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Tuesday, April 23, 2019


When your give children a song and rhyme,

You give them a gift that will last for all time!

It’s true! We keep songs and poems that we learn when we are young in our hearts and minds all of our lives. Since April is National Poetry Month, I’m going to focus my blogs this week on poetry.

Here are eight great reasons for integrating poetry in your classroom:

     Poetry develops oral language.
     Poetry develops auditory memory.
     Poetry helps children make print connections.
     Poetry develops phonological awareness (rhyme, rhythm, alliteration).
     Poetry enhances fluency.
     Poetry develops vocabulary.
     Poetry sparks children’s interest in reading.
     Poetry helps children fall in love with language.

With all the emphasis on standards and assessment, poems can be like a breath of fresh air. They can add joy, imagination, creativity, and FUN to your classrooms!

Here are some ways to celebrate poetry month in your classroom or in your school.

Poetry Club 
Write “Poetry Club” on a poster and decorate with glitter. Explain that anyone who stands up in front of the class and recites a nursery rhyme or poem can be a member of the poetry club. (You might want to model reciting a poem for them.)  After they’ve recited their poem, let them sign their name on the poster.


*Design a membership card for the poetry club and run off on card stock.  
Present one to the children after they’ve recited a poem for their classmates.

Poetry Café
Plan a poetry party for your students called the “Poetry Café.”  Involve children in planning refreshments, making decorations, writing invitations, etc. Encourage each child to learn and practice reciting a poem. Explain that in the coffee houses instead of clapping, the audience would “snap” their fingers for the poets.

Parents and Poems
Ask children to interview their parents about poetry using some of the prompts below:

     Do you like poems? Why? Why not?
     What’s your favorite poem?
     Do you have a favorite poet?
     Did you learn any poems when you were a child?
     Do you have a poetry book?

Visiting Poet
Invite a poet from your community to visit and read poetry. Encourage the children to generate questions to ask the author before her visit.

Poetry Wall of Fame
Decorate a bulletin board in the front hall or lunchroom and encourage teachers to display their students’ poems on it.

Poetry Detectives
Challenge the children to be “detectives” and locate the poetry section in your school library. Learn this rhyme:
For an emergency call 911 any time.
In the library 811 for a poem or rhyme.

Poetry Hunt
Cut out magazine pictures of different objects and glue them on index cards. Place the cards in a sack and have each child draw one. Can they find a poem to go with their picture?  Where could they look to find a poem?           

Laurel Wreath
Just for fun, let children make laurel wreaths out of paper plates and leaves. The Greeks awarded these in Olympic events for sports as well as poetic meets.