Magnetic Fridge PoetryApril is National Poetry Month, sponsored by Academy of American Poets and other poetry organizations. Last year, we posted thirty poetry activities, one for each day of the month of April—and the good news is that we’ve got an updated poem-a-day activity for you this year too!


Each day has a link to a different kind of poetry writing, either a specific poetic form, like sonnets or acrostics, or poetry focused on a particular topic, like seasonal haiku or color poems. The materials range in grade levels, but can usually be adapted for any age (even college students).


So here’s the challenge for you and students: I found a different poem for every day of the month. How many different poems can you write? And remember that even if you don’t have time in class to write a poem each day, these poetry activities will work any day of the year!



1: Acrostic Poems

2: Seasonal Haiku 3: Nonsense Poems4: Catalog Poems5: Shape Poems6: STEM Poems 7: Bio- Poems
8: Riddle Poems

9: Nursery Rhymes10: Color Poems11: Two- Voice Poetry12: Headline Poems13: Diamante Poems14: Rebus Poems
15: Parody Poems16: One-Sentence Poems17: Name Poems18: Magnetic Poetry19: Letter Poems20: Bilingual, Spoken-Word Poetry21: 5Ws Poems
22: Free Verse23: Alphabet Poems24: Concrete Poems25: Found Poems & Parallel Poems26: Cinquain Poems 27: Limericks28: Traditional Sonnets
29: Astronomy Poetry30: Sports Poetry




[Photo: Magnetic Fridge Poetry by Minimalist Photography, on Flickr]

Graphic Novels - closeup viewTrying to persuade a reluctant reader to pick up a book? “More and more teachers and parents are realizing that graphic novels are an easy way to hook reluctant readers as well as keep older readers engaged,” according to the latest collection of  reviews from    the International Reading Association Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group. Check out their  Graphic Novels Reviewed, Part 1 for books for grades 1–12.


Share some humorous books that get kids laughing and learning to get ready for April Fool's Day this Sunday. Extend your activities to writing with ideas from the Sample Chapter from Humor Writing: Activities for the English Classroom, the newest NCTE book.


For  classroom materials on   other new and timely topics, just keep reading! We have materials on The Hunger Games, National Poetry Month, Robert Frost, César Chávez, and more!


New Resources

From the Calendar

Discuss These Topics with Other Teachers


If you have feedback or questions about ReadWriteThink, all you have to do is contact us.


—Traci Gardner



[Photo: Graphic Novels - closeup view by Enokson, on Flickr]

Curled Up With a Good BookDo you know about Harry Cat, the Library Lion, Square Cat, and Tumford: The Terrible? You will after you check out the latest collection of  reviews from    the International Reading Association Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group. Check out their  recommendations of Cat Tales for K–5 readers, and don’t miss their reviews last month of books for dog lovers.


After you read those books, try our newest printable worksheet, the Narrative Pyramid. This graphic organizer, taken from   Ellery and Rosenboom’s Sustaining Strategic Readers, asks students to reflect on key ideas and details from a short story or a chapter of a novel they have read recently. 


For more classroom materials on   new and timely topics, just keep reading! We have materials on St. Patrick’s Day, time zones, World Poetry Day and more!


New Resources

From the Calendar

  • March 15: Beware the Ides of March! Students discuss and categorize superstitions, define a superstition, and compare the similarities and difference between proverbs and superstitions.  (For grades 3–12)

  • March 16: The Scarlet Letter was published in 1850. Students brainstorm the possible meaning of the title The Scarlet Letter and what its significance might be. The class' responses are returned to once the reading has begun to see how their definitions have changed. (For grades 9–12)

  • March 17: Today is St. Patrick's Day. St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by reading Irish folk tales and using the Story Map tool to create a graphic organizer and see what characteristics are unique to Irish tales. (For grades 1–12)

  • March 19: On this day in 1918, the United States passed the U.S. Standard Time Act.A video conference with a class from a different country or time zone is planned. Students brainstorm questions to ask and figure out how many time zones they would have to travel through to have the conference. (For grades 3–12)

  • March 21: Today is World Poetry Day. Students read and respond to Billy Collins' poem "Introduction to Poetry." Students then write about a favorite poem and imagine the perfect way to read it. (For grades 3–12)

  • March 22: Randolph Caldecott was born on March 22, 1846. Students explore the history of the Caldecott Medal and create a classroom literary award modeled after the Caldecott. (For grades K–12)

  • March 24: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof premiered in New York in 1955. Students are introduced to the characteristics of drama, read a chapter from a novel the class has read, and create a script from the chapter that they will present to the class. (For grades 5–12)

  • Later this month, find lesson plans and activities on the Kate DiCamillo, Robert Frost, Anna Sewell, and César Chávez!

Discuss These Topics with Other Teachers


If you have feedback or questions about ReadWriteThink, all you have to do is contact us.


—Traci Gardner



[Photo: Curled Up With a Good Book by edenpictures, on Flickr]

The theme of this year’s IRA Annual Convention is “Celebrating Teaching,” which is a fitting tribute to the literacy professionals around the world who contribute to their students’ literacy achievements. and Verizon Thinkfinity are taking part in the celebration at the Annual Convention with a focus on technology in learning! Here are five reasons you need to join us in Chicago, April 29 through May 2, 2012:


  1. Gather solid educational ideas that you can take back to your school.
  2. Be inspired by renowned speakers and dynamic educators.
  3. Connect with your peers from across the globe.
  4. Be a part of the conversation on the future for reading professionals.
  5. Come celebrate teaching and your profession.



Ready to celebrate? Register now at


Our Sessions

ReadWriteThink is hosting two educational sessions this year that focus on the power of technology in the elementary classroom and how it can be woven into all aspects of the school day. You’ll learn countless ways to engage students and increase their motivation to learn. If you’re looking for practical, classroom-ready ideas to use right away with your students, these sessions should be on your itinerary. Presents: Engaging Learners With “Games” in the Elementary Classroom

Monday, April 30, 2012
3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.


The use of technology in the classroom is ever-growing. Have you harnessed the motivational power of technology—or hidden from it? houses dozens of online, research-based interactive tools to help develop 21st-century learners. How can you engage your students with “games” and new technologies? How can you reach struggling learners with interactive tools? How can you inspire a schoolwide effort to embrace new technology? Karen Pelekis, a classroom teacher; Emily Manning, an interventionist; and Katrina Allen, a technology facilitator, will show you how in this session.





A Day With Incorporating Tools Across the Curriculum
Tuesday, May 1, 2012lisa_cropped.jpg

3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

You may be familiar with the amazing resources on, but how can you use these resources beyond your language arts lessons? Discover tips from Lisa Storm Fink, a former teacher and current project manager of, about how to use the site in your K–6 classroom throughout the entire school day.


Scavenger Hunt

Keep an eye out for ReadWriteThink posters around the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. Each poster will have a QR code (and corresponding URL) where you can find a code word. Hunt throughout the convention center for all of the QR codes and collect the code words. Not only will you have a chance to meet the people behind but you’ll also have the chance to win great prizes!



Enjoy a Cup of Joe

The IRA Convention is always very busy. If you feel your energy waning, it’s a good time to stop by the Verizon Thinkfinity booth located in the Technology Pavilion of the exhibit hall. Enjoy a rejuvenating cup of free coffee, and while you’re at the café, learn more about how you can take advantage of the Verizon Thinkfinity Community, a destination for teachers to collaborate, share new ideas, and find new ways to introduce technology into their classrooms.

Thinkfinity Cafe_image.jpg


IRA Annual Convention is a can’t-miss event for any literacy professional!
For more information and to register, visit


Join Our Discussions:

What do you find most valuable about attending a national education conference?
If you do not attend national education conferences, what is it that prohibits you from registering?



Cozy Reading DogsDog lovers will enjoy the books featured in the latest collection of  reviews from    the International Reading Association Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group.  The books are for readers from  pre-K to 7th grades and include the 2012 Caldecott Medal winner A Ball for Daisy.

Do you know an outstanding middle level educator? Nominate that teacher for the NCTE Edwin A. Hoey Award. Deadline is April 1, 2012.


For classroom materials on  other new and timely topics, just keep reading! We have materials on Teen Tech Week and Women’s History Month plus our newest lesson plans.


New Resources

From the Calendar

  • March 4: Celebrate Teen Tech Week! Students select a topic for research using a variety of technologies and practice citing media sources. They can create their report in an electronic medium such as a CD, podcast, or video. (For grades 7–12)

  • March 5: Today is Native American writer Leslie Marmon Silko’s birthday. Students revive elements of the oral tradition by writing about something funny that happened to them recently, sharing with classmates, and discussing the changes that occur during the retelling of the stories. (For grades 3–12)
  • March 6: Author Gabriel García Márquez was born on this day. Students take place in a collaborative creative writing activity to begin to understand the hallmarks of the literary style known as magical realism. (For grades 7–12)

  • March 9: The Barbie doll was unveiled in 1959. Students explore body image and advertising through an activity where they bring in pictures from magazines that they read and discuss gender representations in the media. (For grades 7–12)

  • This month, find lesson plans and activities on the Ides of March, St. Patrick’s Day, World Poetry Day, and more!

Discuss These Topics with Other Teachers


If you have feedback or questions about ReadWriteThink, all you have to do is contact us.


—Traci Gardner



[Photo: Cozy Reading Dogs by Enokson, on Flickr]

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