Thursday, 29 December 2016

Create a selfie poem on your first day back at school using PowerPoint, a selfie stick and a camera!

Submitted by Fiona Beal
There's no doubt about it - kids love selfies! It seems that we live in a selfie culture! Most kids use selfies as a way of communicating with their friends and celebrating a moment. In the report Teens, technology and friendships the writers point out that social media and selfies are a natural draw for tweens and teens in our photo-orientated culture. Last term, I explored the idea the idea of letting one of the classes I teach create selfie poems in class. Armed with a poem structure, a selfie stick and my cell phone, I suggested the idea to a Grade 6 class. It was received with great enthusiasm.




Poem outline and an example
To get started I created an optional poem outline for those who wanted to use it and even use only bits of it. Some students don't need an outline - they can just write great poetry. Others need a structure. Here is the three-stanza poem outline that I used. I tried to encourage the class to let every two lines of their poem rhyme if possible.

An example:

Use PowerPoint for graphic effects
I suggested the class use PowerPoint to illustrate their poems. PowerPoint is one of the most versatile programs that I know of. It can be used in so many different ways apart from its original function of being a presentation tool. In this lesson we planned to use it in four ways:
a) to display the poem
b) to give the poem a graphic effect using images and colour
c) to create a JPEG from the final poem
d) to give the poem an online link so as to share it with others or embed it in the learner's classroom blog.

Using graphic effects with PowerPoint
There are several fun ways to use graphics with PowerPoint. For the purpose of the poem we wanted to take selfies and manipulate them artistically. We tried combinations of the following effects:
a) Adding a coloureed background if necessary
b) Adding a glow
c) Adding a shape
d) Adding artistic effects


Poem examples




Conclusion
This activity would make a great beginning of the year lesson for a class as a creative way of getting the learners to introduce themselves. 

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