April the Poetry Month05:02
Can’t you just smell spring in the air? Daffodils beginning to bloom, Lilac trees starting to flower, and Lilies of the Valley popping up. I just love the aroma. Not only is my birthday in April but it brings us Passover, Easter, and poetry month. All of these things make me happy to be alive. I just love teaching poetry, spring is the perfect time. For me, inspiration comes from being outside, walking on the beach inhaling the salty ocean air, or meandering through the woods with my husband and beautiful husky puppy.
I want my middle school kids to experience the wonderful feeling of being outside and creating. That’s why I teach poetry in April or May… New awakenings, birds beginning to nest and the warmth that replaces the winter cold. So I pick a sunny day, take the class outside and have them write a nature poem using all of their senses. I tell them to breathe in the fresh air, so we take some deep yoga breaths, sit on the grass and listen to the sounds of nature with closed eyes.
We might also hug trees and feel the roughness of their bark and realize how secure and grounded they are because their roots run so deeply underground. We then find our favorite tree to lie under and look up through the branches at the sky or watch the leaves fluttering in the breeze. I ask them to smell flowers and quietly watch insects buzzing around. We then become aware of the colors around us and they become the colors, or the insect or the bird or the tree.
We go back into the classroom and talk about figurative language, esp. onomatopoeia, they write a poem using as many sound words as they can think of.
Next is a Haiku which is a traditional Japanese poem. It consists of 3 lines. Line one has 5 syllables, Line 2 has seven syllables, and line 3 has five syllables. Here is an example:
Spring inspires me
Flowers blooming, birds singing
There are so many types of poems you can have your students write: here’s a list that you will find helpful. :
Shape Poem a poem that describes an object and is shaped like the
object. Use adjectives to describe this object. A volcano works, the ocean, a tree, a bird, etc.
Free Verse is a poem that may or may not rhyme and it has no set pattern to it.
Cinquain as the name suggests it has five lines with a certain amount of syllables in each.
Diamante is shaped like a diamond with 7 lines and uses different parts of speech that
don't have to rhyme.
Limericks are loads of fun and my kids just love making them up. It’s a humorous or nonsense
poem with five lines.
Riddles are also a popular type of poem where something is described without actually saying it.
Acrostic is a simple type of poem, you come up with a subject (Spring) for example. You write the subject down the side of the page and come up with a word or phrase that begins with each letter in the word and describes the subject.
Once your class has written their poems you can have them pick the one they like best, proof read it and publish it in a book called
Celebration of Young Poets ...Creative Communications, Inc.
90 North 100 East
Logan, UT 84321
Need more information for your poetry workshop? Do you want your class to put their creations in an interactive notebook? I’ve made just what you need with all the information in one place. You don’t have to figure it out yourself or create a lesson, I’ve done the work for you.
Here are some great resources you can use.
by Deann Marin