It’s April. Time to update last year’s Igniting National Poetry Month post with some wonderful new resources:
Update #1 -A year ago the New York Times Learning Network titled its poetry page as 11 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month. They too have done some updating! This year you’ll find double the number of activities listed on their Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month with the NY Times.
Be sure to checkout the Learning Network’s Second Annual Found Poem Challenge. What a great activity for kick-starting the week! The challenge includes links to samples and tools for scaffolding students through the process of building powerful “found poems,” such as NCTE’s Found and Headlines Poems article.
Update# 2 – Poets. org – Last year I linked only to Poets.org’s home page and the Poem in Your Pocket link. This year, I’d like to direct readers to a few more great pages on this site, such as the Teaching Poetry Curriculum and Lesson Plans and the Tips for Teachers (on making poetry a more important part of the school day).
Update #3 – National Writing Project – If you’re looking for links sure to inspire, encourage, and support you in your efforts to nurture a love for poetry in your students, the NWP’s National Poetry page will not disappoint you. Their continually expanding resources include categories that range from Spotlight Poetry Programs for Teachers to Teachers as Poets, Poets as Teacher. It’s the voices of teachers sharing their challenges, successes, and strategies for bringing poetry into their students’ lives that makes this site so unique, so valuable. It’s the depth and breadth of articles from Writing Project teachers like Lesley Roessing, for example, sharing what she has learned about Creating Empathetic Connections to Literature that makes visible the power of “teachers teaching teachers.”
Addition #1 – Poetry Foundation – Their growing bank of resources includes a poetry tool, learning lab, glossary, audio and podcasts, children’s poetry, along with Poetry Outloud. Plus, you can download a free app with hundreds of poems.
Addition #2 – PBS NewsHour Extra: Poetry includes lesson plans, links, rules and tools, teacher favorites, student poems, poetry submission and more. Links to Minstrel Man and and I’m Nobody provide windows into the power of poetry to impact our students’ lives.
Addition #3 – Interested in poetry as a tool for teaching for social justice? Check out the Voices from the Fields website. I bought a copy of the book, which pairs poetry with personal narratives/oral histories, about 9 years ago, before there was an accompanying website. If you are looking for additional first-hand accounts of the migrant farm worker experience, here’s a link to a project I did eight years ago to connect elementary students with college students who spent their childhoods working the fields of California.
Addition #4 – And just for fun, how about the exuberance and humor of poet Carlos Andres Gomez, whose style might serve as a call to high students who thought they were not into poetry: