Mar 18, 2021

National Poetry Month

Join millions of others in celebrating the largest literary celebration! The mission of National Poetry Month (April) is to celebrate poets, increase enjoyment of poetry, and provide resources for teachers. Here are a few recommendations from Grant Wood AEA's Media Center to help celebrate!

Poetry in the news
Poetry doesn’t normally make headlines, but the poet Amanda Gorman has certainly shown the power of words! You might have seen Amanda recently, as she recited a self-written poem “The Hill We Climb” at the 2021 inauguration and became the first poet to perform at the Super Bowl. This blog post, from Antiracism Daily, focuses on Amanda Gorman, but also black poets from our past as well as poetry in history. 

Pear Deck has shared an interactive lesson looking at Amanda Gorman and the power of poetry. To be used with grades 6 - 12,  the lesson is ready to go. Use this resource in your classroom.

Access to Poetry National Poetry Month | Resources available
MackinVIA is full of poetry collections for all grade levels:

Elementary
"Feel the Beat: Dance Poems that Zing from Salsa to Swing"
Illustrated collection of children's poems written to the rhythms of traditional dances from around the world. It also includes information on each dance.

Middle School
"Woke: A Young Poet's Call to Justice"
Illustrated collection of twenty-four poems from three writers that expound on the theme of 'woke' - being engaged in one's community and working towards greater equality and justice.

Secondary
"Concrete kids" is available in ebook and audiobook.
Presents a collection of poems by musician, playwright and educator Amyra León about learning about grief, self-love, and resilience growing up in Harlem, but also contains themes universal among humans.

Looking for poetry kids can hold? Try reserving a set of poetry titles:
Primary Level Poetry (25 different books)
"And the Green Grass Grew All Around; Animal Poems; Autumnblings; The Beauty of the Beast: Poems from the Animal Kingdom; Cat Poems; Come to My Party and Other Shape Poems; Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars; Counting Our Way to the 100th Day!; Good Dog; Earthshake: Poems from the Ground Up; Handsprings; Hippopotamus Stew and Other Silly Animal Poems; Hotel Deep: Light Verse from the Dark Water; In Our Backyard Garden; Keep Climbing Girls; The Llama Who Had No Pajamas; Looking for Jaguar and Other Rainforest Poems; Mural on Second Avenue; Omnibeasts; Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme; Rhyme and PUNishment: Adventures in Wordplay; Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems; Squeal and Squawk; Toad By the Road: a Year in the Life of These Amazing Amphibians; Today at the Bluebird Cafe." 

Poetry grades 3-4 (24 different books)
All the Small Poems; Bat Poet; Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear; Dancing Teepees: Poems of American Indian Youth; Dinosaurs: Poems; Every Time I Climb a Tree; Hailstones and Halibut Bones; Heartland; If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries; I'm Nobody! Who are You?; In a Spring Garden; Joyful Noise: Poems of Two Voices; Let's Pretend: Poems of Flight and Fancy; Light in the Attic; Marguerite, Go Wash Your Feet; Miss Mary Mack and other Children's Street Rhymes; On the Day Peter Stuyvesant Sailed into Town; Random House Book of Poetry for Children; Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes; Poem Stew; Spin a Soft Black Song; Sports Pages; Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings; You Come, Too.

Intermediate Poetry Books (15 different books)
"America, My New Home; And the Green Grass Grew All Around; Animal Poems; The Animal Rescue Store; Animal Snackers; The Beauty of the Beast: Poems from the Animal Kingdom; Bees, Snails, and Peacock Tails; Fine Feathered Friends; A Kick in the Head; Mathematickles!; Monumental Verses; Pass It On: African-American Poetry for Children; Summersaults; What a Day It Was at School!; Yummy! Eating Through a Day."

Let learners share similar poetry experiences with a boxed book set containing multiple copies of the same title:
"Stanza"- 20 copies of the same title

How about a poetry-writing dog? Tough dog by day secretly writes poetry and wants to enter a poetry contest. Read this rhyming picture book by Iowa author Jill Esbaum.

Or get ideas from these professional books in the GWAEA Media Center:
The book "Control Alt Achieve: Rebooting Your Classroom with Creative Google Projects" offers many ways to get creative including directions for creating Blackout Poetry with Google Docs.

The Write Thing: Kwame Alexander Engages Students in Writing Workshop (And You Can Too!) 

Finally, on social media, you can follow or use #nationalpoetrymonth to connect with others celebrating. As always, we would love to hear from you. Share your ideas and projects with us at #GWAEALibs.