April is National Poetry month. If you are looking for some fun ways to share poetry with your students, we’ve got you covered!
- Assign each student a different day to bring a poem to share with the class. For younger students, the teacher could read the poem out loud instead of the student. The sharing student could be required to tell why he or she likes the poem. You could also have a time for students to comment on the poem that was shared.
- As an alternative to #1, you could select a different poem to share each day, choosing from a wide variety of styles and authors.
- Have your students keep Poetry Reflection Journals in which they write their thoughts and feelings about either poems you share or poems they find on their own.
- Use a short poem for handwriting practice.
- Create a class anthology of poems. This could be very simple, or you could use one of the online publishing sites to create a real book (can you say “class fundraiser”?).
- Extend poems your students write into an art project. For example, illustrate haiku with simple watercolor drawings or create bright and crazy backgrounds for limericks.
- Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 18th.
- Watch some of these short Shel Silverstein videos, which feature his poems and illustrations, read by the author himself.
- Do an author study or have your students write biographies of famous poets.
- Use poems to teach figures of speech. Have students identify different types of figurative language in the poems they read.
- Use poems to practice visualizing. Students can draw what they see in their minds.
- Use poems to practice connecting. Students can share or write about the connections they make between a poem and their lives, other stories or poems, and the world.
- Have a poetry slam for parents – students can read their original poems. Another nice touch is to have your whole class do a choral reading.
- Here is an excellent list of poems for choral reading compiled by Robert Jackson. Click on the title of the poem to see parts for different readers.
- Have everyone in your class write a poem (or several using different forms) on one theme, such as “spring,” “family,” or “animals.”
- Have your students use PowerPoint to animate a favorite poem.
- Just for fun, write poems in partners…each partner begins a poem with one line, then they switch papers for the second line, and continue in this way until the poems are done.
- Another variation is to have everyone in the class start the same type of poem and then pass papers in one direction for the next line. Keep passing the papers until the poems are done. Make sure to leave some time for sharing.
- Have your students write Pensee Poems. Here is a free Pensee Poem Pattern Printable (how’s that for alliteration?).
- Have your students try lots of different poem patterns. Make it super easy with this no-prep Poetry Writing Unit.
What do YOU do for National Poetry Month? Please share your ideas with a comment.
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