Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bring Poetry to Life with A Cell Phone and A Voki

This lesson was designed for literacy teachers who are interested in harnessing the power of cell phones in instruction. This can be used for educators who want to integrate cell phones into the curriculum either at school or away from school.



Lesson Title:
Bring Poetry to Life with A Cell Phone and A Voki

Lesson Overview:
Students use Vokis to bring their poetry to life and hear themselves reading their pieces.
Lesson Description:
Voki is a terrific tool to use toward the end of a poetry unit when students are ready to publish their work. A Voki is an animated avitar whose mouth, eyes, and head move to your words. When student poetry pieces are ready for publishing, have them record themselves using their cell phones to give Voki a voice.

Teachers should select a mentor poem to mod
el Voki creation and then have all students create Vokis with the mentor poem. This can lead to a discussion of how various elements affect how a Voki is interpreted and delivered.

Students will then be ready to create a Voki with their own poems. To create the Voki students will visit At the site students will create a Voki that fits the mood and style of their poem by customizing it in the following ways:

-->Character Style Select a character from one of our many styles: Classic, Animals, Oddballs and more!
-->Customization Change the look, clothing and accessories.
-->Background Choose a background from our library or upload your own.

Next students will have Voki call their cell so they can record their poem. They can record as often as they want until they get it just right. The teacher should group students in pairs, threes, or fours because once Voki's are created and posted to a website, blog, or wiki, students should be encouraged to comment on one another's Voki. If students are not familiar with peer review and appropriate feedback, the teacher will want to model a lesson on what is appropriate and the type of comments one might make.

The Vokis will serve as an engaging forum for how students will publish their work. This can also be shared with families and linked to the school website. Students may want to teach their family, friends, teachers, and administrators how to comment on their Voki's as well.

How to get started.

  • Register with your email and password.
  • Select create.
  • Select a character.
  • Select the look, clothing and accessories.
  • Add your own voice by calling the number Voki provides, or have Voki call your number by entering it.
  • Choose a background from the Voki library or upload your own.
  • Click Publish to email to a friend or get code to take your Voki avatar anywhere.

cell phones enrich this lesson.
Having students create Vokis enriches this lesson in several ways. First, it provides students with an opportunity to practice and hear themselves saying their poem. It allows them to do so in a non-threatening way. It alsoprovides a medium for all student's work to be displayed and commented on by each other as well as friends, family, and other staff members.

Special comments/considerations:
If a student doesn't have a cell, they can have the Voki call the number of a friend or family member for recording. If a student doesn't have access to a computer for having the Voki call
their phone, the teacher can partner students in pairs or threes that consist of one student having a computer. This also works great for collaboration and peer review purposes.

NETS Standards:

1. Creativity and Innovation - Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

Communication and Collaboration - Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.


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  2. I love that you have listed the appropriate NETs standards right with the posting!


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