National Poetry Month, in America, is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives.
Students around the world can take up projects to increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media, highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of poets and assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms.
During this month, teachers can encourage the reading of poems, publishers can encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books and encourage support for poets and poetry.
Here is a list of some interesting ways to indulge in poetry and in all its goodness:
Thirty Poets in Thirty Days: Take a look at Thirty Poets/Thirty Days, a free online event in April that spotlights never-before-seen poems from popular poets.
Turn yourself into well-versed poets: More than 20 poetry lesson plans help teachers develop ‘well-versed’ students. As a student poetry-enthusiast, stage a poetry slam for profit, find the funniest poems around, write synonym poems and browse and share links to poetry sites, rubrics, and sites that publish student poetry.
Invent your own poetry: Attack poetry from a new angle; after you have tried your hands at writing traditional poetry, invite others to invent their own poetry forms.
Hink Pinks: Sometimes called a rhyming pair, a Hink Pink is a pair of rhyming words that matches a silly definition. This fun activity, which builds vocabulary, is an exercise on rhyming and syllabication. Enjoy coming up with clues and try to fool others.
Learn or teach Japanese poetry writing: The writing of Haiku poetry can be a way through which one can express their inner souls, a window through which one can see a child's world.
A favorite poem: Explore a variety of poems, find one poem that you feel a particular connection to, and share that poem by reading it aloud to your classmates. Students can create videos of their readings to share with other classes.
A comprehension tool across the curriculum: Teachers can create Aha! moments by letting students use poetry to demonstrate their comprehension of the history curriculum. Students can use a format to create poems about themselves, then research the lives of historical figures and use the same format to write poems about those famous people.
Ways to celebrate the poetry month:
1. Deepen your daily experience by reading Edward Hirsch’s essay How to Read a Poem.
2. Memorize a poem.
3. Create an anthology of your favorite poems on Poets.org.
4. Start a poetry reading group.
5. Write a letter to a poet thanking them for their work.
6. Plug-in and listen to famous poetry-reading audio-clips on SoundCloud.