April is National Poetry Month. Established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, it is a month-long celebration with the goal of increasing the availability of poetry in popular culture. A project combining audio clips of poetry readings with images, video and music is one way to get students excited about poetry month. Students are already very familiar with music videos; this project is a poetry video.
Having students create a multi-media poetry video can be as simple or complex as time, grade- level and resources allow. In this project, students select a poem and either record it themselves or find an online audio clip. It is best to use a clip under two minutes for this project.
Students then gather images, or take their own photos, to illustrate what they see when listening to their poem. To enhance the project, students can also select background music to play underneath the oral reading of the poetry.
Using free software such as Windows Live Movie Maker, or more sophisticated video editing software or slideshow programs, students can then combine self-created media or downloaded audio and images to present their interpretation of a selected poem. Completed projects can then be shared with the class.
Internet Archives is a searchable database containing public domain audio clips of volunteers reading poetry. This is a good time-saving option to eliminate student recording sessions. The clips are easily downloaded in MP3 format for use in video editing and slideshow software. License free images may be found at Public Domain Sherpa.
This project meets New York ELA Standards across all grade levels for reading, listening and speaking for: literary response and expression, critical analysis and evaluation, and social interaction as students share their creations.
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