By- Angela Padrón
There are many ways that teachers and students can celebrate National Poetry Month this April. Besides reading different types of poems, students can participate in hands-on learning activities to better understand the lives of poets and the meanings behind their poems.
#1- Participate in the “Dear Poet” project. Poets.org provides videos of award-winning poets reading some of their works. Students are then encouraged to write the poets a letter responding to the reading before April 30. The poets will choose some letters to respond to as well. There are even lesson plans provided to teachers that correlate to this project.
#2- Celebrate “Poem in Your Pocket Day” on April 27th. Students choose their favorite poem and carry it in their pocket all day. They can share the poem with others throughout the school day. Some local bookstores or libraries may be holding related events that day.
#3- Watch videos and TED talks about poetry and poets. Students can be assigned a video to watch and then be asked to make a presentation to their classmates explaining the poetic techniques used or the poet’s background.
#4- Hold a poetry night. After teaching students about different types of poetry, have them create a journal or bound book of their work. Then hold a Poetry Night at school where parents, friends, and community members can come and see the books on display. Students who are willing to participate can also read their favorite poem out loud in an open-mic forum. This not only allows them the chance to showcase their work, but also helps them develop presentation and speaking skills.
#5- Create a poetic chalk mural. Why not combine learning about poetry with chalk drawing, something all kids love to do. After introducing different types of poems and examples to students, have them choose their favorite line or stanza. Then take students outside and provide them with sidewalk chalk to write their chosen text in their best or most creative handwriting. Students should use a variety of colors and add sketches or drawings to further decorate the space.
Just as there are many forms of poetry, there are many ways to teach poetry to students. By implementing creative lesson plans and ideas, students will see that learning about poetry can be fun and intriguing.
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