Poetry is child’s play! Listen to a bunch of second graders having a conversation and you’ll hear rhyming, rhythm, personification, alliteration, similes, metaphors, and a host of other literary techniques that make up both poetry and playtime.
Kids are poetry naturals. And teachers and parents have an opportunity to take that natural linguistic fun and use it to introduce concepts that children will use during their academic career and beyond.
Critical thinking starts with creativity—by encouraging kids to think creatively about the reading and writing they do every day, they learn to deconstruct concepts and themes in a way that leads to higher-level thinking about the texts they’ll encounter down the road.
Poetry is especially useful because even reluctant readers find it accessible. It can also serve as an emotional bridge—many kids find relief in communicating their sad, anxious, or depressed concerns through poetry.
Use National Poetry Month to engage your students in some of these fun activities and watch as they discover a whole new side to language.
1 Make a Poetry Journal! Every good poet carries a notebook to catch all those great ideas. You can make your own by following the directions on the Nomad Press website.
2 Find a Found Poem! Look at old magazines, newspapers, brochures, and books. Make sure you’re allowed to cut them up! Lightly circle any words that you find interesting or funny or exciting. Cut your circled words out of the paper and arrange them on a piece of cardboard to make a found poem.
3 Get Excited About Hyperboles! Hyperboles are expressions people use when they’re really excited about something. “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!” Make up your own hyperbole and draw a funny picture to illustrate it.
4 Idea Rocks Rock! Wash and dry 10-12 small stones. Write one word or paint one object on each rock. Walk around your classroom or outside to get ideas for your rocks! Collect your rocks in a bag and use them whenever you need an idea for the subject of a poem.
5 Write an Equation Poem! Poets often use structure to spark creativity. Choose an equation with numbers, such as 1 + 2 = 3. Replace the numbers with words. Keep replacing the words until you have an equation that makes sense to you.
snow day + mom stays home = beef stew dinner
Visit these sites for more poetry inspiration! And check out the new book from Nomad Press, Explore Poetry! With 25 Great Projects.