8 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, and this April is the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month. Let’s celebrate poetry in our classrooms with some of these great ideas.

1. Create Acrostic Poem Posters in Class

One of the best ways to decorate your classroom is with colorful student work. Middle school and high school students enjoy seeing their work on display. For this project, there are two kinds of acrostic posters students can create. Either assign or have students sign up for certain poetry terms or famous poets. Once students have their topics, instruct them to create a colorful acrostic poem poster that is informative and colorful. If you choose poetry terms as the topic, the poem must relate to the assigned term. If you decide to have students create posters about famous poets, their poems must relate to their assigned or chosen poet.

2. Request a FREE National Poetry Month Poster for your classroom

Delivery takes 4-6 weeks, but you still might be able to request a free poster for your classroom to wrap up the month’s celebration. 

3. Teach Your Students to Annotate Poetry

Make poetry more accessible to your students by teaching them how to annotate it. My Annotating Poetry Made Easy lesson includes an editable PowerPoint presentation that will walk your students through the annotation process step-by-step and even includes an example poem to annotate together as a class. After teaching your students how to annotate poetry, this skill will be easier for them, and they will be able to annotate poetry on their own.

4. Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day – April 21, 2016

Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day with your students. On Wednesday, April 20, instruct students to find, print, and bring their favorite poem to school on Thursday, April 21. They should carry their poem in their pocket. In class on the 21st, hold a fun and informal poetry reading session. Encourage students to read aloud and share their favorite poems with the class. Have your students share what they love about the poem and why it speaks to them.

5. Learn and Study Poetry Terms

To get a better understanding of poetry, students need to know the academic language that accompanies poetry. Once students know common poetry terms and can apply their understanding of these terms to poems they encounter, they will be able to read and appreciate poetry on a whole new level. To help students become more acquainted with poetry terms, use my Academic Vocabulary packet with your class. This resource includes 25 common poetry terms that will help your students understand poetry more.

6. Share Your All-Time-Favorite Poem with Your Students

Create a casual atmosphere in your classroom and share your favorite poem with your students. Read it passionately. Tell your students why you love this poem and why it speaks to you.

7. Create Blank Verse Poem Posters

Teach blank verse and iambic pentameter to your students and have them write their own creations. In my Teachers Pay Teacher store, I have a FREE blank verse writing project that you can use in your classroom. This is a fun way to get to know your students’ interests, especially if you allow your students to choose their own topics. Once your students complete their blank verse poem posters, you can display them on your classroom wall for a colorful display. When I taught blank verse to my students during our Romeo and Juliet unit, I taught blank verse using THIS PowerPoint presentation and lesson material. They then created blank verse poem posters and they are still displayed in my classroom. It’s a perfect decoration for National Poetry Month.

8. Participate in the National High School Poetry Contest

Persuade your students to write and enter an original poem in the National High School Poetry contest. Applicants must be current high school students, and their poems need to be 20 lines or less.

For more poetry teaching ideas and resources, check out my Teaching Poetry board on Pinterest. It’s filled with great poetry resources for middle school and high school teachers.



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