Do you celebrate National Poetry Month in your classroom? I love teaching poetry and take the month of April as an opportunity to really dive in to poetry full force to help students really develop a love of reading and writing poetry.
Think about the daily writing that happens in your classroom…it’s probably very regimented with students following a writing prompt, answering a constructed response, responding to what they have read. I’m sure you always hear: how long does this have to be? How many sentences do I have to write? Poetry gives students freedom in their writing that they are not used to…and that can be scary for them. But also a lot of fun! There are so many ways that you can get students reading and writing poetry and I have a few activities that I always love during Poetry Month.
Setting up poetry centers in your classroom is a great way to get students reading and writing different kinds of poetry. There are so many ways for students to explore word choice, line breaks, stanzas, and forms of poetry. And the more that students read poetry, the more comfortable they will be writing poetry.
I love to have my students pull inspiration from all around them in our poetry centers. We take a nature walk and pick up objects from nature along the way and add those items to a center. I also have students bring in newspaper or magazine articles so they can use current events as inspiration for blackout poems (blacking out around words that will stand out as the poem) but also free write about the topics. Students can create heart maps to think about how things that they love in their everyday life can become inspiration. Inspiration is all around us when we write! Poetry is the perfect time to explore it!
There is a wonderful site that explores many different forms of poetry: Read Write Think gives students the opportunity to different forms of poetry. It is a great site that walks through step by step writing. I also like to offer students a chance to explore Shel Silverstein’s website where they find information about Shel Silverstein, can read his poems, and also play games like “Name that Poem.”
To encourage reading poetry at home, I send home a Poetry Pack where students read poetry books and poems that students have written in class. They write their favorite poems and respond in a class journal. This is a free resource that is available in my Free Resource Library. Click the image above if you would like to subscribe and receive this free resource as well as many more!
I hope you enjoy exploring poetry with your students! It’s a wonderful way to welcome spring and warmer temperatures! As the year begins to wind down, I always love the creativity that comes out while students read and write poetry!
You might like to check out these poetry resources that I have available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store: