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National Poetry Month

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national_poetry_month_200x159.jpgCelebrate National Poetry Month with a variety of lessons, interactives, and resources from Thinkfinity, all designed to help you become a poet or be inspired by reading the poetry of others.

 

  • View ReadWriteThink's National Poetry Month collection and introduce your students to a variety of poetic forms. Assign one or two students each day as "poet" of the day for the month of April. Then provide students with several models for creating different forms of poetry.  You might use Theme Poems, Acrostic Poems, Diamante Poems, or Instant Poetry Forms to do this.
  • Explore EDSITEment's National Poetry Month collection and learn about major forms of poetry across the world from the epic (the Odyssey from ancient Greece and the Ramayana from India) to the Japanese haiku to the ghazal of ancient Arabia. Link to lesson plans and a literary glossary too.
  • Find everything you need to know about National Poetry Month at Poets.org, an initiative started by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.

 

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  • Lessons/Activities
  • Interactives/Apps
  • Multimedia/Activities

Lessons/Activities

Add Seasons to Rhyming Poems and Songs

ReadWriteThink | Activity | K-2
Choose favorite rhyming songs or nursery rhymes; then replace the rhyming words with seasonal themes.

April Pulley Sayre: Science Explorer

ScienceNetLinks | Lesson | K-2
This lesson uses some books by April Pulley Sayre to help students explore how animals eat plants or other animals for food--or the food chain.

Poetry Portfolios: Using Poetry to Teach Reading

ReadWriteThink | Lesson | K-2
Through a weekly poem, students explore meaning, sentence structure, rhyming words, sight words, vocabulary, and print concepts. After studying the poem, students are given a copy of the poem to illustrate and share their understanding. All of the poems explored are then compiled into a poetry portfolio for students to take home and share with their families.

Where in the Wild?

ScienceNetLinks | Lesson | K-2
This lesson, based on an award-winning book, introduces students to animal camouflage through poetry, photography, and informative facts.

Reading The Little Chapel That Stood

Smithsonian's History Explorer | Lesson | K-3
This guide suggests methods for reading The Little Chapel That Stood, a picture book about September 11 written as a poem.

You Too Can Haiku

ARTSEDGE | Lesson | K-4
Introduce students to the Japanese poetic form haiku and guide them to write, illustrate, and publish their own poems.

Theme Poems

ReadWriteThink | Activity | K-5
Learn how to use the Theme Poem Tool, formerly known as Shape Poems, to make poems that look like the things they describe.

Compiling Poetry Collections and a Working Definition of Poetry

ReadWriteThink | Lesson | 3-5
Exploring poetry about everyday topics or themes is motivating and exciting, and allows you to delve deeply into your own creativity.

Composing Cinquain Poems with Basic Parts of Speech

ReadWriteThink | Lesson | 3-5
Students discover the characteristics of cinquain poems through reading and analysis of sample poems. They then use a graphic organizer to write their own cinquain poems, focusing on different parts of speech for each line.

Music, Poetry, and History: The National Anthem

Smithsonian's History Explorer | Lesson | 3-5
The National Anthem describes an actual event in American history. In this classroom activity, students recite the first verse and paraphrase "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Plankton Migration/Haiku Creation

National Geographic Education | Activity | 3-5
Students listen to a read aloud of a children's science book and watch a short video on how plankton migrate in the ocean. Students write a poem describing their feelings about what they heard and saw.

Shapes and Poetry

Illuminations | Lesson | 3-5
Students read the poem "Shapes" from A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein, and create their own illustration of the poem. In this lesson, students explore geometric figures and positional words.

The Connection Between Poetry and Music

ReadWriteThink | Lesson | 3-5
Students listen to poems read aloud, and they discuss the rhythm and sound of poetry. Then they perform poems using musical instruments to emphasize cadence.

Write Theme Poems

ReadWriteThink | Activity | 3-5
Who knew that poems could be round or square or even fish-shaped? Shape poems are a fun way to introduce poetry and to use words in new ways.

Exploring Change through Allegory and Poetry

ReadWriteThink | Lesson | 6-8
Students explore the theme of change through allegory and poetry by reading an example of literary allegory and creating their own pictorial allegories.

Poetry and Our National Anthem

Smithsonian's History Explorer | Lesson | 6-8
Explore the history behind the National Anthem and express the meaning of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by writing poetry about the flag or historical event.

The Poet's Voice: Langston Hughes and You

EDSITEment | Lesson | 6-8
Write journal entries and discuss poems to learn about the qualities that make Hughes' voice distinctive, forceful, and memorable.

Engineering the Perfect Poem by Using the Vocabulary of STEM

ReadWriteThink | Lesson | 7-10
Students research engineering careers and create poetry to understand the vocabulary of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Charles Baudelaire: Poète Maudit (The Cursed Poet)

EDSITEment | Lesson | 9-12
Encounter first-hand the work of 19th-century French poet Charles Baudelaire as a Decadent poet and the leading influence of the Symbolist movement.

Mental Health 3: Mental Health through Literature

ScienceNetLinks | Lesson | 9-12
Students examine the impact and portrayal of mental illness in literature and are encouraged to further develop their ideas about mental health through the arts.

Seeing Sense in Photographs & Poems

EDSITEment | Lesson | 9-12
Learn how poetry can be a "speaking picture" and artwork can be "a silent poetry."

Six Hispanic Literary Giants (English version)

EDSITEment | Lesson | 9-12
Introduce students to three Sonnet Masters of the Spanish Golden Age and three Poets and Nobel Laureates of the Twentieth Century who are among the most important literacy figures of the Spanish-speaking world.

Six Hispanic Literary Giants (Spanish version)

EDSITEment | Lesson | 9-12 (ideal for AP Spanish students)
Introduce students to three Sonnet Masters of the Spanish Golden Age and three Poets and Nobel Laureates of the Twentieth Century who are among the most important literacy figures of the Spanish-speaking world.

The Poetics of Hip Hop

ARTSEDGE | Lesson | 9-12
Analyze and compare form in Shakespeare sonnets and hip hop music to find common characteristics.

Interactives/Apps

Acrostic Poems

ReadWriteThink | Interactive | K-12
Use this interactive to learn about and write acrostic poems using the letters in a topic word to begin each line of the poem.

Haiku Starter

ReadWriteThink | Interactive | K-12
This graphic organizer provides students the opportunity to brainstorm words about a given topic, count and record the syllables, and draft a haiku.

Poetry Across the Sciences

Science NetLinks | Tool | K-12
This resource was compiled by the AAAS review journal, Science Books & films (SB&F), and looks at how poetry can complement science instruction and make it richer.

Theme Poems

ReadWriteThink | Interactive | 3-5
Use this interactive to learn about and write your own theme poem, a poem about an object that is written in the shape of the object.

Diamante Poems

ReadWriteThink | Interactive | 3-12
Learn about and write diamante poems, diamond-shaped poems that use nouns, adjectives, and gerunds to describe either one central topic or two opposing topics.

Haiku Poem App

ReadWriteThink | App | 3-12
With this app, students can learn about and write haiku, a popular Japanese poem that traditionally has three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. Students begin by brainstorming words for their poem, and then they compose their poem with attention to how many syllables they've written for each line. The final step allows students to customize the design of their poem with one of the provided artistic backgrounds or by uploading their own image. Saving capability allows students to return to their work and make revisions. Final work can be shared via email, as a PDF, or printed out.

Haiku Poem Interactive

ReadWriteThink | Interactive | 3-12
With this interactive, students can learn about and write haiku, a popular Japanese poem that traditionally has three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. Students begin by brainstorming words for their poem, and then they compose their poem with attention to how many syllables they've written for each line. The final step allows students to customize the design of their poem with one of the provided artistic backgrounds or by uploading their own image. Saving capability allows students to return to their work and make revisions. Final work can be shared via email, as a PDF, or printed out.

Letter Poem Creator

ReadWriteThink | Interactive 3-12
Find out how to turn a letter into a poem using line-breaks.

Word Mover App

ReadWriteThink | App | 3-12
Use this app to supplement classroom instruction, reinforce concepts taught in class, offer increased student engagement, and promote out-of-school literacy. Word Mover allows children and teens to create found poems by choosing from word banks and existing famous works; additionally, users can add new words to create a piece of poetry by moving/manipulating the text.

Word Mover Interactive

ReadWriteThink | Interactive | 3-12
Use this interactive to supplement classroom instruction, reinforce concepts taught in class, offer increased student engagement, and promote out-of-school literacy. Word Mover allows children and teens to create found poems by choosing from word banks and existing famous works; additionally, users can add new words to create a piece of poetry by moving/manipulating the text.

Introducing Metaphors Through Poetry

EDSITEment | Interactive | 9-12
Use downloadable worksheets for Margaret Atwood's poem "You Begin" and Naomi Shihab Nye's "Blood"; then have students test themselves on their understanding of metaphors with the accompanying interactives from this lesson plan.

Multimedia/Activities

Are You Sly as a Fox? (similes)

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Today's tricky Wonder of the Day might just fool you!

Can a Word Be Both a Noun and a Verb?

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
If you WONDER about today's WONDER, then you'll love today's WONDER!

Do You Like To Play with Words?

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
We have no words to describe today's Wonder of the Day!

Have You Ever Been on a Wild Goose Chase? (figure of speech)

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Today's Wonder of the Day might make you believe that what's good for the goose is also good for the gander!

Poetry Out Loud

ARTSEDGE | Video | K-12
Consider how poetry changes when recited and accompanied by music as you listen to well-known voices read the poetry of Emily Dickenson, Langston Hughes, and Jenny Joseph.

What Are Spoonerisms? (word play)

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Today's Wonder of the Day will crack you up!

What Is a Font?

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
We think today's Wonder of the Day will be just your type!

What Is a Genre?

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Can you guess what category today's Wonder of the Day falls into?

What Is a Haiku?

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Prepare to become a three-line poet as we explore the ancient Japanese art of haiku.

What Is a Limerick?

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Today's Wonder of the Day is sure to tickle your funny bone. Join us to find out if you're a poet and didn't even know it!

What Is a Metaphor?

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Today's Wonder of the Day is a breath of fresh air!

What Is a Poetry Slam?

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Are you a poet and don't even know it? Find out in today's Wonder of the Day!

What Is a Sonnet?

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Hark! What wonder through yonder computer monitor breaks? 'Tis a Wonder of the Day that will turn mere words into a "little song" in your heart!

What Is an Acrostic Poem?

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Calling all poets! Line up and report to Wonderopolis immediately! It's time to craft a poem with a not-so-hidden message.

What Rhymes With Orange?

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Calling all poets! Today's Wonder of the Day features a rhyming conundrum for the ages.

When Will Pigs Fly? (figure of speech)

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Today's Wonder of the Day includes a heaping helping of pork and wings!

Who Is Uncle Sam? (figure of speech/personification)

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Today's Wonder of the Day features everyone's favorite uncle!

Why Do We Use Different Words For the Same Things? (word choice/synonyms)

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
If you're thirsty for knowledge, join us in Wonderopolis today. We have a nice cold soda waiting for you. Or is it a pop?

Playful Poetry Books to Share

ReadWriteThink | Podcast | K-15
Emily Manning chats about poetry books for kids ages 4 through 11.

Celebrating Poetry for Teens

ReadWriteThink | Podcast | 6-12
In honor of National Poetry Month, tune in for recommendations of a variety of poetry books for teens.

The Poets: A Celebration of the Spoken Word

ARTSEDGE | Video | 6-12
Scroll down to The Poets video and watch the performances of 13 student-poets to learn how each addresses important issues and topics through the medium of poetry.

The Walrus and the Carpenter

National Geographic Education | GeoStory | 7-12+
Students see the entire text of this silly and surprisingly morbid poem by Lewis Carroll and learn about metaphors and other literary devices.

Epigrams

National Geographic Education | Media Spotlight | 9-12+
Students read epigrams, clever short poems with the second part of the poem usually having an ironic, surprising, or even humorously cruel twist.

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