Developed by: The Poetry Foundation
From William Shakespeare to César Vallejo to Heather McHugh, the Poetry Foundation's app turns your device into a mobile poetry library. The "spin" feature finds poems based on random combinations of themes. The database can also be searched by category, author, or line. Save poems to read and share later—through Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail. This app includes thousands of poems by T.S. Eliot, Pablo Neruda, Lucille Clifton, Emily Dickinson, and many others, some with audio readings. Please be advised that some poems contain mature content or language. This is nevertheless an excellent way to introduce young readers to poetry.
Prepare to use this app by using any of the following activities:
- Talk about it! Start a discussion with your child about poetry. What do they like about it? Who are some of their favorite poets? Why? Have poetry books in your house? Help spark the discussions by having your child grab those and browse through them.
- Check it out live! Are there any poetry readings in your neighborhood or town? Often times these are held at libraries or coffee shops. If possible, visit one and soak it all in. What are the poems about? What benefit is there to reading poetry aloud? What does your child like about this outing? What don’t they like?
Help your child get the most out this app experience by trying any of the following activities:
- Figurative Language! Poetry is such a fun genre because it usually contains different forms of figurative language. Have your child read as many poems as they’d like to and encourage them to be on the hunt for figurative language. Perhaps they can tell you the various kinds, or they may need a little help: alliteration (repetition of the initial consonant), onomatopoeia (sound words like "boom", "crash", etc.), personification (giving human-like qualities to nonhuman objects), similes (comparisons that include the words "like" or "as"), metaphors (comparisons that don’t use the words "like" or "as"), hyperboles (exaggerations) and idioms (phrases where the words together have different meanings than the dictionary definition of the words such as "That was a piece of cake").
- How am I feeling? Have your child browse poems based on how they are feeling – poetry is a powerful genre and can help your child realize that other people have felt the same way, and often times, can help them cheer up if they are feeling down.
Extend your child’s learning by using any of the following activities:
- Sing it! Poetry is a genre that easily lends itself to song. Encourage your child to turn any poem they read into a song or rap. Have them add in dance moves if they are really feeling it!
- That makes me want to write... Reading poetry often inspires us to write our own poems. Encourage your child to write original poetry and include various kinds of figurative language. Talk about the various kinds of poems: acrostic (the first letters of each line are aligned vertically to form a word and the word often is the subject of the poem), cinquain (cinquain poems are five lines long with a certain number of syllables or words in each; cinquain poems do not rhyme), concrete poetry (concrete poems form a picture of the topic or follows the contour of a shape that is suggested by the topic), couplet (a couplet consists of two lines with an end rhyme), limerick (a limerick is a funny little poem containing five lines; the last words of the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme with each other (A) and the last words of the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other so the pattern is AABBA), and haiku (a form of centuries old Japanese poetry that consists of seventeen syllables and has nature as its subject or theme; a haiku is very short and has a 5-7-5 syllable structure with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second line, and 5 syllables in the third line).