April is National Poetry Month!
Poetry? Who cares about poetry?
Poetry has stood at my side throughout my life, in many ways:
- in thankfulness for every day of life with my family in the beauty of the world despite the problems we people create
- in the lyrics of songs that inspire me
- in the poems written by my husband
- in the words of the people around me: family, students, strangers
Poetry is not my gift, but I appreciate the gifts of others. How do we share this appreciation?
Poetry is relevant, nonthreatening, multi-topics, full of emotions, sounds and feelings of everyday.
Did you know you can find poems on any topic: skateboards, insects, math, snow, holidays, basketball, etc.
To see the everyday of our lives in new ways, connect to and with the poetry, to feel a part of its rhythm and voice.
How To Connect to Poetry
How do we connect to poetry? Two invitations may help inspire a way to get inside poetry. Poetry touches our heart and our senses, it helps us see things in a new way, and it sometimes makes us think.
If we spend time reading poetry, we’ll begin to sense connections — we will imagine the world the poet sees through our own eyes.
And we’ll begin to feel the flow and the rhythm of the words that wander through our imaginations.
So here are two reasons to read some poetry to discover ways the words connect to us.
1- Connect to poetry by finding poems for yourself or others.
- Can you find a poem that speaks to you?
- Can you find a poem for someone else?
In our efforts to be kinder in the world both to ourselves and to others, what better way to do so than with the gift of a poem.
- treat yourself to the gift of a poem that represents you
- dedicate a poem to someone else
Think of your own interests and passions, or your personality and goals.
Or think of someone you admire or a friend.
- What poem shares [my or their] feelings? personality? passions? interests? wonderings?
- What phrase in the poem grabbed you– connected the poem to you or the person?
Write a dedication:
- Create a card or image for yourself or to give to someone else.
- Include the poem, the source,
- Add a dedication to yourself or another person with why the poem fits [what grabbed you and connected the poem to yourself or the other person].
Poem to the principal
Poem to myself
What kind of poem would you search for — for yourself or for someone else?
2 – Connect to poetry by finding poems that fit the things in your classroom, school, or community.
What spaces would be great places for poetry?
Finding places to share poetry we enjoy is a great way to spread the love of poetry in the classroom or school. Each space in the school or classroom could have a poem next to it that connects to that space. One of my students once wrote a poem for our one black stapler by the door.
I’d start in the classroom. One thing kids really worry about is: Homework ! Ha!
Here’s a poem that shows that sometimes there are more important things to worry about than homework so it was dedicated to The Homework Bin.
Search for and read poems — think about these questions– what poems…
• Will offer a surprise
• Grab the reader?
• Allow readers to see the spot in a new way?
• Will cause people to stop and ponder?
• Reflect the time or activity occurring at the spot?
When you find a poem that fits–where the poem matches the “everyday” emotions and ideas in the space– copy or print the poem to create a display in that space. Decide how to display the poem and include:
- Poet Ponderer (the person(s) who found the poem),
- and a copy request address, in case someone wants a copy.
With poems displayed around the room, take a gallery walk with a partner to think about these questions [you might want to practice thinking about these questions with the “Poems for the Homework Bin” poem]:
- What phrase(s) grabbed you? What did you like?
- What images did you see in your mind?
- Why was that poem placed in that spot?
- What audience would read it there?
- What purpose does the poem share in this spot?
- Could it fit in another spot?
- What does the dedication do?
Finding poetry for “places” makes the place more interesting — and it helps us see that poetry is everyday and everywhere!
What place will find a poem for?
Read poetry? Where do I read poetry?
Check your classroom library. Check your school library. Check your local library. I think you have poetry books at home. And, of course, find poems online:
- Edublogs: April is Poetry Month
- A Poem a Day by GottaBook
- Poetry Minute — new one every day
- Children’s Poetry Archive — hear poets read
- I’ve also created a webpage with TONS of resources for poems, lessons, etc. here: April: National Poetry Month
- Poems for Kids https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poems-kids
- Classic Poetry http://www.storyit.com/Classics/JustPoems/classicpoems.htm
- Poetry 4 Kids – Ken Nesbitt http://www.poetry4kids.com/poems
- The Poetry Archive https://www.childrenspoetryarchive.org/
- Poetry Types http://www.kathimitchell.com/poemtypes.html
- The Poetry Zone http://poetryzone.co.uk/all-poems/
- Fun Poetry for Kids http://www.fizzyfunnyfuzzy.com/poems.php
- Poetry For Children Blogspot http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/
- Poetry Foundation https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/browse#page=1&sort_by=recently_added&filter_poetry_teens=1&filter_poetry_children=1
- C J Heck’s Barking Spider Poetry http://www.barkingspiderspoetry.com/
- Robert Pottle Poems http://www.robertpottle.com/poems/index.php
Get ready for National Poetry Month and connect with poetry by finding poems for yourself, for others, or for places around you!
Which poetry connection activity will you do?