MonthApril 2014

More Poetry Project Ideas

We have loved seeing so many amazing poetry-themed Haiku Decks this month! Here are three more fantastic poetry project ideas submitted by teachers.

1. Spring Sensory Poems (Grade 1)

Submitted by Carrie Bresnehen, Cox Elementary – Cedar Park, TX

Learning Objectives

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL1.4: Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings to appeal to the senses


Haiku Deck iPad App or Haiku Deck Web App (free)

Activity Description

  1. Discuss the five senses and sensory words. What might you see on a walk in the spring? What might you smell? Etc. Take a walk or read a spring book.
  2. Create lists of sensory phrases for each of the five senses.
  3. Students use lists as ideas to create their own “spring is” poem.
  4. Students publish their work using Haiku Deck and share their finished product with the class.

Pro Tip

Creating word lists and a class example help students understand the project.

Carrie loves Haiku Deck because….

“Young students can easily create amazing projects!”

2. Wondering About Kindness (Grade 5)

Submitted by Donna Adkins, Fairlands Elementary School, Pleasanton, CA

Learning Objectives

Our team of fifth graders had several learning objectives, including:

  • Learning how to use Haiku Deck (shared classroom iPad)
  • Working collaboratively to share our thinking
  • Responding to literature (We are reading the book Wonder, by R.J. Palacio)
  • Really thinking of what the word kind means, and what kindness really looks like and feels like

Some of the standards this project touched on included:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.7: Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.6: With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.


Students access published works related to the theme of “Kindness.” For our class, we are reading the book Wonder. The theme of Wonder is kindness as well as acceptance of self and others. Any book that has a strong theme relating to character education would support the project.

In addition to print resources, our school participates in a character education program that helps students recognize and develop various positive character traits, including kindness. This program, “Soul Shoppe,” is a schoolwide character education initiative.

Activity Description

    • After reading Wonder as a group, students wrote several reflections about what “Kind” is and how it affects them in reading journals.
    • Using an iPad and class list, student leaders worked with individual students to create the slide deck on my teacher account.
    • The teacher checked the deck for spelling and grammar only, then published the student work.
    • Work was shared with family and friends.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Pro Tip

My biggest tip is to just let the students do it and not try and “help” them or worry about whether it is “perfect.”

Donna says….

“My students really love sharing their thinking. They loved the images that were available. I loved that they could do this easily without me.”

3. Spring Poetry (Grade 3)

Submitted by Smita Kolhatkar, Barron Park Elementary – Palo Alto, CA

Learning Objectives

  • Learn various styles of poetry
  • Work on word work (vocabulary)
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.5: Learn process of revision
  • With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 3 here.)
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.6: Publish digitally
  • With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.


Activity Description

  1. Students wrote their poems on paper.
  2. They then typed and revised them in Google Docs, using the new Google Docs Thesaurus Add-on (fantastic feature!).
  3. After a few iterations, they used Haiku Deck to type their poems, associating each line with a pertinent image.
  4. They played Haiku Deck in Play mode and took a screen shot of each slide (picture + text).
  5. They imported those pictures into Explain Everything from the Camera Roll.
  6. They added their voice and annotation.
  7. Students saved the end product as a video in the Camera Roll.
Poetry Project Ideas: Spring Poetry

See the final video on Smita’s blog

Pro Tips

  • The sound reduction microphone is not a must. However, the quieter an environment for students to record, the better the quality of the product.
  • Ensure that the images really connect with the pictures.
  • For teachers: Frontload the meaning of poetry, emphasize the process of revision, and focus on 1 or 2 key areas of revision.

Smita’s favorite thing about Haiku Deck is….

“The fantastic pictures. They are simply amazing.”

More Poetry Project Inspiration

Don’t miss 12 Awesome Poetry Project Ideas for All Ages

Special thanks to Carrie, Donna, and Smita for sharing their poetry project ideas! If you have additional tips or inspirations, please share them in the comments. And if you have a photography-themed Haiku Deck project idea to share, we’re collecting those throughout May.

Celebrating Seattle Startups!

We absolutely love being part of the vibrant, creative Seattle tech community — we had our roots in Startup Weekend and TechStars, set up our first office at Founders Co-op, and enjoy collaborating with fellow startups funded by Madrona Venture Group.

We run our business with tools and services from awesome Seattle companies like Design Commission, Moz, Tableau, Wheelhouse Search, and Apptentive.

We have been proud to sponsor local events such as Seattle CodeChix and the upcoming ARA Seattle Women in Tech Forum…we’ve given talks at Ignite, Seattle 2.0 Startup Day, and Seattle Interactive…we’ve partnered on creative collaborations and workshops with Edelman, Relaborate, and Payscale.

Just a year ago our fledgling team celebrated being named Geekwire App of the Year, an honor that really put some wind beneath our paper wings.

Celebrating Seattle Startups: Team Haiku Deck at Geekwire Awards

Marc, Kevin, Rick, Casey, Adam, Erin, Lisa, Luz, Adam, and Catherine celebrating Haiku Deck’s 2013 App of the Year win 

Now we’re incredibly honored to be nominated as a finalist for Startup of the Year in the Geekwire Awards, alongside four great Seattle startups we admire.

In gratitude for all the support and encouragement we’ve received from fellow the Seattle tech community, we’ve created Haiku Decks to showcase ALL of the innovative local entrepreneurs and startups who are also finalists in the Geekwire Awards. {Yes, we started dreaming in Haiku Deck themes, but it was worth it to recognize so much fantastic local talent.}

Vote for Your Favorite Seattle Startups and Entrepreneurs!

Here you can browse and vote, all in one place — and it’s fast and easy to vote, with no need to sign up. Just be sure to get your votes in before the polls close on April 27th!

Startup of the Year

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Vote for Startup of the Year

CEO of the Year

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Hai5s All Around!

It has come to our attention that yesterday was National High-Five Day, but in our view, one day is simply not enough. We believe every single day should be packed with high-five moments — or, as we like to call them around here, Hai5s.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

We hope you know that everything we do, we do for you!

Our Hai5s to You, Today and Every Day

1. We make it ridiculously easy and fast to create beautiful slides that make you want to Hai5 yourself — and you’ll get Hai5 from your audience, too, for breaking free from the same old, same old. Hai5!

2. If you have a question, an issue, or feedback, we are here to help you out! You can tweet us, search our amazing support forum, or open a support ticket for fast, friendly, personal service from Erin, Lisa, and even Adam. Hai5!

3.  We celebrate your awesome creations by showcasing them in our Featured Gallery, our Popular Gallery, and on the blog. Have a Hai5-worthy deck to share? Hai5! Send us a link at

4. We build real community across social channels with the explicit goal of making helpful resources and examples available for you.

5. We provide all these amazing tools, resources, and support for free, because we believe EVERYBODY, from 1st graders to the CTO of Australia, has amazing ideas and stories to share. Hai5!

5 Quick Ways to Hai5 Us Back

If you love being part of our creative community as much as we love having you in it…..if you love creating jaw-droppingly beautiful slides quickly, for free….if you love supporting a tiny team with big dreams…..

1. Help us win our first Webby Award for Productivity! We’re up against some pretty stiff competition, and this would be a very exciting win for us. Click to vote before April 24 — you can sign in easily with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or email — then click again to confirm your vote. Hai5!

BONUS: Tweet your #Webbys vote between now and April 24 to unlock a secret premium iPad theme or score a coveted Haiku Deck sticker! (And if you already voted, that’s awesome — just tweet your vote again to earn your Hai5!)

DOUBLE BONUS: If we win the #Webbys People’s Voice vote, we’ll make all of our premium themes available for free for a week!

2. While you’re in the groove, you can also vote for Haiku Deck as Startup of the Year in the GeekWire Awards, which honors tech innovation in the Pacific Northwest. No sign-in required for this one — just click and vote before April 27. Hai5!

3. Create a Haiku Deck — for work or for fun. If you haven’t tried making one on the Web App, or if it’s been a while since you used it, give it a try to see how hard our Dev team has been workingHai5!

4. Share your Haiku Decks! The more people see how beautiful slides can be, the less we’ll all have to look at awful ones. And when you see a great Haiku Deck, click the Hai5 hand below it for a feel-good animation that gives a little love back to the deck’s creator. (Fair warning: It’s a little addicting once you start.) Hai5!

Hai5 All Around

If you see a great deck, give it a Hai5!

5. Tell your friends, colleagues, bosses, and neighbors about Haiku Deck. Share it with educators, non-profits, entrepreneurs, trainers, bloggers, and marketers. Let’s work together to fill the world with beautiful stories and ideas. Hai5!

Hai5s all around, today and every day!


Six Simple Suggestions for Poetic Presentations

Poetic Presentations

Presentations are pervasive, perhaps unavoidable, in modern business culture. We depend upon them to document details and dictate discussion. We use them to inform and to teach.

But shouldn’t presentations also inspire? Can they be evocative as well as informational?

I believe they can, and I think a lot about the qualities that make presentations feel poetic rather than pedestrian.

Poetic Building Blocks

I’ll spare you the cliche of starting with the dictionary definition (see #2 below), but most descriptions touch on these essential components of poetry: the expression of feelings and ideas, distinctive style, rhythm, beauty, intensity of emotion, and brevity.

1. Expression

To me, the most important element of a poetic presentation is a single, powerful idea to build around, to expand upon, to infuse every aspect of your creation. Think of this as your creative hook or your angle. Without a strong underlying inspiration or theme, presentations can end up feeling rambling, jumbled, or disjointed — just a sequence of slides.

The Dragonfly Effect, an inspiring book and blog about how social media can drive social change, is a great example of how powerful a cohesive creative hook can be. I incorporated beautiful dragonfly imagery into this presentation I made to share the team’s unique approach.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Poetry in Practice: When you’re crafting a presentation, give yourself some time up front to identify a theme you can carry through. This could be a metaphorical idea, a powerful phrase, or some other unifying creative thread. I often get my ideas from exploring in the Haiku Deck image search.

2. Distinctive Style

There are a wide variety of unique poetic forms, each with its own mood, character, and general format. The same is true for presentations. Whether you are sharing a lighthearted list or making an impassioned case for a cause you care about, select a style that fits and carry it through cohesively. Each presentation you create should feel distinct, in a way that suits its unique purpose.

The other important point here is to be distinctive — which means taking special care to avoid cliche in subject matter, wording, and image choice.

I love how Mel Carson uses black & white portraits in this presentation promoting his book, Pioneers of Digital. The overall effect feels unified and perfectly tailored to its subject.

Pioneers Of Digital – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Poetry in Practice: Instead of templatizing your presentations, select fonts and images to reinforce your mood and theme. As you develop each presentation, keep formatting and even image palettes as cohesive as possible to sustain the mood.

3. Rhythm

Poetry is strongly associated with rhythm, with cadence, with well-chosen words. You can play with alliteration (the repetition of consonants), assonance (the repetition of vowel sounds), or even rhyme as you title your talk and script your slides.

Zooming out, try to give your presentation as a whole a sense of rhythm, structure, and flow. You can do this by repeating visual or text elements at regular intervals — for example, solid-color slides to introduce new sections, or a short, simple string of text repeated throughout for poetic emphasis.

“Sculpting an Elephant,” by Barry Casey, is a wonderful example of poetic language and rhythmic flow in practice:

Sculpting An Elephant – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Poetry in Practice: Allow yourself time, and a few edit passes, to explore possibilities for word choice — you might even use an online dictionary, thesaurus, or rhyming dictionary for ideas. If you land on a poetic, powerful phrase, try repeating it at intervals throughout your presentation to underscore its rhythmic resonance.

4. Beauty

Beauty alone can’t carry an unsubstantial idea, but a beautifully presented idea can blossom into something bigger, more powerful. In a presentation, beauty may take the form of evocative, well-chosen images that deepen your meaning, or it could be an elegant metaphorical idea that intrigues and illuminates.

Take a look at how Brandon George uses clever images with a playful spin in this information-sharing presentation, “How to Get Ideas.” It’s a very creative take on beauty!

How to Get Ideas – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Poetry in Practice: Use high-quality imagery, and don’t rush the selection of your images — they should be more than just decoration. Be sure each image you choose deepens and extends your meaning or tells a story.

5. Emotion

In the age of big data, it’s common to value information over emotion, and to structure presentations accordingly. Yet in the words of Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal, “Humans simply aren’t moved to action by ‘data dumps,’ dense PowerPoint slides, or spreadsheets packed with figures. People are moved by emotion.”

“Humans simply aren’t moved to action by ‘data dumps,’ dense PowerPoint slides, or spreadsheets packed with figures. People are moved by emotion.” — Jonathan Gottschall

When we celebrated our company’s one-year anniversary last summer, I wanted to acknowledge the milestone with a mix of compelling stats and stories. Here’s how I wove the two together:

Celebrating One Year of Haiku Deck – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

For another example, check out how a creative teacher infuses a basic scientific formula with storytelling in this educational presentation:

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Poetry in Practice: No matter how data-heavy your presentation is, your message will be more memorable if you can turn your stats in stories. Emotion and information can work together to elevate your key points.

6. Brevity

Certainly there are grand, epic forms of poetry, but most poetic forms favor brevity. Keeping your presentation concise and focused will nearly always make it feel more poetic.

This personality-packed presentation, created to cap off what was surely an epic Startup Weekend event, is an excellent example of how little text you actually need to get the point across.

Poetry in Practice: Instead of trying to pack in more — more words, more ideas, more thoughts, more data points — see what you can remove. Give your ideas some breathing room, so they can bloom.

In Closing

Here’s one last example I’d like to share, in which I tried to incorporate all of these poetic building blocks to some extent. I created it for presentation expert Nolan Haims, based on a blog post he wrote that inspired me. (Sending this to him felt a bit like cooking dinner for a famous chef, and I offered to make any changes he requested, but he liked it!)

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

There’s no foolproof formula to creating poetic presentations — like poetry itself, there are plenty of forms to explore and ways to experiment. But I hope these poetic building blocks can plant some seeds for future presentation inspiration.

Do you have favorite examples or poetic presentations, or ideas to share? Let me know in the comments!

And if you appreciate what we’re doing, please cast your vote for poetic presentations in the Webby Awards — every vote makes a big difference!


We Dream of Webby

A Webby Win?

Haiku Deck fans, we hope you know we’re here for you to help you feel more inspired, celebrate your accomplishments, Hai-5 your killer decks, connect you to creative and amazing people, and do everything we possibly can to make at least the presentation part of your life simpler, more beautiful, and more fun.

Now we’re asking a favor of you.

We just learned that we’ve been selected–from thousands and thousands of applications–as a finalist for a coveted Webby Award, in the productivity category.

This huge accomplishment alone inspired Adam to break out into spontaneous karaoke song, but a WIN would be a dream come true for our tiny team.

We created this special Haiku Deck poem to share our Webby Dream and to showcase the stunningly beautiful Creative Commons images you can find every day with the Haiku Deck image search, all free to use, perfectly sized, and automagically attributed.

We Dream of Webby – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Make Our Webby Dream Come True!

Webby or bust, Haiku Deck fans!

If we have helped you look like a rock star, saved you time, or even made you smile, please take a quick minute to VOTE for Haiku Deck in the Webbys People’s Choice competition:

1. Click this badge

Webby Awards: Please vote for Haiku Deck at!

Click to vote!

2. Sign in with your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or with an email and password (it only takes a second).

3. Click Haiku Deck, then click it again to confirm your vote.

4. Webbylicious Bonus Ideas: Tweet the love….Share this blog post…Share We Dream of Webby (it is National Poetry Month, after all)…Share our 10 Commandments of Presentations on Haiku Deck or on Slideshare, also inspired by the Webby Awards. Dedicate a karaoke song to us. Cover your iPad in Haiku Deck stickers. Go crazy.

5. Bask in our eternal gratitude for your awesomeness.

Love and Hai-5s,

Team Haiku Deck


6. Be thankful we didn’t include this image in We Dream of Webby.


12 Awesome Poetry Project Ideas for All Ages

Poetry Everywhere!

It’s National Poetry Month, the perfect time to fill the world with beautiful ideas and poetic power!

For a little inspiration, we’re showcasing twelve terrific poetry projects from our incredibly creative community of educators. You’ll find projects for first graders and high schoolers, and everything from sensory poems to color explorations to poems about polliwogs. (We also think any of these would be just as fun for adults to try — a little creative expression is always good for the soul!)

Educators, share your poetry project ideas here for a chance to win fun Haiku Deck prizes.

And if any of these ideas inspire you to create poetry-themed Haiku Decks (and we certainly hope they will), be sure to send us a link to, or tweet them with the hashtag #poeticpower!

1. Illustrate Figurative Language

In San Antonio, Texas, Terri Eichholz uses Haiku Deck with her 4th graders to explore and illustrate figurative language:

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Terri’s take: “In 5 minutes, I was able to show the students how to create a slide, add text, select an image, and share the product.  Once all of the products were in, we played a quick game to identify the type of figurative language as I showed each example on the big screen. While they were working with their partners, I heard one student say, “I love doing this!”

While they were working with their partners, I heard one student say, “I love doing this!”

“I love that they were engaged and learning, and all it cost me was about 10 minutes more than the previous times I’ve taught that lesson. Now, they have a new digital tool in their belt that they can choose from when they write their own examples of figurative language.”

Read more about Terri’s project (inspired by Natalie Babbitt’s “Tuck Everlasting”) and see examples of her students’ work on Engage Their Minds.

2. Create, Illustrate, and Share Original Poetry

Christy Novack and Julie Janc’s 3rd grade class at Roosevelt Elementary School used Haiku Deck and QR codes to spread poetry throughout their community.

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Haiku Deck Announces Support for Windows XP


Seattle Startup Responds Boldly to Office for iOS Launch, Making PowerPoint Alternative Available to Millions of Windows XP Users WorldWide

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 12.12.17 PM.png

Click to view a version of this press release created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that’s simple, beautiful, and fun

Seattle, WA — April 1, 2014Haiku Deck today announced that its popular presentation app will now offer support for Windows XP. The free software brings Haiku Deck’s innovative approach to presentation creation and sharing to more than 300 million Windows XP users worldwide.

Haiku Deck’s streamlined design templates, dynamic HTML 5 output, and vast image library–with access to more than 35 million Creative Commons images–will now be available to diehard Windows XP users, offering an attractive alternative to traditional presentation software.

“Even if you have resisted updating your operating system for the past decade, there’s no longer a need to use presentation software from 24 years ago,” said Adam Tratt, co-founder and CEO of Haiku Deck. “In less time than it takes you to boot your Windows XP machine, you’ll be able to create an amazing Haiku Deck for sharing your new idea, closing a deal, or telling an awesome story. You’ll also have time to make a grilled cheese sandwich and watch two episodes of Matlock.”

In less time than it takes you to boot your Windows XP machine, you’ll be able to create an amazing Haiku Deck for sharing your new idea, closing a deal, or telling an awesome story.

Haiku Deck has demonstrated strong momentum since the launch of its iPad app in August 2012 — the app has millions of users and has ranked #1 in productivity in more than 50 countries worldwide. The Haiku Deck Web App offers full support for syncing from iPad to Windows XP, as well as future bug fixes and security updates for Windows XP users worldwide.

The Haiku Deck Web App is available to all Windows XP for free at or on 3.5” floppy disks upon request. To receive a faxed copy of the Haiku Deck Web App User Guide, please contact

About Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck makes it simple and fun to create flawlessly beautiful presentations. Headquartered in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, Haiku Deck is a privately held company with the backing of prominent investors, including Trilogy Partnership, Madrona Venture Group, Founder’s Co-op, and Techstars. The Seattle-based startup was founded by Adam Tratt and Kevin Leneway. Haiku Deck has been embraced by creative communicators from a wide range of disciplines worldwide; for examples of how people are using Haiku Deck to pitch ideas, teach lessons, tell stories, and ignite movements, visit the Haiku Deck Featured and Popular Galleries, Blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Pinterest boards. For additional information and company images, visit

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