Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Halloween Drag and Drop Poetry with Google Drawings

Magnetic poetry kits have been around for decades, 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.
  • Great tech skills practice with dragging and dropping and copying and pasting.
  • 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!

In the past I have shared Google Drawing templates for students to create drag-and-drop "magnetic" poetry with a winter theme, Valentine's theme, and Spring theme. This time I have created one for Halloween.

See below to get your free copy of the Halloween Poetry template to use with your students (or yourself) however you want, as well as a video and directions on how to use it.

Tutorial Video (6 minutes)

You can also view this video on YouTube at:

Or you can listen to the audio-only podcast version here (Subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, or your favorite podcast tool.)

Halloween Poetry Template

First you will want to get your own copy of the template. To do this, simply click the link below.

Now that you have your copy, let's take a look at the layout for the template:

  • In the middle of the template is the canvas 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 88 Halloween-themed words in alphabetical order. 
  • I tried to include a variety of words related to Halloween, but if you need more there are also some blank tiles of various sizes at the bottom 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

Now let's look at how you and your students can create your poem with this template:
  • First you can 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.
  • As a tip, it is much easier to grab the words from the edges of the textbox. If you click in the middle of the textbox, Google Drawings will think you want to edit the text.
  • If you need more than one copy of a word, simply copy and paste it. One fast way to do this is to select the textbox and then press Ctrl-D or Command-D to duplicate the word.
  • 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:
  • Print it out.
  • Insert it into a Google Doc or a Google Slideshow.
  • Post it on your blog or class website.
  • Share it on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
  • 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
  • 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.

More Halloween Fun

For more Halloween activities, I also have the following projects:



As educators we are always looking for new and creative ways to inspire our students to write. Hopefully this Google Drawings Halloween poetry template will provide you with one more trick in your bag to use with your students.

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.

And for more projects using Google tools be sure to check out my "Control Alt Achieve" book which contains this project and many more ready-to-use, creative activities for your students.

Post by Eric Curts
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  1. Thanks, Eric! Great lessons here for my communications and technology class!

    1. You bet, Jennifer! I am so glad this is helpful!