April is National Poetry Month, and there are few things in life as impactful as written and spoken word. It is important to encourage the arts in school because this is the location that many students find their passions. You never know if you have a future Poet Laureate in your classroom, and you can ensure their growth by sharing your favorite poets and works. Today is the day to honor those creative minds that have brought so much beauty into our world.
History of Poetry
Poetry is defined as a written piece that occasionally rhymes, and this literary work dates back to the time of Mesopotamia. Originally, many poems were written from folk songs, and these literary pieces retold epic stories that had only passed orally. Poems can follow a set structure like Haikus, Sonnets, and Limericks, but can also be free verse. Children love poetry for the rhyming and figurative language, making this style of writing popular with students.
Share Poetry with Your Class:
Many adults don’t understand the message authors create in their poetic works, but this is due to insufficient interest and familiarity. Students, if given the opportunity, can comprehend the tone authors create, and can successfully create engaging poems if given the opportunity.
- Through Memorization: Provide students the opportunity to memorize a poem for class. Print off a few options and have them select the poem that they like the most. There are many benefits associated with poem memorization including: improved vocabulary, improved syntax, and exercise for the brain. (Here’s a List of Poems to choose from)
- Through Poets: A fun way to share poetry with your class is through sharing the lives of various poets. You can select poets like Lord Byron, Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Ralph Waldo Emerson or Maya Angelou and share their background. Poe wrote dark poetry, but why did he choose that style? Students can share their opinions about how these poets’ lives shaped their poetic works.
- With Poetry Stations: Create stations in your classroom where students can analyze poetry and create works of art. You can tailor this activity depending on the age of your students and the resources available. Many of these stations are inventive, like creating poetry from works of art and rolling dice to determine the length of an original poem. (Here is a more simplified and detailed version of stations)
- Daily: Why use Poetry and Creative Mind Day as the only day to share poetry in the classroom? Poetry 180 provides 180 poems, about the length of an average school year, so you can share a poem a day with your students.
Incorporating poetry in your class is a fantastic way to get your students’ creative juices flowing and provides a break from traditional lecturing. If you want even more ways to introduce poetry, you can take a look at 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month. Whichever activities you choose, take today to honor these creative minds by sharing your favorite poems and poets with your classroom.