April is Poetry Month 2017

How are you going to celebrate in 2017?


“What you learn through reading and writing poetry will stay with you throughout your life,” Michelle Obama said in a statement about a national initiative to support the study of poetry. “It will spark your imagination and broaden your horizons and even help your performance in the classroom.”

Introduce POETRY MONTH  this year by sharing Billy Collin’s poem, “INTRODUCING POETRY” or by  reading Naoshi Koriyama’s  poem  an”Unfolding Budand showing a video clip of budding flowers to remind students that it sometimes takes T.I.M.E. for their understanding of a poem to blossom. Then, play the video once or twice again and invite students write their own poetic response to viewing these lovely flowers.  Your students may see the images as symbolic of relationships, historical or current events, characters in literature or people they know.  Consider writing along with the class and then share your poem with your students.  Click here for links to April is Poetry Month page on this site.

Poetry and the Common Core: Poetry Foundation Exemplars for All Grades

There also is a Digital Write-Able  It offers you a space online to write a poem that you can put in your pocket.

Tom Worthen Smithfield says, “There are thousands of free poetry lesson plans available at Poetic Power . The website allows you to select your grade range and desired category for teaching. This is a great resource for teaching students how to write and create poetry.”

Cynthia Roberson  recommends The NY Times Learning Network –Poetry Pairings – Pair a poem to NY Times News Article.  What a great way to teach poetry and non-fiction reading at the same time!

Former First Lady, Michelle Obama launched The National Student Poets program  created by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, of which the first lady is honorary chair, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services through a partnership with nonprofit group, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Even if you’ve never taught poetry before, teach high school or college, the resources here on this website and ideas in my books TEACHING MIDDLE SCHOOL LANGUAGE ARTS: Incorporating Twenty-First Century Literacies (2010) and TEACHING READING IN MIDDLE SCHOOLS: Common Core and More (2013) or TEACHING WRITING IN MIDDLE SCHOOL: Common Core and More (2013) can help you prepare your students to participate actively in local, state, and national program supporting student poets.  See particularly “Taking T.I.M.E. to Teach Poetry” and “Versing Life Together”.

Search the Language Arts Resources Tab where you’ll find ideas for poetry projects, poetry notebooks, patterning and performing poetry, writing meaty personal essays about poems, and also ways to grade students’ original poems.

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