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We’re in the swing of April, which for 21 years has been known as National Poetry Month. Poets all around the world gather to celebrate the genre, with activities, events, and more. Here at Big Universe, we’ve got you covered, and I want to introduce you to some great ways you could recognize this month using resources we have available.  May this list make your planning easier and lesson more engaging.

Buswell.jpgBecome future poets.  Encourage students to write their own.  Study the different forms of poetry–concrete/shape, haiku, acrostic, and so forth–and have students pick their favorite.  Mix up the themes, group them by topic, or pick a solitary one (e.g. someone special) for your kiddos to write about.  Publish it into an e-book or record it and post the video presentation for families to see.  Feel free to use How to Write A Poem, available in our library of 10,000+ books. Written by Cecilia Minden and Kate Roth, this book makes poetry writing kid-friendly and super easy to understand!


Minden.jpgBuild reading confidence.  In my experience, poetry was one of the ways that brought confidence to students from diverse backgrounds.  I loved seeing how they loved reading, writing, and sharing poetry during language arts instruction.  Here’s a resource that Big Universe has that seeks to help children who may struggle with reading, though all children may benefit. Reading Specialist Amy Buswell teamed up with poet Bruce Lansky to create a collection of funny, engaging poems that also serve to improve reading and fluency with the English Languages.  With standards-aligned lessons included, this intervention program we have can help your students become better readers.


bookshelf-1082309_1920.jpgBe a historian.  Guess what Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Phillis Wheatley, William Shakespeare, and Muhammad Ali have in common?  You can learn about the careers of these historical figures in the Big Universe library.  Whether you’re wrestling with the tensions existing during the Harlem Renaissance or viewing the impact of a poet’s work on history, students may begin to appreciate the literary form even more and examine the difficulties these and many other poets–intentional or otherwise–faced during the time their works were published.


National Poetry Month is a great month to celebrate.  Poets shaped the fabric of history with their words, and long after their deaths, we are still reading, studying, and appreciating their works.  Poets influenced the Revoultionary War, rallied a call to end slavery, tackled taboo topics, and spoke at presidential inaugurations.  Poetry can do so much more than rhyme and make illustrations.  Capitalize on their love for poetry to help them learn in creative ways!

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