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Poe and Powtoons

Poe and Powtoons

February 26, 2015


I love it when teachers and students in various classes find unique ways to solve problems. For example, last semester the teachers in my class had an assignment, in which they, not only had to write about a totally new topic for each of them, but they also had to share their project with software, which was new for each of which them.

The various topics ranged from the five hypotheses to accountability to close reading to culture to poverty to TPRS. The software was also varied: PowerPoint, Prezi, iMovies, and Powtoons.

Deb, a secondary teacher in WY, had recently discovered her home run reading book, The Power of Reading by Steve Krashen. A home run reading book is that one book, which turns a reluctant reader into an avid reader. It is the one book, which opens the door to more and more books. A home run book is the first book, you fall head-of-heals in love with. Mine was Secret Garden, but more about that in a later WinkWorld blog.

Read about The Home Run Book

Since I knew that Deb on was on fire with the ideas within The Power of Reading, I suggested that she do something to make these ideas visible for her colleagues in class. She decided to do this with Powtoons, although she had no idea what it was. She solved her problem by enlisting her high school students to use Powtoons to enhance their study of poetry and, also, to help Deb learn how to use this software.   When Deb collaborated with these secondary kids, we all learned a lot about Poe and Powtoons.

With their permission, I am sharing some of the Powtoons.

Deb, a teacher, shares her Powtoons on The Power of Reading

Jake and Katie, 2 high school students, share The Fall of the House of Usher

Emma, another high school student also shares her Powtoons of The Fall of the House of Usher.




  • Mary Kay Sandal

    I loved these, I think I could use them to tell my grandkids their family history!!

    • Joan Wink

      Go for it, MK! I was never too excited about Powtoons, until I watched these teachers and high school students learn with them. I think they know more about Edgar Allan Poe than I ever did after memorizing for tests. These people all came to understanding Poe and remember Poe because they collaborated and created together.

  • I think that the best thing about this assignment is the teacher learning from her students. But then again, the best thing is the “home run reading book” concept. In any case, these are wonderful activities and results of their learning. Wish sometimes I weren’t retired.

  • This project was so much fun for the kids and me. We learned a lot about the technology, but they all were able to make sense of a difficult story by Edgar Allen Poe through the animation of the story. I will use this technology again!

    • Joan Wink

      Dear Deb and high school students, we all loved your collaboration. “The Fall of the House of Usher” came alive in your technology. And, Deb, I love that “The Power of Reading” was the book that really lit your fire.

  • Mom, this is beautiful! You are rockin’ this.
    Love you, love you,

    • Joan Wink

      I love the work that Deb did with the high school students. Suddenly, Poe is so relevant.

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