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April 16, 2013 Poetry Made Easy By Christy Crawford
Grades 1–2, 3–5

    Inspire easy-flowing poetry and laughter with the Photo Booth app on Apple devices. Just one Mac computer or iPad is required! Use the built-in Photo Booth app to have students take photos of themselves, then apply the silly effects to create creatures worthy of poetry or prose. Read on for samples and simple steps to writing poetry that sprouts from special (effects) seeds.








    Three Photo Booth-Inspired Poems

    In three 60-minute periods, pairs of 2nd graders created the following poems using Photo Booth effects:


    Mia and Amaya used the Mirror effect.



    By Mia and Amaya


    Four-headed and Eight-eyed

    Eight Hands and Two Ponytails

    Double Pillows. Double Phones.

    Loving, licking double ice cream cones!

    Arrogant, showing off, showing out

    Because they think four heads

    are better than one.

    Double, double, double Dutch partners,

    feeling cool because they think they look

    twice as good.

    Two-Headed Girls




    Heaven and Sydney used the X-Ray effect.


    By Heaven and Sydney


    Creepy People

    Disappearing bodies

    Zombies with black teeth

    They're angry!
    They're hungry!

    They're anxious!

    They walk slow,

    scaring kids,

    taking over the world.




    Walking in the Grave!




    Sammy used the Kaleidoscope effect.


    By Sammy and Oumar


    Nine Mouth Death!





    Yet lazy, irresponsible, eating everything it sees.

    Looking for food, lots of food.

    Munching people with nine mouths.







    Four Steps to Creating Photo Booth-Inspired Poems


    Day 1: Inspire and Draft

    1. Read a couple of crazy creature poems, such as Shel Silverstein's "The Loser" or "The Long-Haired Boy."  

    2. Ask your students to imagine what Silverstein would have written if he had access to Photo Booth. Take a photo of yourself (or a willing student) to demonstrate the effects. We stuck to eight effects: Stretch, Squeeze, Light Tunnel, Kaleidoscope, X-Ray, Mirror, and Thermal Camera. 

    3. Solicit your students' comments to draft a descriptive poem together. 

    4. Pair up your young poets. Have them take photos, pick their best shot, and choose a working title before handing out index cards for drafting. Index cards, even large ones, are less intimidating for new writers than writing notebooks or lined paper.

    5. Writing time!


    Day 2: Revise

    Have plenty of thesauruses or vocabulary charts ready with lists of seldom-used adjectives and adverbs. Reference those charts as the class revises the Photo Booth poem you all created together. Then send pairs of students to their desks to complete their revisions independently.



    Day 3: Type, Insert, Recite

    After brief editing conferences, have students use Keynote, PowerPoint, or Evernote to type their drafts, insert their photos, and rehearse reading their poetry.


    Day 4: Project and Celebrate

    Ready to share? Use an LCD projector to display finished projects on the wall. And arm your young poets with a microphone when they present their work.


    For interactive poetry sites and more ideas to inspire young poets, check out my post Digital Poetry Make Words Zoom and Fly Across the Room and  Poetry in 140 Characters!



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