Mar 28, 2019
April is National Poetry Month!
Join millions of others in celebrating the largest literary celebration! The mission of National Poetry Month is to celebrate poets, increase awareness of poetry, encourage reading and enjoyment of poetry in schools, and provide resources for teachers.
What is so special about poetry?
Poems, with their compact text, rhythms, and (sometimes) rhymes, are hidden gems that beg to be read aloud, have repeated reads, paraphrasing, vocabulary study, all within one class period. Closely linked to music and lyrics, the weariest of readers may find a connection and interest in this form of reading and writing. Poetry invites and provides motivation to learners to write and experiment with different forms and words. Poetry is simply a great resource for both reading and writing workshops.
Poetry: Not only for ELA
Not only is poetry beneficial in ELA classrooms, it may support interest and deepen understanding in classes such as math, social studies, and science. By reading and writing poetry in other content areas, learners are able to interact with information in a creative way.
In Poetry Mentor Texts (free preview available) authors provide guides and mentor texts to support reading and writing connections in various subject areas. For example, the use of a Venn diagram to compare and contrast similarities and differences between a Confederate and a Union soldier in America’s Civil War, or between the circulatory and respiratory body systems. The Venn diagram sets up a format that is seamlessly transitioned to a two-voice poem, thus allowing a unique path for learners to communicate knowledge, apply critical thinking, and be creative while also building collaboration skills. (The 4Cs).
"Poetry and Mentor Texts: Making Reading and Writing Connections, K-8" is available for checkout at the Grant Wood AEA Media Center.
In "The Write Thing: Kwame Alexander Engages Students in Writing Workshop and You Can Too!," author Kwame Alexander discusses writing workshops that he has held with students, offers tips for teachers, a large appendix with lesson plans, mini-lesson plans, documents and examples of the writing process from pre-writing through publishing. He invites teachers to explore the fun of literacy through the use of poems. There are teacher testimonials, and Kwame Time videos with Kwame Alexander for both students and teachers. For students familiar with Kwame Alexander’s popular novels-in-verse, Kwame’s words will surely inspire. "The Write Thing" is also available for checkout at the Grant Wood AEA Media Center.
Pictured are a handful of the hundreds of print poetry resources available through the GWAEA Media Center. Search the catalog for other titles to use at your school.
No time to wait for delivery?
Our MackinVIA Ebook collection has hundreds of poetry ebooks as well as novels written in verse. These are great for large group discussions as they are easily projected, great for stations, and individuals. Available anytime/anywhere, our MackinVia titles meet many learner and teacher needs.
Other Online Poetry Resources
While there are endless poetry resources online, below are a few recommendations. Feel free to explore these or others.
From The Academy of American Poets, Poets.org is a poetry gem. From daily narrated poems, to teacher resources, and poetry for kids, educators are offered practical tools, themes, and lesson plans to access poems and poets collection, and activities to support poetry in the classroom.
Reading Rockets is a well-known multimedia literacy initiative and has a special, dynamic poetry section available with lessons, video interviews from children’s poetry authors, literacy research, and title suggestions.
Don’t know where to start?
Here are 30 ideas to get you started.
Some additional ways to celebrate poetry in April:
Poem In Your Pocket Day, April 18
Want to learn more about the 4Cs?
- Attend the Grant Wood AEA Digital Learning 4Cs Summer Camp in June.
- Read the Grant Wood AEA Digital Learning Team blog posts and podcasts, from February 2019, about the 4Cs: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication and Collaboration.