Teacher to Teacher: Poetry Month
By Janice Ewing
I tend to have mixed feelings about special months designated for things that should be embedded into our teaching and celebrated all through the year. Take poetry, for instance. On the one hand, how bleak would the year be if we waited until April to incorporate it into our reading, writing, and teaching lives, and then dropped it like the much-maligned hot potato? On the other hand, why not dedicate time to celebrate this often-ignored genre, and what better time than April, a month that invites us to look closely at our surroundings? In addition, having just participated in the Slice of Life daily writing challenge during March (twowritingteachers.wordpress.com), the value of instilling writing habits is fresh in my mind. Maybe this is a good opportunity to instill a poetry habit in ourselves and our students.
One more advantage to having a month dedicated to poetry is that it encourages us to share resources and ideas. Here are few that I’ve come across recently:
- KidLitOSphere Central: The Society of Bloggers in Children’s and Young Adult Literature – A wonderful collection of blog posts, videos, and poetry-writing challenges
- Read. Write. Think. – Many resources, lesson plans, activities to celebrate National Poetry Month.
- Poets.Org – Poems, programs, suggestions for celebrations
- Twitter – Yes, Twitter! Check out the hashtag #poetrymonth for rich conversations about poetry and links to even more sources
What are your thoughts about having a month dedicated to the celebration of poetry? What does this look like in your classroom? Beyond the classroom? What books, websites, or other resources would you like to share? Please join the conversation.
Janice Ewing is an adjunct for Cabrini College and a co-director for the Pennsylvania Writing & Literature Project. Janice co-facilitates PAWLP’s “Continuity Days” and this blog. She is an avid reader and writer, and especially enjoys writing poems.