Posts Tagged ‘Canva’

Poetry Friday round-up with Catherine at Reading to the Core

Poetry Friday round-up with Catherine at Reading to the Core



Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Over at Today’s Little Ditty, Michelle has posted the wrap-up of nothing poems from this month’s ditty challenge posted by Douglas Florian. I have a poem in the collection.

I challenged my students by sharing Diane Mayr’s nothing poem. She used anaphora, a repeated line, “Nothing, but…” This prompt generated a lot of thought. I was excited by the results.

Today, I have a dual post: I celebrate the nothing poems my students created and add them to the Poetry Friday Ditty collection. The digital images were created on Canva.

Love this nature nothing poem from Andrew, 3rd grade.

Love this nature nothing poem from Andrew, 3rd grade.

Lynzee loves the songs of nightingales, 1st grade.

Lynzee loves the songs of nightingales, 1st grade.

Nothing by Kaiden

Nothing poem by Kaiden, 5th grade

Nothing poem by Kaiden, 5th grade

Kielan’s poem is about a classmate, Erin.

Nothing but rainbow narwhals

Nothing but rainbow butterfly unicorn kittens

Nothing but unicorns

Nothing but love

Nothing but a helpful heart

Nothing but imagination

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

In an attempt to get more participation in DigiLit Sunday, I tweeted out a topic this week, One Little Word. My students worked on their OLW projects the first few days of our return from break. I think this helped them focus and get excited about a new year.

As usual, I offered choices for their project. But for their blog posts, I had three requirements: an image, commentary, and poem. Many chose to write acrostic poems. Most of them chose to use Canva after I showed them how it worked.

Canva is a platform where you can create posters. We did not print the posters, but I uploaded them into their blog posts. Using thesaurus.com, they found synonyms for their words and in some cases, changed their word to one found in the search.

I have been thinking a lot about digital literacies, in particular visual literacies. How does the image convey meaning? I was careful to ask my students, “When you think of your word, what is the image you see?” For Jacob, his word Believe meant blue ocean water. For Madison, her word Effort was communicated by a rocket. Vannisa found a word that connected her interest in sleep (her passion project topic) and her zodiac sign (Pisces) by choosing Dream. She worked with the shape tools of Canva to create a cloud behind her word.

Kielan supported her choice of a star image (her word is Sparkle) with this piece of writing: “There are over a billion stars in the sky. Out of all those stars, there is one particular star that stands out from the rest. All those stars are one color, but this star is all colors. Blue, Red, Green, Purple, you name it. I want to be just like that star. I want to be bold, stand out, sparkle, and be like no other.”

Believe by Jacob

Believe by Jacob

Dream by Vannisa

Dream by Vannisa

Effort by Madison

Effort by Madison

Link up your DigiLit Sunday posts. Topic for next week: Balance (of digital and nondigital)

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Poetry Friday round-up  with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

Poetry Friday round-up with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference


This week my students and I wrote about our one little word choices.  I encouraged them to select an image and create a Canva.  I’ll write more about this process on DigiLit Sunday this weekend.  Please consider joining the round-up.  This week we are sharing about OLW in the classroom.

My newest student, a gifted first grader, wrote this profound poem about the idea of selecting a OLW.

A word is like a leaf,

So fragile,

Everyone chooses a word,

At the beginning of the year,

Little do they know,

Their word is a leaf.

–Lynzee, 1st grade

This student selected the word “Astonish” which is quite a big word for her age, but she wrote a personal acrostic that helped me understand her choice.

Astonish (1)


My OLW is Present.  My student Vannisa helped me write this poem as I was showing how Canva works.

One Little Word

By Margaret Simon (with help from Vannisa)

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Last week on a whim I invited my readers to a DigiLit Challenge. Many of you responded, so I started a Pinterest Board. There are already 12 pins on it. Let’s add to it this week.

This week’s DigiLit Challenge is an Invitation. You can create your invitation on the app of your choice. For Memorial Day, I went to New Orleans to visit with two of my girls. I was inspired by the art on the electric boxes. The project is a nonprofit organization to rebuild and beautify New Orleans. You can read more about it here.

electic box statue

My blogging friend Julianne (To Read, to Write, to Be) is coming to New Orleans this summer, so I wanted to show her some of the more beautiful parts. I took pictures and stored them. I tried Haiku Deck. The result was not exactly what I envisioned. I tried to make it into a movie using iMovie but some of the words were lost. My frustration made me quit. Here is one of the images and a link to the haiku deck. (I wish it would embed on my site.)



For my second attempt, I used Animoto. I just love this app. I have even paid to get a longer time. I can make movies that look expertly done without having to go through the cumbersome steps of iMovie.

For your invitation, you can create a movie or a still image. I created this invitation for blueberry picking on Canva.

Blueberry Picking 2

Have fun creating. Tag me in your posts @MargaretGSimon and use #invitation and #digilitchallenge. And as always, link up with InLinkz.

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

When my students were working on their One Little Words, I discovered how much fun thesaurus.com can be. I was curious if there was a form for thesaurus poetry. A Google search turned up a funny metaphorical poem by Billy Collins. You have to love a sarcastic poem that ends with a love story between two words.

I would rather see words out on their own, away
from their families and the warehouse of Roget,
wandering the world where they sometimes fall
in love with a completely different word.
Surely, you have seen pairs of them standing forever
next to each other on the same line inside a poem,
a small chapel where weddings like these,
between perfect strangers, can take place.
See complete poem here.

The assignment: Choose a word. Write it in capital letters. Find 4 synonyms. Write those in a second line. (Pick the easiest word to rhyme for your last word.) Then write a phrase that ends with a rhyming word. As a class, we wrote this poem.

Imaginary, mythical, enchanting, spellbinding
Potions of my mind unwinding.
–Mrs. Simon’s Caneview class

I let the students go. When one or two were getting frustrated by line placement on Kidblogs, I suggested Canva. We have talked about design before. More than ever, I watched them wrestle over design. One student got frustrated that every background cost a dollar, so she said, “I just made my own background.” She used the plain color background and added free icons. She also changed the coloring on the icons. I marveled at her quick turn around.

Digital Literacy should be more about the literacy than it is about the digital. Technology enhanced my students’ poems with design and allowed them to share their work globally. However, the most value was in the play and problem-solving with words and language.

Erin created her own Extraordinary design for her OLW thesaurus poem.

Erin created her own Extraordinary design for her OLW thesaurus poem.

Kielan's mother is getting married in June.  What a sweet gift.

Kielan’s mother is getting married in June. What a sweet gift.

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Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts.  Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts. Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

Fly word cloud 2

Holly invites us to reflect on our spiritual journey. For the next several weeks, we will be writing about different little words. Today is Michelle’s word, FLY. I made a Tagxedo image with my thesaurus. com search. My own little word, Reach, came up a number of times. I hadn’t made the connection before. When I selected Reach, I was thinking more about goals I want to strive for. But isn’t that like learning to fly, trying to pick up the tail winds and soar?

Discovering synonyms is a good way to ruminate on a word. I watch the birds when they fly. The hawk that glides across the highway in search of hidden prey. I am not like the hawk, a hungry hunter.

The hummingbird comes to the feeder, fluttering wildly to sip sweet nectar. I am not as desperate as a hummingbird who is so quick and finicky.

The seagull came up in my search a few times. Am I a seagull, like Jonathan Livingston, tired of materialism and conformity, looking for meaning in perfecting his flight?

With a wing for understanding and a wing for influence, my flight will be balanced. I will rise to awareness. I will strive toward space, a place to be me. A place to know I am loved.

With God as my compass.

Created on Canva.com

Created on Canva.com

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  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Poetry forms the quality of light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change.
–Audre Lord

PHOSPHORESCENCE. Now there’s a word to lift your hat to… to find that phosphorescence, that light within, that’s the genius behind poetry.
― Emily Dickinson

oak light

My poetry light to my OLW:

Rise to the novelty
Eager for the rising
Arms stretched overhead
Calling for strength
Happy to hold the sunlight.

–Margaret Simon

If you missed DigiLit Sunday, I posted an Emaze presentation you can use with your students to make their own One Little Word resolutions. I presented this on Monday, and my students began working on their word webs and Canva designs. I wanted to share a few with you today.

one special word copy

Julie Johnson wrote about the importance of design. She wrote, “I think some would ask if it’s important to teach our students these skills when they are crafting digital compositions? I believe it is. Our students are composing and consuming texts very differently in today’s world. I believe it’s my responsibility as a teacher of writers to help my students be able to produce thoughtful quality products.” Full post here.

Thinking about Julie’s post, I talked to my students about design. “How can you use design of the image, the color, and the font to communicate what your word means to you?” In Kielan’s image above, she was very thoughtful about her design. She chose the word Merry. Many of the other students were thinking about “Merry Christmas,” so instead of changing her word, she used an image to describe what she meant by the word. She wants us to feel the calm, peaceful beauty of the word Merry.

Emily OLW

I like the way Emily used synonyms for her word, Unique, to express her word.
Reed used a white board to share his word web around his word Light. I love how the design of the word web looks like a light.

Reed's word web

When I was working with a first grader, I showed him how to use Thesaurus.com to make his word web. After we did this together, I realized how much this would help all of my students. So for my afternoon group, I suggested they try it. Put your word into the thesaurus and click. Find another word you like, click it, and so on, until a word web is built around a central word. This led some students to new words they could either select as their OLW or use in a poem. I look forward to seeing more student words. This activity not only gives students an opportunity to set goals and reflect on themselves, it also uses 21st Century Skills, the C’s of Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Communication. Feel free to use the Emaze to work with your own students on OLW.


To make your own images with Canva, click here.

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please join in this meme designed to share our digital learning and challenges. Just as a teacher of writing needs to be a writer, a teacher of digital literacy needs to be a digital learner. Use this button on your blog post and leave a link with Mr. Linky. Please read and comment on other posts. That’s how connectedness and collaboration begin.

Reflection is another means to apply the Connected Learning principles of being Interest-Powered and Production Centered by considering what you’re making and interests are now, and what your orientation is for the immediate future. –Chris Butts, CLMOOC team


I have jumped right in to the waters of two digital challenges: The Thinglink Teacher Challenge and National Writing Project’s Making Learning Connected, a.k.a. #clmooc.


Yesterday’s email from the CLMOOC team asked us to make a list of three things and to reflect on two questions.

1. What I’ve made so far…

How to pick blueberries: Thinglink
Self avatar: Bitstrip

Digital Self: Thinglink

How to be water: Animoto/YouTube

2. What I’m working on:

Poster about writing in Canva: This is a higher learning curve than other apps I tried this week. I struggled and gave up. But I am determined to try again and conquer this!

3. What I want to work on:

Prezi is a presentation site that I am daunted by. I have seen others do great things with it, and I’m sure my students would love it.


What did you learn from what you’ve already made? I learned to be more confident in my digital self. The Thinglink challenge for this week was to make a digital self. I thought I had to draw something. I started working on my ipad with a new stylus and became quickly annoyed. Then I googled avatar and low and behold, there’s an app for that! I was surprised how easy it was. So many online apps can make you feel stupid, but some, like Bitstrips, made me feel smart.

What do you see as the purpose of making this week? The purpose for me always goes back to my teaching and being able to support my students in their digital learning. However, I also discovered that making was fun, and I was compelled to share (and show off). I want to invite you to take the plunge. Jump in the deep end because there are lots of supportive floatie people out there.

I wanted to make a blog icon for the Connected Learning values, so after writing this post, I tried Canva again. It worked better for this purpose. You should try it.

Connected Learning

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