We read and hear poetry every day in picture books and songs but the lyrical verses, for the most part, seem to go unnoticed. National Poetry Month takes place in April. Next month we plan to join others in a celebration of poetry by actively seeking out and reading poems. We hope to discover fun and interesting poetry that specifically appeals to children. We may even try our hand at writing a few of our own verses.
My preschool aged daughter is just learning to read and write. We decided that it would be fun to create a "My Poetry Book" this April. Every weekday we'll select a poem to paste into her book and, after reading the poem aloud together, she will draw an illustration for the poem. Some days I'll encourage her to pick a topic and we'll try to find a poem that fits the theme. Other days we may discuss different types of poetry like haiku or limericks. We'll go to the library, pick out a few poetry books and blindly pick a page to read. Along the way we'll try to update our readers on the progress and post a few entries. By the end of the month, her little poetry book will overflow with special poems and pictures that inspire.
There are plenty of online resources and activities geared towards introducing children to poetry. Hopefully you'll find some of these links handy when planning your own National Poetry Month celebrations:
Poets.org - A super resource for National Poetry month, it includes information on celebrations and festivals and suggestions on how to participate. Download the 2010 National Poetry Month poster. Need inspiration? Check out 30 Ways to Celebrate. Don't forget National Poem In Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 29, 2010!
Poetry Idea Engine - Use Scholastic's fun poetry generator to create haiku, limerick, cinquain, or free verse poems. Fun for all ages! (Scholastic also has a wonderful National Poetry month page for teachers: http://teacher.scholastic.com/poetry/index.htm)
Crayola National Poetry Month page - includes several printables and activity ideas. I really like the Crayola Poetry Coloring Page that encourages children to color and create their own short poem by arranging words.
Kidlitosphere Celebration of Poetry Month - several kidlit bloggers have decided to write poetry related posts during April. Click on the link to view the full list of participants and their chosen themes.
National Poetry Month Blog Tour 2010 - Savvy Verse & Wit is hosting the month-long blog tour. Visit a new blog everyday. Brimful Curiosities is participating -- watch for our post on April 30th.
Book Spine Poems - Stack books on top of each other so that the titles form a verse. Submit your book spine poem to 100 Scope Notes for inclusion in his gallery.
Poetry Foundation - A collection of articles and videos on children's poetry. Also includes a Children's Poetry Archive.
Sourcebooks free ebook - In celebration of National Poetry Month, Sourcebooks is offering My Hippo Has the Hiccups by Kenn Nesbitt for free online. You can turn the pages and even listen to audio recordings of the poems.
Giggle Poetry - Want some fun poems and activities for kids? This is a great place to start.
Storyworks - Another Scholastic resource, this site has great poetry and writing lesson plans. "The Secret Song" by Margaret Wise Brown is one of the April/May 2010 Storyworks featured poems. Scroll down to find the poem and the corresponding activities.
J. Patrick Lewis Bookmark Poems - Mark your place in April with these fun printable poetry bookmarks.
Chronicle Books Chicken Scratches Contest - Start the month off by filling in the blanks of a few of George Shannon and Lynn Brunelle's poultry poems. Hurry though! All guesses must be in by April 2nd.
“Paws for Poetry” Contest - children ages 5-12 are to write a poem to, and provide a photo of, their favorite animal friend. The contest is cosponsored by Meet Me at the Corner and Flashlight Press. Entries due 4/15/10.
Do you know of any other excellent poetry resources or activities for children?