Shanna's face on a graphic with Poetry Games - Episode 170

Poetry Games

As we start 2024, consider bringing more poetry into your classroom. is a fantastic free resource that makes poetry accessible and fun for students.

Poetry Games from Creative Communication

At Poetry Games, students can explore many different poetic forms through interactive graphic organizers. Each form has an example poem that models the structure and techniques. Students can then type their own poems into the organizers to practice the forms hands-on. There are options for acrostics, haikus, diamante poems, rhyming couplets, and much more.

The site also connects to Creative Communication, where students can submit their work for possible publication in poetry contests and anthologies. This provides a real-world audience and incentive for budding poets. is easy to use and suitable for elementary through high school. With bright graphics and step-by-step guidance, it engages students in poetry fundamentals. And the variety of forms lets students find poems that spark their creativity.

As we start a new year, check out this gem of a site to bring more poetry into your classroom! Short bursts of Poetry Games can engage students across the curriculum.


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Shanna Martin 00:00:19
Thanks for listening to the tech tools for Teachers podcast where each week we talk about a free piece or two of technology that you can use in your classroom. I’m your host, Shanna Martin. I’m a middle school teacher, technology and instructional coach for my district.

Fuzz Martin 00:00:31
And I’m her producer and husband, Fuzz Martin. And I’m in this seat because I’m well versed in podcast producing.

Shanna Martin 00:00:39
Wow. Clever verse versed. That’s good. Yeah.

Fuzz Martin 00:00:45
Thank you. I have to apologize in advance. I’ve been fighting a cold since the holidays.

Shanna Martin 00:00:54
And here we are. And it’s still here.

Fuzz Martin 00:00:56
And it’s still here. Thank you, children and family.

Shanna Martin 00:00:59
Yes. Well, it wouldn’t really be like right here in Wisconsin if somebody didn’t have a cold.

Fuzz Martin 00:01:06

Shanna Martin 00:01:06
And now we have snow on the ground. For those of you who haven’t been keeping track of the Midwest snow lately.

Fuzz Martin 00:01:11
We had snow on Halloween.

Shanna Martin 00:01:13
There’s only been three December’s ever that didn’t have snow and this is one of them. We are something like that. We have had no snow in Wisconsin until yesterday. Now we have snow. And now there’s like tons of snow coming this week. We’re here. It’s winter. You have a cold. It’s great.

Fuzz Martin 00:01:31
It is.

Shanna Martin 00:01:31
And it’s the start of 2024.

Fuzz Martin 00:01:34

Shanna Martin 00:01:34
Yay. So that’s fun. So this week it’s short and sweet. We have one very cool site that actually have a little backstory that goes with.

Fuzz Martin 00:01:43
And we have one not so cool site. I’m just kidding.

Shanna Martin 00:01:45
We have one site, but it has like two links within that site. Yeah, it’s January. We’re in the start of 2024. We are like mid school year this week. We have semester finals and things like that happening. Got field trips happening. Got a snowstorm coming. And don’t forget March is coming up.

Fuzz Martin 00:02:07
Oh yeah.

Shanna Martin 00:02:08
And in March we have Edcamp.

Fuzz Martin 00:02:11

Shanna Martin 00:02:12
So that’ll be fun in March. But anyway, something to look forward to. Anybody who’s going to Ed Camp Elmbrook. That will be happening in March. Let’s talk about the sites that we are going to talk about today. And as you pointed out in your clever intro verse, we are talking about. Some poetry this week.

Fuzz Martin 00:02:34

Shanna Martin 00:02:34
And I feel like each year I at least try to get one poetry episode in because my fabulous Ela teachers are always trying to find cool poetry resources and things to do online.

Fuzz Martin 00:02:44
Also very listened to episodes. Your poetry episodes get a lot of listens.

Shanna Martin 00:02:49
Yes. Which I think because there’s not like… teaching poetry, having students do poetry on their own is different than teaching poetry. And we’re always trying to find cool resources or things to help out with. Poetry, to shake it up and do. Things a little differently. So sites are very pretty easy, like straightforward sites, this week’s site, I should say. And then the other one talks about poetry. So it’s

Fuzz Martin 00:03:13

Shanna Martin 00:03:14

Fuzz Martin 00:03:18
Nice jingle.

Shanna Martin 00:03:19
Wow. I did just like make that up. So what’s fun about is that. As a teacher, it’s really easy to use. You can be like, hey, kids, we’re going to practice this kind of poetry. And then it’s going to walk them through the steps.

Fuzz Martin 00:03:34

Shanna Martin 00:03:34
So they can actually do this independently. If you want to put it into some sort of choice board, or if you’re just introducing poetry to them, or if they’re working on poetry, this would be just a nice little, like, they can do this independently. It doesn’t matter. Like, second grade on up could probably. Do this one independently.

Shanna Martin 00:03:51
So they’ve got two different sections in, and this is all put together by creative communication, which is they celebrate today’s writers. They do all kinds of cool writing. Contests and things like that and I’ll get into that in their poetry contest in a little bit. So,, you have the free verse section. So you click free verse, they give. You take free verse 101, literally, you. Click on it and it’s like directions. And type it in. It’s like, think of something you’re extremely interested and passionate about. Podcasting.

Fuzz Martin 00:04:24
Oh, nice.

Shanna Martin 00:04:25
Yeah. What words would you describe and create. Images about your topic? What are your feelings? Fun. That’s the way.

Fuzz Martin 00:04:34

Shanna Martin 00:04:35

Speaker 6 00:04:37
Social outlet chatty.

Shanna Martin 00:04:42
Technology. I don’t know. There we go. Using the words above, put them into lines below. This is a fun way to spend time with my husband.

Fuzz Martin 00:04:55
Aw, thank you.

Shanna Martin 00:04:56
And then et cetera, et cetera. Type in my lines. Okay, ready? Name my poem. Podcasting. And finished. Go. Guess what? It just wrote it for me. It didn’t really write it for me. All it did was take what I wrote and just format it. So there’s no AI going on here. Literally, it’s just like what I typed in, and then I just created it. Boom. And then you click next. Boom. And then if you want to enter. It into their contest, you can click win prizes. Enter here. You have to get teachers or parents permission. Just so you know, kids can’t just do this. So free verse 101 plugs it in. Create a free verse. Just encourages students to write free verse. So that’s just very straightforward. The second button, you look like you’re sparkly. Going to say something?

Fuzz Martin 00:05:42
No, keep going.

Shanna Martin 00:05:43
Okay. The second button is called poetry machine. So you create original poem using poetry machine. Click on any form of poetry below. And then it will walk you through. So it says like title. And then it gives you, like, if you’re doing haiku, this is what you need to put in. If you are doing list poem, type it in this way. If you’re doing a limerick, here’s the directions. This is how you do it. So here’s the directions. Here’s a limerick example. Create your own, and that gives you title. Type it in line. Line, create. Boom. So what’s cool about this is that poetry machine gives you the directions, gives you the example, which is really helpful. Because examples are always the thing you look for. And then for our kids, it’s almost. Like a graphic organizer, like a digital one. So it will give them each line. To put in versus just write out. A piece of paper. And they’re like, what do I do next? What do I do next?

Fuzz Martin 00:06:43
It’s literally kind of gives them some structure.

Shanna Martin 00:06:44
in line, but nothing where they’re giving them ideas.

Fuzz Martin 00:06:48
No, but it’s like the guide rails to play with it.

Shanna Martin 00:06:51
Right. So what’s cool about this also then is the amount of types of poems you can pick from, because some of.These I’m not familiar with, nor can.I pronounce some of them, but we.

Fuzz Martin 00:07:03
Have diamonte, we have like ABC poem.

Shanna Martin 00:07:07
Five, w’s acrostic, all about me, animals, haiku, a list poem, loon mask poem, holiday poem, shadow poem, name poem. I don’t understand poem, which is kind of funny. I don’t understand why. But most of all, why. What I understand most is why I don’t understand poem. Example.

Fuzz Martin 00:07:28
I don’t understand why my father left me. Why is he not home anymore? Why did he have to leave? Wow, this is really dark poem that they put in this example.

Shanna Martin 00:07:37
It is, but also like a very clear story and a good example. But also, you may not want to have your second graders reading that, so just be aware. Little second. I used to poem if I’m in charge of the world, poem, a lament poem, an emotional animal poem, a lantern poem. I mean, there are verb verses. What if poems, senryu, sadanka, quatrain. I mean, they’re all like, they are all here.

Fuzz Martin 00:08:04
Yeah, there’s like 80 different poem styles.

Shanna Martin 00:08:07
So it’s really nice because the kids. Can see an example again, check your examples and then they can plug in the information, like all about me. First name four descriptives traits. Sibling of blank if you have one lover of blank. Who fears this? Who needs this? Who gives this? It’s just kind of cool. And it’s a way of connecting kids. With poetry, I think in a light, informal way versus like we’re going to do poetry, we’re going to write like twelve pages of sonnets. It’s going to just be a way. To introduce them and again, have kids be able to write so what’s cool is once they create a poem, I am a big fan of the limerick. So you write your little Limerick poem. You want to click. It does not let you get away with it either. Like where you can skip through things. You must enter something. So once you put all in your information and you have it in there. And then you create it, you have the option to click here and see it. And once you click here and see it, you click next. Once you see it, they can copy. And paste it if they want to and put in a Google Doc to share with you. Or if they’re going to make it. Cute or do something with it, they can share it by email. They can also click to enter the poetry contest forms. There is rules that they have to go through. They’re open to students k through 9th grade. You can write about any appropriate subject. So no violence. No, like there’s like parameters. Poems cannot be over 21 lines.

Fuzz Martin 00:09:37
Are they iambic parameters? *giggles profoundly*

Shanna Martin 00:09:41
Yes. I’m so glad you just high fived yourself in this room that just happened. Do not double space your entries. Be sure to use proper capitalization, all this type of stuff. So then student information, school information, school phone number. They have to have a contact that goes with it. Now, something to note is as a. Teacher, you don’t have to use poetry. Machine or the free verse thing to. Be able to submit your kids poems. So this is just a really cool. Tool for kids to be able to. Write and express and try out poetry. And it’s fun to do and it’s. A very easy site to have your students work through. Sure. On the flip side of this, the. Other website that connects to this one is called Now, fun little story as I would. Tell my students 100 years ago when. I used to teach, really it was. 15, it’s like 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 when I first started teaching. Yes, I’ve been teaching for 20 years. So my first years of teaching, I was an ELA teacher before I taught tech and social studies and robotics and instructional coach, like all this stuff. I started off as an english teacher, and I found creative communication way back. Then when it was like, you got a print out, and I would collect all my student work and any kids. That wanted to submit poems, like, we’d follow all the guidelines. And I had these big, the Manila envelopes, and I would collect student poetry and I would put the deadline on. It and I would send it in. And I’ve had many students published in. The creative communication book. And what’s cool is not everybody gets. Published, but many students do. And ours was regional, so it was like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois area, I think. Or something is how they used to divide it up. And every year I’d have at least. Two or three, but I had as. Many as twelve or 13 published one year. And it would be whatever poems they wanted to do. I would just proofread them a little bit with them. But this is all completely student idea, student work. And it was just a cool thing. They did have to buy the book. Like if they got published, they got selected, they would have to pay for it. As a teacher, if you had so. Many students in it, you would actually. Get a free one for your classroom. So I have, I think, six creative. Communication books that I had students published in. And it was cool because I’d have. In my classroom every year, and then. Kids would be like, look, I’m in a published book. It was just a big deal because. They got published in a real publication.

Fuzz Martin 00:12:21
Yeah. Like a real physical book.

Shanna Martin 00:12:22
Yeah. And they could show people and parents just thought it was kind of a cool thing. It was a neat idea. It was a way just to share poetry, and it was all kinds of cool ideas. And it was just a neat way. For kids to share their work and. Feel, like honored for something that they had done. I have had students come back after. Had been published, come back to me like Mrs. Martin, it was Miss Nalloway back then. I still write poetry because it was such a cool thing. And I’ve been published a few more times and they’ve shared things with me. So it’s just a very cool way to get kids interested and excited about poetry and a way to get them published. And it’s not like a super formal. Kind of hard deal to get them into. So anyway, so if you get a chance, check it out. That link is going to be the connecting site. So it’s, but where they can. Start practicing their poetry is And they link together very nice.

Fuzz Martin 00:13:19
Yeah, that’s cool. I had Claude AI write us a poem about podcasting.

Speaker 6 00:13:26
Great. I can’t wait.

Fuzz Martin 00:13:30
We’ll see if I can read it because my voice is going.

Fuzz Martin 00:13:32
Voices beaming through the airwaves, stories and laughs we crave.

Fuzz Martin 00:13:32
Hosts chat about this and that as.

Fuzz Martin 00:13:43
Listeners tune in wearing headphones or sitting in their car.

Fuzz Martin 00:13:43
Information and entertainment neatly packed episodes queued up, eager to be unpacked. Press play to join the conversation. Podcasts are there for your education, a community though miles apart, brought together through.

Fuzz Martin 00:13:43
This art of podcasting.

Shanna Martin 00:14:05

Fuzz Martin 00:14:06
Yeah, thank you, thank you.

Shanna Martin 00:14:08
Thank you for that beautiful reading, Claude.

Fuzz Martin 00:14:10
AI, by the way. Claude AI, my favorite of the AI generators. Though you would think, like right now, doing a poem. I should have used Bard.

Shanna Martin 00:14:20
You should have used Bard. Oh well, we’ll save that one for another week, I think.

Fuzz Martin 00:14:26
You mean your listeners don’t want to hear me reading AI generated poetry.

Shanna Martin 00:14:30
I think that they should submit their own. Try them out, see what you got for us. What kind of podcasts and poetry you guys have out there? Yeah, that’d be fun. So anyway, check them out. Like I said, they’re pretty cool. Creative communications has the poetry contests that go along with this, and has. A great introduction to students and learning different types of poetry. So check it out, play it around. With your students, and enjoy the start of 2024. I hope everybody else stays healthy. Yes, thanks for tuning in. This has been the Tech Tools for Teachers podcast. If you ever have any questions, you can find me on the app formerly known as Twitter at smartinwi, or on Threads where I have been posting lots and lots of Adobe Firefly pictures lately, check out my New Year’s ones. They’re adorable. There’s a Highland cow along with that. If you want to get more information on the links to the technology discussed in this episode, we can visit If you’d like to support the show, please consider buying me a coffee or two. Visit slash smartinwi or visit and click on that purple coffee cup. Your donations help keep the show going. You can also buy a cute little Tech Tools for Teachers coffee cup on my site as well. Nice new episodes each week. Thanks for listening. Go educate and innovate.

Fuzz Martin 00:15:50
The ideas and opinions expressed on this podcast and the website are those of the author Shanna Martin and not of her employer. Prior to using any of the technologies discussed on this podcast, please consult with your employer. Regulations this podcast offers no guarantee that these tools will work for you as described, but we sure hope they do, and we’ll talk to you next time right here on the tech Tools for Teachers podcast.

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