Skip to main content

Check It Out: National Poetry Month Resources

Your weekly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

A Poem for Every Reader, A Muse for Every Poet

30 Ways to Celebrate

Poets.org is a fantastic resource for both adults and kids who have an interest in poetry. Their “30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month” is an excellent resource for jumpstarting your April poetry celebrations. Some of the ideas are highlighted below, but others to note are:

  • Challenging students to memorize a poem
  • Playing “exquisite corpse with a group of students
  • Requesting and displaying a free copy of the National Poetry Month poster
  • Chalking poems on the school sidewalks or in strategic places on the playground blacktop

Teach This Poem

Teach This Poem is a weekly series shared through email by Poets.org for teachers of students in grades K–12. The project is curated by Dr. Madeleine Fuchs Holzer, the Educator in Residence at Poets.org, and it is completely free. I find the weekly themes to be especially appealing, which include focuses on ancestry, gratitude, identity, mourning, sports and weather, among many other topics. The forms discussed are also ones I don’t often see being shared with learners, including cento, tanka and triolet. Dr. Holzer also provides background on the poetic school or movement from which poem examples appear. It’s a great resource and I find that I learn something new alongside my students.

Poem-a-day

Participating in a Poem-a-day is one of the easiest ways to introduce readers to a wide variety of poems, poets and forms in an easy-to-digest approach. Poets.org has a wide collection of poems for kids that you can access by theme here. You can also check out an anthology of poems at your local library or bookstore. You’ll find other resources online, but one creative approach might be to have your students keep a weekly poetry journal throughout the year. You can then have one student each day read a poem he or she wrote that week. Doing so will not only give everyone a chance to share their own poems but also an opportunity to hear one another grow and develop as poets throughout the year.

Poetry in the Classroom Calendar

The Poetry in the Classroom Calendar from Poets.org is impressive. Each month includes birth dates and selected poems from renowned poets as well as poems that compliment a selected national theme, such as Black History Month, letter writing, and Asian/Pacific American Heritage. The interactive calendar also links to lesson plans and resources for further exploration. It’s a great way to plan ahead and ensure that poetry is included in your weekly lessons.

Novels in Verse

Have your students discovered novels in verse yet? I find the reaction can be similar to that of a student first discovering and falling in love with the graphic novel format. Reluctant readers are often accustomed to the way a novel typically “looks,” so when a story breaks form and can be read in a form or at a pace different from one a student is used to, it can be freeing. I personally love witnessing students read more expressively and confidently when reading a novel in verse over a traditionally formatted novel. Plus, it feels good to fly through the pages and feel a sense of accomplishment after reading for even just 15 minutes.

Poem in Your Pocket Day

From the folks at Poets.org, “On Poem in Your Pocket Day, celebrated during April each year, we encourage you to select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks and workplaces.” Make a display with copies of several poems that students in your class or library have selected. Encourage students to select a favorite poem, write a poem of their own or borrow a poem from the display to share whenever someone asks, “Do you have a poem in your pocket today?” It’s super easy to do and it gets kids talking about poetry throughout the day. There’s even a cute song by Emily Arrow that you can learn and share!

There are lesson plans available for grades K–12 through Poets.org to help you and your students connect with poetry throughout the year. And of course there are tons of websites and other online resources and apps devoted to reading, writing and sharing poetry. With so many great entry points for connecting with and celebrating poetry, I cannot wait to hear about all you do with your students!

Scholastic

Poetry

Use these teaching resources and classroom ideas to help your students read, write, and share poems.

Favorite Poem Project

Americans
saying poems they love.

Some from last year and some new ideas!

Easy ideas to celebrate National Poetry Month.  Click on the image to learn more.

 

See the document below for this lesson

Poets on Poetry from Reading Rockets

Listen in as acclaimed children's writers like Marilyn Singer, Ashley Bryan, Jack Prelutsky, Mary Ann Hoberman, Nikki Grimes, and Janet Wong talk about reading poetry aloud and writing poetry.

Plus a ton of other resources on this page!

Black Out Poetry

Great Prezi on how to create blackout poetry.  Geared toward middle and high school students, but will give you a good idea on how to create these items!

Examples of different ways to do black out poetry:

Oh, it's so #bleeping on. Blackout #poets, unite! #blackoutpoetry #Aprilis…

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).