Interactive children's poetry using a touch board

Mackenzie H., Lauren I., Faith D., Sasha W., Soleil F., and MiKenzie D.

We coded this interactive children's poetry board using Scratch + Makey-Makey.

We each selected a poem that we found interesting or funny and thought little kids would like. Each of us created a picture that illustrated our poem. Then we used Scratch to record the stanzas of a poem, and to code our recordings with sound effects.

We used a key event from the Makey Makey board, such as up arrow, down arrow, or spacebar to start the poem. Then we wired the Makey Makey board to our illustrated poetry board, using brass button clips. We also used another clip for the ground, so when a child presses the ground button and a button for a poem, they hear what we coded!

Press-A-Poem Board
Back of poetry board wired to makey-makey

Reading poems from a book can be boring. Children like them better when someone reads a poem to them to make it sound more interesting.

We used colorful illustrations to get a kid's interest and recorded the poems with cool sound effects that make them laugh or startle them. Even if you aren't in the library to touch the Press-a-Poem board, you can still use your keyboard from our website to pick a poem and listen to it.

The hardest part was getting all of the poems together in one Scratch file. We had to download them to a thumb drive and then one girl had to put them all together using Scratch's Backpack.

How did they get the picture to play a poem?

We are a group of middle school girls from the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area.  Most of us are new to coding, but we’re having a blast!

This project was made by Girls Who Code Club students at Slover Library Norfolk, VA.