speech.

Note: You will need the Flash 5 plug-in to view these tools.Download it by following this link to the Macromedia free Download page.


"A poem is a small or large machine made with words." -- William Carlos Williams

Metaphor Poetry:

Using the metaphors "Spring is...," "Freedom is...," and "Diversity is...,"this tool allows students to explore how language works to convey meaning while closely examining the intracacies of metaphor. Appropriate for grades k-12.

Online View Requirements File Size OS
Spring is... Poetry Tool Flash 5 Plug-in 435K
Diversity is... Poetry Tool Flash 5 Plug-in 78K
Freedom is... Poetry Tool Flash 5 Plug-in 161K

Lesson Plans Requirements File Size OS
Metaphor Poetry Lesson Plan Microsoft Word 39K
Metaphor Poetry Lesson Plan Internet Browser 5K

Source Files Requirements File Size OS
Download Tool Flash 5 396K
Download Tool Flash 5 302K
Download Tool NetLogo 9K



Hope Is Poetry:

Using Dickinson's poem "Hope is..." as a model, this tool allows student writers to insert their own text to futher explore language structures, parts of speech, and what makes a text "poetic." Appropriate for grades 4-12.

Online View Requirements File Size OS
Hope Is... Poetry Tool Flash 5 Plug-in 435K

Lesson Plans Requirements File Size OS
Hope Is... Poetry Lesson Plan Microsoft Word 39K

Source Files Requirements File Size OS
Download Tool Flash 5 603K
Download Tool Flash 5 511K

Found Poetry:

Found poems are build from lines of existing poems, allowing student writers to "paw through popular culture like sculptors on trash heaps." (Dillard) The poems created are original poems; their themes and their orderings invented. Their lines, when extracted from existing poems, are not. This tool already uses lines from Whitman's "Song of Myself" and Dickinson's "I'm Nobody..." However, it can be altered to accomodate lines from any poem simply by deleting the lines that appear and inputting ones that are new. The creation of found poetry allows students to closely examine literary devices, syntax, semantics, and meaning. Appropriate for grades k-12 (depending upon the poetry selected for students to "pull" from.)

Online View Requirements File Size OS
Found Poetry Tool Flash 5 Plug-in 435K

Lesson Plans Requirements File Size OS
Found Poetry Lesson Plan Microsoft Word 39K

Source Files Requirements File Size OS
Download Tool Flash 5 591K
Download Tool Flash 5 510K










Developed at University of Virginia, Center for Technology and Teacher Education