How might technology provide a scaffold into poetry?

I am such a sucker for anything that even slightly tickles the visual and verbal parts of my brain simultaneously. To start, I love this lesson plan that deals with defining poetry. I would love to take part in a discussion like this… shoot… any discussion like this. I need my fix of a good, solid social science or literature debate. Anyone feel like inviting me in for one?

In fact, a nice little set of lesson plans concerning poetry are found on the site. As you look through, you will see that the self-label of “advanced” might just fit. But I think many of these are more than feasible in our school. We have students at Benton who are more than capable of learning from this.

The main website is called “PicLits.” The tagline for PicLits is “inspired picture writing.” To me, this is an interesting little site that appears to be a weird mashup: part visual literacy, part refrigerator poetry, part… fun. The main site itself, doesn’t come across as allowing much heavy-lifting relating to typical communication arts instruction. However, it isn’t the site, but what you do with it that counts. Right? To me, this site is about greasing the wheels of inspiration. I can almost guarantee that an approach like this would have gone a long way toward allowing me to feel empowered to connect to poetic verse at a younger age. I was too cool for this in high school. In college, I became enthralled. Don’t you ever wonder what would have happened if you had learned something really amazing… but a year or two earlier?

Perhaps I connected to this site because it reminds me of some of the goofy things I used to do with Photoshop years ago. To me, so many of my photos just begged for words. I had fun slapping them onto images from time to time.

Perhaps this is a fun little site that would work (as Michael Gier mentioned in a discussion here) in a CA classroom to enhance a lesson that ends with “time to spare.”

Just trolling through the site a bit, I found an image that stood out to me as interesting. It seemed to beg for a poetic caption. There are two ways in which this text can be added. There is a link to add words to the image via “drag & drop” (the refrigerator poetry way), or via the “freestyle” method, which simply allows you to type onto the image as you wish.

My little sixty-second creation is here:

PicLit from
See the full PicLit at

Click to go to the site and check it out, and hey… feedback is powerful. Throw in a comment. Make me feel like a poet. If I like the experience, perhaps I will be inspired to publish again in perhaps even another way. Get it? If you do get it, then you are already beginning the feel the power of the interactive web. Feels good, doesn’t it?

***Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I had to make just one more before getting on with the four other things I am currently juggling:

PicLit from
See the full PicLit at

Anyone else feel like playing along?

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Sean Nash

Biology teacher in the great state of Kansas. Back at it in the classroom after a 30-year career in Missouri. Former District Curriculum Administrator, Instructional Technology Coordinator, and Instructional Coach. Biology instructor since 1993. Find more about my passions and my work at

One Comment

  1. hello Benton High.
    Biology teacher Mr. Nash missed his calling. Nothing against teaching biology but your writing ( see Piclits ) is compelling. Thanks for finding our site and posting your comments. Poetry is a small part of the site. Writing a complete sentence, a verse, a rap, a caption etc … are considered PicLits and encouraged. Thanks, Terry

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