Tag Archives: poem

2016 National Poetry Month

Small-Blue-RGB-National-Poetry-Month-LogoEach year the month of April is set aside as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world! It’s a time when millions of readers mark poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives. NCTE is proud to be a supporter of National Poetry Month.

There are six main aims for National Poetry Month. Here they are, along with associated NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org resources.

  1. Highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets.
    Middle school students can explore how our senses provide powerful tools for literary analysis and comprehension with the ReadWriteThink.org lesson “Color of Silence: Sensory Imagery in Pat Mora’s Poem ‘Echoes’“. The lesson is an extension of activities included in the NCTE book Living Voices: Multicultural Poetry in the Middle School Classroom.
  2. Encourage the reading of poems.
    NCTE established its Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 1977 to honor a living American poet for his or her aggregate work for children ages 3–13. Another Jar of Tiny Stars collects poems by winners of this award.
  3. Assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms.
    In Getting the Knack, authors Stephen Dunning and William Stafford offer 20 exercises covering different types or phases of poetry writing. The authors’ humor and nonacademic style will appeal to experienced and novice poets of all ages. Read the chapter on “Found & Headline Poems“. See similar lesson plans from ReadWriteThink.org.
  4. Increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media.
    360 Degrees of Text: Using Poetry to Teach Close Reading and Powerful Writing describes an approach to teaching critical literacy that has students investigate texts through a full spectrum of learning modalities, harnessing the excitement of performance, imitation, creative writing, and argument/debate activities to become more powerful thinkers, readers, and writers. View the sample chapter online to read more about poetry as a means into academic writing. Learn more with these ReadWriteThink.org poetry lesson plans from the author.
  5. Encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books.
    NCTE Notable Poetry Books list 16 outstanding poetry collections to offer children and teens—not just this month, but throughout the year and across the curriculum. Use these books, and create connections with books from previous Notable Lists (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011) to create even more poetry joy!
  6. Encourage support for poets and poetry.
    View videos and learn about the winners of the NCTE Poetry Award through the NCTE Poets Spotlight Series.

Looking for more fun to celebrate poetry? Check out NCTE’s Poetry Tournament idea: create a basketball tournament-pairing chart using poetry and determine a final winner by reading the poems. Locate 64 poems and pair them off, just like basketball teams. Read two poems each day and let the students vote on the “winner.” Keep going until you have a final four and the final winner!

Participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day!

calendar_20720_poem-pocket_160w It’s time to find your favorite poem and tell everyone why you love it. Thursday April 30th is Poem in Your Pocket Day. The celebration is simple: all you have to do is choose a poem or compose your own original work and carry it in your pocket all day, sharing the poem and the fun of National Poetry Month wherever you go.

If students want to write their own poetry, try our list of 30 Poems You Can Write for National Poetry Month. Visit the ReadWriteThink.org calendar entry on Poem in Your Pocket Day for additional resources. And if you want even more to choose from, the National Council of Teachers of English has a page full of books, lesson plans, and other great ideas!

Poetry Across the Content Areas

Poetry reading, writing and enjoyment don’t just have to be limited to the English Language Arts classroom. These resources from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org show poetry across the content areas.

Poetry of Place: Helping Students Write Their Worlds is chockfull of student poetry samples and unique ideas, including field trips and a poetry night hike, to spark students’ imaginations and inspire them to write poetry.

360 Degrees of Text: Using Poetry to Teach Close Reading and Powerful Writing describes an approach to teaching critical literacy that has students investigate texts through a full spectrum of learning modalities, harnessing the excitement of performance, imitation, creative writing, and argument/debate activities to become more powerful thinkers, readers, and writers.  View the sample chapter online to read more about poetry as a means into academic writing. Learn more with these ReadWriteThink.org poetry lesson plans from the author.

Students learning English develop their poetry writing through dialogue about the topic of journeys and their interactions with visual art as described in “Finding the Right Words: Art Conversations and Poetry”. Similarly, in this lesson, students explore ekphrasis—writing inspired by art. Students find pieces of art that inspire them and compose a booklet of poems about the pieces they have chosen.

Poetry in Science” describes how a seventh-grade teacher incorporated poetry writing into her science class, helping students to learn the science material and helping the teacher to evaluate the students’ knowledge. This Community Story shares how the ReadWriteThink.org’s poetry tools and lessons helped a teacher see all the different ways students could write poetry, including in the Science classroom.

Two math teachers, two English teachers, and 86 students bridge cultural divides between mathematics and English in urban Massachusetts and rural Iowa as described in “Math in the Margins: Writing across Curricula into Community Heritage”.

To understand better the subtle relationship between history and English, first-year students in an introductory literature class compare Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem about the 1876 deaths of General George Armstrong Custer and his men with historical accounts of the Battle of the Little Bighorn in order to discover how historical and poetic truths are related in this article. Try a similar idea with this lesson plan which pairs a magazine article about the Edmund Fitzgerald shipwreck in 1975 with the Gordon Lightfoot song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

For more poetry resources, visit the NCTE Online Store and the ReadWriteThink.org calendar entry on National Poetry Month.

Celebrate Poetry throughout April!

NPM2015Each year the month of April is set aside as National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate poets and their craft. NCTE fosters excellence in children’s poetry by encouraging its publication and by promoting ways to acquaint teachers and children with poetry. For instance, NCTE established its Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 1977 to honor a living American poet for his or her aggregate work for children ages 3–13. Another Jar of Tiny Stars collects poems by winners of this award.

The ReadWriteThink.org podcast series, Text Messages, celebrates National Poetry Month by recommending a variety of poetry books for teens. Featured titles include themed collections of poetry compiled for teens as well as collections of poetry written by teens. Also mentioned is the novel written in verse.

Students examine a letter of the alphabet from all angles, creating image pools of original metaphors that they then turn into poems in the ReadWriteThink.org lesson “The ABCs of Poetry“. This lesson is written by John S. O’Connor, author of Wordplaygrounds: Reading, Writing, and Performing Poetry in the English Classroom  and This Time It’s Personal: Teaching Academic Writing through Creative Nonfiction.

In Getting the Knack, authors Stephen Dunning and William Stafford offer 20 exercises covering different types or phases of poetry writing. The authors’ humor and nonacademic style will appeal to experienced and novice poets of all ages. Read the chapter on “Found & Headline Poems.” See similar lesson plans from ReadWriteThink.org.

Interested in more lesson plans on poetry? Check out this collection from ReadWriteThink.org.

Check out NCTE’s Poetry Tournament idea: create a basketball tournament-pairing chart using poetry and determine a final winner by reading the poems. Locate 64 poems and pair them off, just like basketball teams. Read two poems each day and let the students vote on the “winner.” Keep going until you have a final four and the final winner!

For more poetry resources, visit the NCTE Online Store and the ReadWriteThink.org calendar entry on National Poetry Month.

How are you celebrating National Poetry Month with your students?