own thinking on the theory and practice associated with this work.
Classroom Examples Celebrating Poet Laureates
The remainder of the chapter will explore and discuss work the authors haveconducted on response, authoring, and construction of multimodal poetry in teaching andlearning. While defining multimodal poetry, we will also discuss instructional techniquesassociated with using these digital texts and tools in classroom instruction. The work wasconducted over almost five years of exploration, research, and instruction by the authorsand classroom teachers. Each of the sections focuses on U.S. Poet Laureates, representingour attempt highlight authentic uses of technology in middle and high school classroomswhile celebrating the rich culture of poetry currently alive in the nation.
Robert Frost and William Carlos Williams: Exploring Tone and ExtendedMetaphor.
Recent research has begun to examine approaches to teaching poetry thatembrace either response or authorship merged with new technologies (see for exampleBailey, 2009; George, 2002; Jewitt, 2005; Hughes & John, 2009; McVee, Bailey, &Shanahan, 2008; Pappas & Varelas, 2009;). Our work examined the integration of technology to potentially enrich English classrooms, looking at
both response to and authorship of poetry.
We will begin by sharing results from a research project that hadstudents use images both to respond to and write poetry. Using thematic network analysis(Attride-Stirling, 2001), we found that non-verbocentric approaches using technologyimproved student engagement with poetry, and that technology acted as an identitytoolkit (Gee, 2005) for young authors. The results of this study acted as a catalyst for our efforts to develop pedagogical strategies to use technology to teach poetry writing.
Billy Collins: Poetry Exploration and Movie Production.
Billy Collins (2003)
famously wrote that students try to beat poetry “with a hose to find out what it reallymeans” rather than “drop a mouse into a poem and watch him probe his way out” (p. 3).We took the metaphor of a mouse and encouraged students to “read with a mouse inhand.” In this project students used
movie-editing software to create retellings of poems.The images selected provided insight into student responses to a poem, and the editing process required a close analytical reading of poetry not found in traditional lessons.
Kay Ryan: Twitter and “Twitpoems.”
The poetry of Kay Ryan has often beendescribed as having a style and wit that is often reminiscent of the short staccatocommunication found in the
service known as Twitter. In this project,
the authors encouraged students to read and respond to many of Ryan‟s works, while
comparing and contrasting these pieces
with “twitpoems” found online. Students alsoconstructed their own “twitpoems” in the same style as discussed in class. Finally,
students worked to author multimodal representations of the poems using visual anddigital media.
W.S. Merwin: Poetry for Social Justice.
Concerned with the impact of digital texts andtools in the society, the authors use the words of W. S. Merwin to focus on issues of
social justice in students‟ lives. In this project, students used photographs taken with their
cell phones to spark civic engagement. Students began by writing prose and selecting