Poetry Month in 15 Minutes a Day
I admit, I have never been one to go all out for National Poetry Month in April. I enjoy reading poems with my class and poetry books definitely get their rotation in my monthly book display, but poetry projects or multi-day lessons never seem to fit in. First of all, April is peak testing season in our state, so it’s hard to find the time to really dig in to learning about and writing poems. Secondly, our poem unit typically falls in November and is focused on poem comprehension.
I needed a way to fit poetry in without taking away from the content in pacing that had to be covered during April.
It took me about 2 years after I originally created my African-American History Month A-Person-A-Day resource to realize I could work National Poetry Month the same way and then about another 2 years after I got the idea, to actually create the resource.
Side bar: I have A-Person-A-Day resource for most of the Heritage Months. It allows me to emphasize the culture being celebrated, keep it in the forefront of student’s minds and expose them to new people/ideas they may have not heard of – all in 5-10 minutes a day. The time is crucial because we have jam-packed pacing to adhere to and while I had always wanted to celebrate different cultural achievements with my students, I struggled to find the time. I have a resource for February (African American History Month), March (Women’s History Month), May (Asian-Pacific Heritage Month), Sept/Oct (Hispanic Heritage Month), and November (Native American Heritage Month). This is how the poetry resource will also work.
After spending hours creating a Poetry Month PowerPoint with a slide for each day and an accompanying printable/PDF poetry journal, I couldn’t wait to roll it out in my class. I have to say, my kids loved it! I was/am shocked at the amazing poems they have been writing.
The Poetry PowerPoint rotates focus each day. The pattern is:
-a day highlighting a specific children’s poet
-a day teaching a type of poem
-a day highlighting another children’s poet
-a day teaching a specific poetry tool.
(See the calendar to see which poets, poem types, and poetry tools I chose.)
The printable journal is designed to use after the daily slide. Students follow up what they just learned about by putting it to practice. On days that focus on specific poets, the journal page of the day is connected in some way. For example, the day after learning about alliteration introduces them to Jack Prelutsky where students will read his “Bleezer’s Ice Cream” alliteration poem. The packet page for this day has a 4-scoop cone where students design their own scoops and name them using alliteration, like in the poem. Similarly, the day the students learn about Douglas Florian and his animal poetry books, they will be tasked with writing an animal poem.
Scroll to the bottom to view a video of both the PowerPoint and the PDF journal.
I have 20 minutes to squeeze in the daily PowerPoint slide and Journal page, but I’ve realized I can spend about 5 minutes on the PowerPoint and then have them complete the daily journal page independently during centers or writing. Included with the journal are a list of topic ideas, anchor charts, and templates I created to help my students be more successful as they work independently.
Truthfully, the journal could be completely separate from the PowerPoint (so I’ve decided to also offer it as a stand alone), but will need some sort of daily prep from the teacher such as gathering examples of the poetry books or having YouTube videos available. In the PowerPoint I have included YouTube links, templates, book suggestions, and prompts for the class to complete together.
At the end of the month students have a poetry portfolio to present, publish, or take-home. I finally felt like I had correctly appreciated Poetry Month!
Drop a comment down below to let me know what poem types, poetry books, or poets I should include! Thanks for reading, don’t forget to pin this post for next time!