It's National Poetry Month! I'm a firm believer that teachers should take advantage of this time to not only have students read and study great poetry and poets, but to also write poetry. This balanced approach to poetry study gives students a well rounded appreciation of poetry.
I always start my poetry writing instruction by making sure my students know that there are so many forms of poetry and that it doesn't always have to rhyme or have rhythm. There are some poetic forms students may be familiar with, such as acrostic poems and couplets, but there are others that may be less familiar.
Dada Poetry was first written by artists and poets in Paris France. They clipped words from newspapers, scrambled them and poets in Paris France. They clipped words from newspapers, scrambled them and then arranged them in lines to form nonsense poems. You can take this idea, have students take 14 or so words (from content vocabulary or other means) and have them arrange them into lines of poetry.
Blackout poetry is another fun poetic form with which to experiment. Basically, you take a paragraph or other text and black out words so that the ones that are left create a poem.
Also, consider how you can simply inspire your students to create a poem. Encourage them to use all their senses to create poetry as they:
- Go outside and listen
- Watch other students playing
- Observe nature
- What a dancer
- Listen to music
- Move through space
For your reading purposes, here's the link to all the poetry ebooks on Big Universe. Use these for inspiration too or simply to enjoy a great poem.
Happy poem reading and writing!