I have to say at the outset that this is not an activity I personally ever played in a K12 setting. But in my first year at VCU my students told me about this — an activity in which students throw popcorn at each other, one after another, to determine who will say the next thing in a discussion. I’m not sure whether they ate the popcorn at the end or not. Probably not (unhygienic).
One of my goals in this course is not only to use twitter to teach you poetry, but to use twitter to teach you how to use twitter. I will soon have a page linked to the FAQ in which I spell out exactly why I like to use twitter for this course, but for now let me mention @mentions. When you tweet @ somebody, it pings their notification tab. People who follow a lot of other twitterers often cannot keep up with all the tweets coming in, and it’s easier to get their attention if you @mention them. This happens automatically when you reply to a tweet, but you can also strategically mention other users. For this activity, treat @mentions as if you somebody were throwing popcorn at you, and then use your own @mention to reciprocate for somebody else.
In each of these weekly activities, we will construct a poem as a class. I will give you (below, and also on twitter), the parameters I’d like you to follow as you come up with the poem; I’ll also give you the first line and the subject matter (to prevent chaos), and make the first mention. But remember you have to be mentioned by somebody before you can add a line. This is why the Popcorn Poems! activity runs the entire week: the whole thing needs to be completed by the end of whatever week it’s been assigned. Refer to my list of twitter users for this course to choose the next person to @mention; but if it looks like you’re going to be left out of the activity, don’t let it happen — ping the group with a tweet to #vizpoem that you’d like to play!
One other thing: I need you to use not only the #vizpoem hashtag, but #popcornpoems as well (for statistical reasons). This shouldn’t be a problem, even though I’m requiring you to add two #hashtags and a @mention, because you only ever write one line of poetry.