As April is National Poetry Month, we are featuring two great digital resources for bringing poetry into the classroom.
National Poetry Month is an annual literary celebration of poetry’s “vital place in our culture.” Sponsored by The Academy of American Poets, it comprises several digital and analog components. Two primary initiatives for young people are the Dear Poet project and Poem in Your Pocket Day. To follow along, add to the conversation, and learn about poetry month events and activities, you can use the hashtag #npm16 or follow/mention @POETSorg. Also, feel free to share any activities, resources or digital tools you use for poetry in the comment section below.
In the Dear Poet project, young people are invited to watch videos of poets reading their poems aloud, and then write a letter in response to one of the poems or poets via email or physical mail. Here are some examples of the poet videos:
Selected student letters will be published on poets.org and receive responses from the poets in May 2016. A Dear Poet lesson plan of activities aligned to Common Core standards is provided for teachers who wish to participate in this project with students in the classroom. The poets.org site also provides teachers from elementary schools to the college level with a large archive of lesson plans and resources for teaching poetry.
Poem in Your Pocket Day
Poem in Your Pocket Day is officially April 21, 2016, but you could also schedule it for a different day in your school or classroom. Children and adults are invited to choose a poem, write or print it out, carry it in their pocket, and share it with others throughout the day. Other ways to participate include tweeting a poem (hashtag #pocketpoem) or sharing a poem on other social networks, texting a poem to friends, adding a poem to your email footer, printing and passing out free poems to people in a public area, and more. The video below shows how Charlottesville, VA celebrates Poem in Your Pocket Day.
Poets.org provides a Poem in Your Pocket Day digital packet of selected poems to choose from and print, such as this one from Emily Dickinson:
The Poetry Foundation (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/) has an enormous archive of nearly 13,000 poems by over 3,500 poets culled from over 100 years of Poetry Magazine issues as well as the public domain. These poems can be browsed, searched, and filtered by poet, subject, period, and more. Many poems include digital audio readings by the poet or another reader, commentary on the poem, and a poet biography. The website additionally hosts several podcasts, video series, and blogs all focused on poetry, as well as a poem-finding and browsing mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
A poetry Learning Lab provides all sorts of teaching resources, poem guides, essays and articles on poetic theory, a glossary of poetic terms, links to other poetry resources on the web, and much more for teachers and students.
The Poetry Foundation tenures a Children’s Poet Laureate (currently Jacqueline Woodson) and provides poems and resources specifically curated for parents and teachers of young children in their Children’s Poetry section.