Poetry is one of the areas of the curriculum in which it can be particularly challenging to engage and excite students, with teachers sometimes battling the unfounded stereotype that poems are ‘old-fashioned’ or ‘uncool’, or that it is ‘embarrassing’ or too hard to write your own.
Nowhere is the influx of edtech tools more apt and invigorating than in such situations, and a wealth of exciting new apps suitable for iPads, tablets and mobile phones is bringing poetry to life for a whole new generation of students!
This brilliant free app from the Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation promises to draw students into a ‘parallel universe’ of over 100 poems explained by Hart’s essays and introductions. Its greatest feature for engaging reluctant or shy students is its collection of fantastic video and audio narrations from a group of world-class actors and performers, from Bob Geldof to Roger Moore and Dominic West. If anything will convince them poetry isn’t outdated, this will! The ‘favourites library’ allows students to save their favourite works all in one place and access them on or offline.
2. Poet’s Pad
This beautifully designed app will give students an immediate creative boost with its evocative scroll-like background and elegant script. But its most useful features are its ‘idea generating’ tools – perfect for inspiring students with writers’ block or those who are nervous about creating their own poetry for the first time. Also includes a vocal recording feature to allow students to capture their poetry in spoken word form as well as writing it down.
This simple app, describing itself as a “rhymebook” and “keeper of rhymes” is designed to encourage students and poets to jot down poetry whenever and wherever inspiration strikes! A particularly appealing feature for students who feel daunted about attempting to create their own poetry is the rhyming dictionary, where they can input words to be provided with potential matching rhymes, making the creative process simpler, more accessible and more fun! The app also gives students a virtual notebook to write and save poetry on the go.
Great for encouraging reluctant students, this innovative app helps them to create their own poetry the easy way, providing evocative words, which they can simply drag and click to rearrange them into powerful, expressive poems. Its clever and engaging multimedia format encourages students to use their own photos as backdrops to their poetry, setting the mood and providing visual inspiration, as well as creating a satisfyingly artistic ‘finished product’ they can be proud to show off!
This simple app from the Poetry Foundation is a great tool for introducing students to a wide range of poetry all in one place, as it contains a free mobile library of thousands of classic and contemporary works. The clever search function allows students to search by something as simple as a single line they remember hearing, and they can find new poems and try exciting new poets with a single shake of their mobile device!
Do you use poetry apps with your students? Share your tips below!