Written by The Humble Bird Teacher
“Wah, Wah!” That is the sound the teacher makes in the show Charlie Brown. That sound is a great example of onomatopoeia, but the sound is what many students hear flow out of their teachers’ mouths into their ears. Many students dislike reading and writing. They especially do not like writing poetry. When I usually introduce poetry to the class, most of the class will moan and groan. I usually hear, “I hate poetry. I never know what to write.” This one million likes I receive every year for this unit has not turned into several read hearts of likes, and it is all thanks to a website called Storybird.
Today in English class, I introduced my students to poetry. As a result, I incorporated Storybird into the lesson because I felt my students would have fun learning and creating their own poetry. In Storybird, I had the students create a poem. First, they had to select an image from the wide range of free and eye-catching pictures that the website has to offer. Then, they had to create a free verse poem with the words that the website provided. That was the major challenge. The students could not add their own words. They actually had to think and try what worked and made sense through trial and error. Although they found it difficult with the limited word list, they accepted the challenge with a breeze!
In the end, I heard the wonderful sound of a successful lesson! One my students said, “You’re making me not want to leave your room. I want to stay here for the rest of the day.” Several of my students said they really enjoyed the program. I even heard another student say, “Why is time going by so fast? I can’t believe it is time to go already.” One of their friends replied, “Time flies when you are having fun. I’m going to make more of these at home.” It was beyond great to hear how much my students enjoyed this assignment.