Thursday, June 4, 2015

Creating Concrete and Shape Poems on iPads

This week I am hosting some guest bloggers. This is a guest post from Debbie Carona.

April was National Poetry Month but not all of us finished our poetry units during April. Thanks to a few too many snow days, Mary Odom, our 4th grade language arts teacher wisely let the kids work on their original poems well into the month of May. I was lucky enough to be the tech person working with her class on creating individual poetry books using the Book Creator app and helping the kids with their concrete poem illustrations. Another name for a concrete poem is a shape poem. It’s basically where the shape of the poem plays an important role in expressing the topic or meaning of the poem. Our kids have always loved to write and design their concrete poems but with the help of the Type Drawing App, their options have hugely increased.

With Type Drawing, the kids type their poem or just a line or phrase from their poem and then draw the words with their finger. Your finger can create randomly shaped lines or it can draw horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines. You may choose from a nice selection of font styles, sizes, and colors. You determine whether or not you want the lines of your poem to repeat and how much, if any, space you want between your words.

Learning with the Type Drawing App for iPad from April Requard on Vimeo.

Another great feature of Type Drawing is the ability to add a photo from your camera roll. After uploading the photo, go ahead and type the lines of your poem, making the above mentioned design choices. Then simply trace the photo with your finger. You can add lines to fill in the details of the picture. If you want the photo to disappear and be left with only the lines of the concrete poem, move the photo opacity line to 0%. You can also use the photo opacity line to simply fade the photo.Take a look at these original concrete poems that I put together using the Puppet Edu app.

So, next year when National Poetry Month rolls around, share Shel Silverstein’s concrete poem, “The Circle”, with your students. Then let the Type Drawing app inspire your kids to write and illustrate their own concrete poetry.

Debbie Carona spent the first 20 years of her teaching as a classroom teacher. For the past 8 years, she has been a technology integration specialists at St. John’s Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas. St. John’s is beginning their 4th year as a 1:1 iPad school and is a major proponent of project based learning. According to her, the best part of being a tech teacher is being invited to go into the classrooms and work alongside the teachers. Please visit Debbie’s blog site, At a Glance, and follow her on Twitter @DebbieCarona.