DE Summer School: SOS- Poetry Slam

Welcome the DE Summer School special edition of SOS.  Our S.O.S series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum. During August, we’ll be featuring our STAR Community’s favorite strategies and how they have made them their own.

Poetry Slam
original post
Poetry Slam PDF
link to all PDFs in the SOS series


Special thanks to DEN STAR and librarian Terri Gaussoin ( @tgaussoin )  from Albuquerque Public Schools  for sharing how she brought this SOS to her students.


The SOS Poetry Slam strategy suggests, “If pictures are worth a thousand words then why not use imagery to inspire student writing?”  Why not indeed?!  But let’s not stop there – let’s incorporate imagery, sound effects and video clips too!  As a part of the library’s poetry month celebration this spring , students in grades K-5 spent time learning about different forms of poetry and poets.  The culminating activity incorporated the SOS Poetry Slam strategy.

Using my Promethean board and the ActivInspire software, I created a flipchart for students that reviewed the 5-7-5 format of a haiku. Because my primary grades had been studying Earth’s orbit, rotation and the seasons I then searched Discovery Education for images, sound files and video clips highlighting this topic that students could engage with as part of this strategy.  Students worked in groups of two or three to brainstorm words about Earth’s seasons as they viewed the selected images and listened to the sound files. Student engagement was incredible and I was blown away by their collection of words –  imagine listening to 1st and 2nd graders deciding if “equinox” or “solstice” is a better word choice for their haiku!  After the students finished collecting words they then practiced writing their own haikus about the seasons.

All on it’s own this is an incredible strategy, but it doesn’t have to stop there!  One of my 2nd grade classes took their haikus back to class and worked with their classroom teacher to find images from Discovery Education that illustrated their individual writing. Each student then used the haikus they wrote in library, the images chosen from DE and their classroom iPad to create Haiku slideshows.  This SOS strategy is definitely a winner and I’m sure it’s going to become a regular part of our annual poetry month celebration!


Did you know that Discovery Education has an interactive “Skill Builder” for writing Haikus?  Check it out!

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