April is National Poetry Month! Poetry can be fun for kids to read, but scary when it comes time to write it on their own. Here are some tips and ideas to help kids look forward to and enjoy writing poetry!
1. Read poetry to them. Not just during National Poetry Month, but all year long. The more exposure kids have to different kinds of poetry, the more comfortable they will be with it. Consider having a "Poem of the Week" and make it a part of your routine as morning work or in a literacy center.
2. Give them a chance to respond. How did the poem make them feel? Which parts did they like or not like? Let them learn how to express their opinions about something and give reasons why.
3. Model how to write poetry, and practice composing poems together as a class.
4. Let them write about what interests them. Every kid is an expert on something, even if it's the latest video game or TV show. Have them write poems about a character, or how they feel while playing a certain game. Find out what evokes emotion in them, and let them write about that.
5. Brainstorm before you start. Have students think about their topic and write down nouns, adjectives, and verbs that describe the topic. This will give them a great reference to look at while they are composing and they will be less likely to feel "stuck."
6. Celebrate each other. It can be vulnerable to write poetry and share it with others. Be sure to create an atmosphere that is encouraging and supportive when students are writing and sharing poetry.
Try this free activity from my Poetry Unit: Finding Text Evidence & Writing Poetry. It is a power packed activity, full of fun and learning. Students will read about a type of poetry (cinquain), read an example, answer a few questions, citing text evidence to support their answers, and use the prompt to create their own poem!
The free download can be found HERE or by clicking on the pictures below.
Poetry is an important part of every culture, and it's our job to encourage a love of reading it and writing it in our classrooms!