TeachersFirst's Poetry Month Editor's Choice Resources
This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected by our editors from the hundreds of reviewed poetry resources and creative tools listed on TeachersFirst. Now April can be Poetry Month in any classroom. Even if you teach science or math, there is a place for poetry in your curriculum. Poetry is as brief and economical as a number sentence, but with feelings or messages between the words. Why not throw some poetry lines amid your chemical or algebraic equations to connect with verbal/linguistic learners and spark a new way of seeing any subject? Take time to plan a "poetry break" using these ideas from the TeachersFirst Editors. View all of our resources tagged for Poetry here.
Here are some poetic possibilities to get your students' creative juices flowing: Have students compose a limerick explaining a science term or historic figure. Have students collect a list of words from your current unit. Then offer extra credit for a poetic interpretation to be shared as a daily "poetry break" during April. Use one of the tools featured here to share poetic visions of biology, geometry, and more during April. Cover a classroom wall with white paper for "curriculum poetry" during April: encourage students to share poetry graffiti (classroom appropriate, of course). Need other poetic ideas? Check out our "In the classroom suggestions" included in these reviews or try our keyword search for poetry AND a specific topic or grade level.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): poetry (225)
In the ClassroomDemonstrate how simple it is to find a word that rhymes on your projector or interactive whiteboard and then, provide a link to Rhyme Brain on your class web page for your students to have easy access to this tool. Transform classroom technology use and have your students share their created poems on an interactive online poster using Lucidpress, reviewed here, or Canva, reviewed here.
It's a real time saver. Use it to fascinate elementary students with the numerous single and multi-syllabic rhyming words and various spelling combinations that are generated. Older students will enjoy the play on words that it quickly reveals, saving them time to do the higher level thinking that the figurative language of poetry requires.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): creative writing (170)
In the ClassroomThis poetry activity (aka Found Poetry) opens the doors to so many learning objectives. In a social studies or history classroom, you could direct your students to search for newspaper or magazine articles on topics that you have been studying, or current events. Suddenly you have social studies poetry! In an English language arts lesson, you might instruct students to blacken out all the words that are not nouns or verbs, or select other parts of speech. You could change the task to eliminate any word that is not part of the simple subject or predicate, and simultaneously teach or reinforce main idea. For classrooms with individual computers, students could access articles online. Copy the text into a document. Then, Instead of blackening out words with markers, they could get the same effect by highlighting over them with black, or changing the font color of the text to white, and printing them or saving a screenshot image. Another option is for students to email their Newspaper Blackout poems to the teacher. Each poem could then be put into a Power Point slide show for the class to see on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site to offer your students a new twist on Poetry Month (April). Enhance classroom technology use and take your new poetry collection to the world by uploading the PowerPoint to ThingLink, reviewed here, and have each student record a reading in his/her own voice. Thinglink presents a variety of levels for technology use depending on teacher requirements for the project, or even student ability; it allows for adding narration, videos, text and links to help explain what certain parts of the poem are about. Make poetry a participatory experience, no matter what the subject. If your school permits, have students take photos of their paper poems -- or screenshots of ones done on the computer --and share them on this site. You may want students to start saving their work in a digital portfolio. Suggestions are Mahara, reviewed here, for high school students, or Dropr, reviewed here, for fourth through eighth grade students.
In addition to the literary content, some poems also have a photo slideshow that accompanies the poem and their authors. The slideshows would be great for readers who may need some assistance in comprehension or may just need something to sell the content and heighten their interest. While actually signing up (which is free) gives you the ability to "clip" files and keep them in a folder, you can access the majority of the information without signing up. Registration does require an email address. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
tag(s): poetry (225)
In the ClassroomThere are many possibilities at this website. Use it for reference, share the highlights on your interactive whiteboard or projector, or talk about the constructive use of a site like this without plagiarizing. One activity after reviewing a poem through Shmoop's process might be to have students use a poem not included on Shmoop and make their own entry for it, following the Shmoop template as an example. Try augmenting classroom technology use by using a simple slideshow tool like Sharalike, reviewed here, or use Slidestory, reviewed here, and use voice narration and images. Why not make your own wiki to include some of the same features for other poems? Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Note: one popular poem on Shmoop is Poe's "The Raven." Be sure to have students explore TeachersFirst's interactive Raven as yet another rich way to experience the poem along with Shmoop.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomPlay the sound files on speakers in your classroom and be sure to include the link on your teacher web page for students to play at home, as well. If you are into podcasting, consider having students make their own recordings of ballads after hearing and studying these. Challenge cooperative learning groups to modernize one of the ballads and augment classroom technology use by creating a podcast by using sites such as podOmatic, reviewed here, or Buzzsprout, reviewed here. Help students create a checklist or rubric to use for self-evaluation or peer review. Use a tool like Quick Rubric, reviewed here, for the checklist and rubric. Use this same document to help students make constructive suggestions for story revisions. The lesson plans are printable PDFs and work with units/lessons on Langston Hughes and the blues as well as the meters of poetry.
Grades10 to 12
In the ClassroomChallenge students to combine their creative writing skills with knowledge of poetic forms to fashion their own limericks using headline news as a prompt.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomTake your students on this language-rich adventure using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Mark your calendar now to visit this site during April, when Poetry Month is celebrated. Download your free poetry kit from the poetry month link. Of course, Shel Silverstein's whimsical and slightly dark humor can be enjoyed any month. There is a link for Teachers and Parents with lesson ideas, printables, and more. This is a great site to share with parents and students for summer breaks.
Grades4 to 8
tag(s): poetry (225)