We’ll admit, at AdoptAClassroom we love poetry all year round. So we were pretty excited to find out that April is National Poetry Month. But we also remember being in school, when the only benefit of poetry was that it was shorter than the novels we had to read. There’s something about the classroom that can very quickly take all of the magic out of poetry. We remember dissecting poems until they were completely empty, marking the rhyming pattern, discussing each line until one singular meaning was decided upon.
But we also remember the teachers who brought poetry to life. The teacher who had us sit cross-legged in a circle with candles in front of us to recite Shakespeare. Or the teacher who had us choose our favorite poem to recite in front of the class, along with visual art we created to represent it. These are the teachers we remember, and are grateful for.
National Poetry Month is a great chance for teachers to embrace the magic of the genre, and we know that so many of you are doing just that. We’ve compiled some ideas from around the web to bring poetry into the classroom—or your own personal life—this April (and all year long!).
But we’d also like to hear from teachers:
How do you help your students fall in love with poetry? What are your favorite poems to teach? Have you ever seen a child completely change their tune on the genre (or reading in general)?
In the meantime, here’s what we’ve found:
- Take advantage of lesson plans for “Dear Poet” to put your students in conversation with the writers of poems that speak to them.
- Engage students who are excited about the start of baseball season.
- Get a fresh poem every day, to share with your class or just for yourself.
- Learn how-to (and more importantly, how-not-to) think about poetry…through a poem.
- Expose your students (or yourself) to different poetic forms (As great as the Haiku is, sometimes we need to switch it up a bit).
- Join us in celebrating “poem in your pocket day” on April 30th. Tweet a photo of your “pocket-poem” and tag @adopt_classroom, #pocketpoem.
- And of course, adopt an English or literature classroom through AAC! The best way for non-teachers to bring poetry to the classroom is to make sure teachers are able to buy books and materials. If you love poetry, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate April!