TeachersFirst's Poetry Month Editor's Choice Resources
This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected by our editors from the hundreds of reviewed poetry resources and creative tools listed on TeachersFirst. Now April can be Poetry Month in any classroom. Even if you teach science or math, there is a place for poetry in your curriculum. Poetry is as brief and economical as a number sentence, but with feelings or messages between the words. Why not throw some poetry lines amid your chemical or algebraic equations to connect with verbal/linguistic learners and spark a new way of seeing any subject? Take time to plan a "poetry break" using these ideas from the TeachersFirst Editors. View all of our resources tagged for Poetry here.
Here are some poetic possibilities to get your students' creative juices flowing: Have students compose a limerick explaining a science term or historic figure. Have students collect a list of words from your current unit. Then offer extra credit for a poetic interpretation to be shared as a daily "poetry break" during April. Use one of the tools featured here to share poetic visions of biology, geometry, and more during April. Cover a classroom wall with white paper for "curriculum poetry" during April: encourage students to share poetry graffiti (classroom appropriate, of course). Need other poetic ideas? Check out our "In the classroom suggestions" included in these reviews or try our keyword search for poetry AND a specific topic or grade level.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce different forms of poetry and poets using Verse by Verse. Offer students time to explore and experiment with the different features to become familiar with the different types of formats and styles of the included poets. Have students share their poetry digitally by creating an audio podcast using Synth, reviewed here. Synth features easy to use tools for creating short audio podcasts in up to 256-second increments. Encourage students to rehearse reading their poetry and add proper intonation, spacing, and reading techniques such as they would for an in-person poetry reading. Besides sharing poems, ask students to add images and record audio, read their poems, and then share their creative process when writing poetry. Share student recordings on a class blog created with a free blog tool such as Site123, reviewed here, or in a series of blogs based on different forms of poetry.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site as a resource to find many ideas for engaging students in poetry. Use Amanda Gorman's poetry to spark your students' interest in learning about poetry. Start by watching and sharing Gorman's inaugural reading on YouTube. Ask students to share their reactions to the reading using Answer Garden, reviewed here. Post a question to Answer Garden that requires a short student response, such as, "What is the predominant emotion you felt as you watched Amanda Gorman read her poem?" As students add responses, view the word cloud that is created to discuss how poetry is used to deliver emotions. Use a video response tool such as edpuzzle, reviewed here, to enhance learning by inserting questions and comments within the YouTube reading by Gorman. Include questions of your own and those found in the lessons shared on this website. Extend learning further by asking students to create and share poems. This Poem Generator, reviewed here, helps students develop confidence and learn the basics of poetry writing as they start on their poetry journey. Find many more ideas for teaching and sharing at TeachersFirst Poetry Month Editor's Choice Resources.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomEncourage your most avid writers to submit their poetry to this site. Use your whiteboard or projector to show them the "Take Action Guides." There you will find many issues of concern to youth today. Most students will enjoy uniting multimedia, poetry, and activism in one place. Challenge your students to choose a contemorary poet, either from this site's list or one they know of, and study their poetic form, then to write a poem in that poet's style. Enhance learning by having students keep a blog using a tool like Penzu, reviewed here, to write down their thoughts as they investigate different parts of this site. This will help them when it comes time to write their own poem. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Then extend learning by having students either publish their poems on the site or by using a multimedia tool like Genially, reviewed here, and publish their poems on your classroom or school web page. Counselors may want to encourage disenfranchised students to join the site and write about their deepest feelings. This is a supportive community that encourages students to develop their own voice.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThis list will fit well during National Poetry Month or any unit on poetry. Finding Lexiles for poetry can be a challenge, but this list includes them where available. Augment or modify classroom technology use (depending on assignment requirements) by having your students "collect" their favorite poems as they read from this list and share them as a multimedia poetry reading using copyright-friendly images or even their own artwork. Upload images and add the poetry in the student's own voice using a tool like Powtoon, reviewed here, or moovly, reviewed here. Go "low tech" by hosting a live poetry reading celebration in your classroom or during lunch in the school cafeteria.
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomView the author's video of "Doing Poetry Right" on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) after students have created or read poetry and are ready to perform readings. How many of these poetic terms do your students know? Review the list together then replace paper and pen and have students use an online flashcard maker like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here, to create flashcards for poetic terms to remember. Do the same with the big list of poetic forms. Use the videos as an example and have your students make their own video poetry readings. Modifiy classroom technology use for this by using FlipGrid, reviewed here. No Water River is a must for Poetry Month!
The posts at No Water River are always first-rate. You'll find a Who's Who of poets reading their own work, plus the text of the poems and fun intros by Renee LaTulippe. I really love the Poet-A-Palooza post featuring David L. Harrison (hamming it up with his trombone) and the energetic Bill Nye-style video of Michael Salinger--so much FUN!janet, , Grades: 0 - 12
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomUse this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as inspiration for lessons in poetry writing. Share it on your teacher web page for enrichment. Have students create their own poems using this site as inspiration then augment classroom technology use by having them create podcasts of a poetry reading. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here.
It's impossible to have writer's block after visiting this blog--there are always so many inspiring writing prompts and ideas to try here. (And the blog has a very comfortable, inviting, homey feeling--feels like visiting a friend for tea.)janet, , Grades: 0 - 12