Sunday, December 11, 2016

Wintertime Magnetic Poetry with Google Drawings

Magnetic poetry kits have been around since the early 90’s, providing children and adults with inspiration to create poems on refrigerators everywhere.

As fun as those magnetic kits are, they have some limitations. By using a technology option, such as Google Drawings, you get many benefits:

  • No limit on the quantity of words provided. Just copy and paste more of them as needed.
  • Ability to edit the words provided if needed.
  • Ability to add your own words.
  • Easy collaboration with others.
  • Easy to share or download your final creation.
  • No pieces to get lost.
  • It’s free!

As an example of this, I have create a Google Drawings template for wintertime poetry. This includes words related to Christmas, Hanukkah, snow, sledding, and much more. See below to get your free copy of the template to use with your students (or yourself) however you want, as well as directions on how to use it.

📄 Copy the Wintertime Magnetic Poetry Template

This template was created with Google Drawings. To get your copy, simply click the link below.

❓ What's in the Template

Here is the basic layout of the template:

In the middle of the template is the wintertime background where the students will add the words for their poem, story, or creative writing piece. At the bottom of the work area is a text box where the student can type in their name.
Left Side
On the left side of the template are 100 standard (non-themed) words in alphabetical order. These include the typical words needed to create sentences and phrases. I pulled these words primarily from the Dolch Word List, based on the words I felt would be the most familiar, needed, useful, and versatile. In addition to words, this list also includes some word fragments, such as “ed”, “ing”, and such, that can be added to other words to modify them.
Right Side
On the right side of the template are the 86 wintertime themed words in alphabetical order. I tried to include a variety of words related to different winter holidays, activities, weather, and traditions. At the bottom of the list there are also some blank tiles of various sizes that can be used to type in your own words as needed.
By laying out the template this way, students are able to see all of the words at once, and quickly find the words they want to use.

✍️ Using the Template

Once you have your own copy of the template, you and your students can create your poem or other writing as follows:

  • Drag and drop words from the left and right sides onto the middle work area. Drag around the words as needed to place them where you want.
  • If you need more than one copy of a word, simply copy and paste it. You can select the text box for the word, then choose “Edit” and “Copy” and “Paste”, or right click and “Copy” and “Paste”, or press Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V.
  • If you need to edit an existing word, just double-click inside the text box and make the changes you want, such as capitalizing the word, changing the tense, making it plural, or such.
  • Note: If you change an existing word so that the new word is longer, you will likely need to click and drag the edge of the text box to make it bigger to contain the new word.
  • If you want to add your own words, double-click inside of any of the blank text boxes and type in the word you want.

Keep in mind, you can also edit the template before you share it with your students if you wish to add some words or remove some words to better fit the needs of your class.

🔗 Sharing your creation

When you are all done (or at any point in the process) you can share your Google Drawing using the blue “Share” button just like any Google file.

However, another option when done is to download your creation as an image. This will allow you to take that image and use it in many ways:

  1. Print it out.
  2. Insert it into a Google Doc or a Google Slideshow.
  3. Post it on your blog or class website.
  4. Share it on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
  5. Make a greeting card out of it by putting into a desktop publishing program or even a Google Drawings greeting card template.

To download an image version of your Google Drawing, do the following:

  • Click “File
  • Choose “Download as
  • Select “PNG image (.png)
  • Google Drawings will only download the work area of the Drawing, not the word banks on the left and right sides of the main canvas.
  • Your image will now be downloaded and ready to use.

🏁 Conclusion

As educators we are always looking for new and creative ways to inspire our students to write. Hopefully this Google Drawings wintertime poetry template will provide you with one more trick in your bag to use with your students, especially during the crazy days leading up to the holiday break.

If your students create poems with this template, I would love to see what they make. Please feel free to share your creations, ideas, suggestions, and questions in the comments area below.

Bonus - If you are looking for other options for digital magnetic poetry, be sure to check out the Google Slides versions created by Kasey Bell and Jamie Forshey.

Post by Eric Curts
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  1. This is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  2. So creative; how did you do this? Love it!

  3. I love this! What a fun activity for the students who are exempting my final exam.

    1. That is great Mitzi! Hope your students enjoy it!

  4. C'est magnifique! I am always searching for short writing activities for my novice learners. This is perfect for learning and using seasonal vocabulary.

    1. Thanks Charlene! So glad you found this to be useful!

  5. What will we do if you ever decide to retire? You make teachers' lives so much better and help us keep our sanity!!