Think of anything children love to do – running through a playground, dressing up in costumes, scribbling art projects. All of these involve tremendous joy, access to materials, lots of choice, time for practice, and modeling (whether from adults in their lives or friends or television). The same conditions are needed to support young children’s development into a thoughtful, engaged reader.
~Christopher Lehman “Response: Ways to Develop Life-Long Readers” Larry Ferlazzo Via EdWeek
One weekend morning as my 12 year old and his friends were waking up, I read a tweet by George Couros (@gcouros) and somehow mentioned it to the boys. He was asking for people to tweet “Twitter poetry” (poems in 140 characters or less). Next thing I know, the boys were creating one Twitter poem after the next. If I had simply asked them to write a poem outside of school, they would have thought I was crazy, but when mentioned casually in conversation and given the opportunity to use social media to share something they created for fun – they ran with it on their own.
With National Poetry Month coming up in April, how do you plan to have fun sharing and creating poetry? Where do look for ideas and inspiration with your children/students? What tools, sites, and/or apps do your children/students like to use?
Below are a few I know of to get you started (and pages on the sites I find of interest):
www.Poets.org – This site is packed full of anything and everything poetry; poems, facts about poets, resources, tools, tips and more.
- Poetry Near You – Why I like this? It allows you to search by state. Giving kids another “connection”, listing local events, bios of poets from that state, landmarks, poems related to that state, and local literary organizations and journals. http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/382
- Poem of the Day http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/345
- For Educators – Which as always, families need to know there are many resources here that THEY can use at home. http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/6
- Poet-to-Poet Project – During National Poetry Month students in grades 3-12 can write their own poem in response to one a poet has read, and then submit it for possible publication. http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/639
www.Gigglepoetry.com – Poetry for younger children. All about making it fun. The website is full of color and graphics.
- Fun activities like fill in the blank poems, tongue twisters and riddles http://www.gigglepoetry.com/poetryfun/poetryfun.html
- Poems sorted by category…fun ones kids can relate to such as potty, bedtime, yucky, sports, family and more. http://www.gigglepoetry.com/poemcategories.aspx
- Interviews with poets with a chance to add your own questions http://www.gigglepoetry.com/askpoet.aspx
- How to write “Giggle Poetry” (writing funny poems) http://www.gigglepoetry.com/poetryclass.aspx
www.Poetry4kids.com - Similar to Giggle Poetry; a fun place for kids to learn about and create poetry.
- Enter a word and in return it will give you a list of words that rhyme with it. http://www.poetry4kids.com/rhymes
- Poetry videos: http://www.poetry4kids.com/blog/category/video/
- Poetry related games http://www.poetry4kids.com/games
A popular online tool with my 6 and 9 year old that I found on Scholastic’s site - the Poetry Idea Engine, a poem building machine. http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/poetry/poetry_engine.htm#
For those looking for poetry on-the-go, here’s an article sharing some poetry apps: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2014/02/8-good-ipad-poetry-apps-for-t...
A post on Thinkfinity last year for National Poetry Month had some fun activities, including one targeted for older kids that analyzes and compares Shakespeare to hip hop music. http://www.thinkfinity.org/docs/DOC-11427
Without exposing children to poetry and all the forms it comes in, they may never know of the joy it can bring them in reading or writing it.
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