George Lucas Educational Foundation

Resources & Activities for National Poetry Month

Resources & Activities for National Poetry Month

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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): – This site is packed full of anything and everything poetry; poems, facts about poets, resources, tools, tips and more. – Poetry for younger children. All about making it fun. The website is full of color and graphics. - Similar to Giggle Poetry; a fun place for kids to learn about and create poetry.

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.

For those looking for poetry on-the-go, here’s an article sharing some poetry apps:

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.

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.

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

Comments (9) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Engagement Manager

This is an amazing list of resources, Gwen. Thank you for sharing it.

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

Really comprehensive list Gwen. Here's a fun poetry activity outlined by one of our bloggers, Elena Aguilar, that shows you how to use the driving question "Where are you from?" to create powerful poetry:

Here's a sample from one of her students:

I am from laughter and jokes
when my whole family is together
and my aunts, grandma, and my mom are cooking food
and from the smells of tamales, enchiladas, posole, tacos
and many other Mexican foods.--A

Ray Dorso's picture
Ray Dorso
Director of Special Services, New Milford School District

Great list! Thanks for taking the time to post. I will be sharing the resources with the teachers in my district.

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Engagement Manager

Ashley, I love the Snider comic!

I'm especially tickled by the E.E. Cummings Society to Overthrow Syntax, although I do wonder if that should be all lowercase...

Amy Erin Borovoy (aka VideoAmy)'s picture

I'm always chiming in with past Five-Minute Film Fests, but I stuff them with great videos and links, so they're often a nice one-stop shop for a variety of resources on a topic.

Here's one I did a few years ago for Poetry Month:

I'm ruminating on one with videos of students doing spoken word -- there are some amazingly powerful videos out there of kids and their performance poetry!

Katie E's picture
Katie E
passionate about cross-curricular integration

Great list! I especially love overlapping & parsing out the connections kids make between songs & poetry. I think they already like to quote relevant verses, critique artists, emulate rhythm or style, relate entire anthologies to various worldviews, and create personally meaningful (play)lists of any genre's masters. They also tend to revel in themes such as beauty/ugliness, acceptance/rejection, love/hate, leisure/work, hope/despair, and evil/justice. But when asked to use these same skills to analyze elements of poetry or literature, many teens become tone deaf. So I like to use this love of music to usher students into a literary - or more to the point poetic - universe far beyond the confines of their mp3 earbuds.

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