Monday, May 5, 2014

Poetry Month in the PFTSTA Library

By the time that April rolls around, I am thinking about the end of the school year, which for us is May 23rd. I love the idea of National Poetry Month, but unless we start planning early, I run out of time for special activities in the library. Book displays are easy In past years, I have sent out a poem a day in an email to all students and staff members. That was always fun trying to find just the right poem to send, but this year, I tried not to feel that I failed when it didn't happen.

Poetry posted on the door to the library
I did plan and execute two activities, one for just the 6th graders and one for the entire student body. Lisa Valence and I have planned many great collaborative lessons over the years, but now that she is only teaching math, we have not figured out how to collaborate very often. She was looking for something fun for the 6th graders to do before spring break. I suggested we do a lesson on poetry and require the students to write poems using math vocabulary. Open here to find the presentation that I created with rubric, list of math vocabulary and website with templates for creating poetry. I started the lesson by reciting math poems that I found on the web because my library collection did not have the types of poems that I was looking for. Then I showed the students where to find the presentation. The students were required to write three poems using this website. We got some great poems from the kids. I realize now that I should have had the kids send me some of their creations so that I could post for you, but trust me when I tell you that some of them were outstanding and all of them showed some creativity. 

Creating a poem on the ETTC website

6th graders working on their math poems in the library

Bookmarked, the high school book group, wanted to continue our tradition of hidden poetry. So I went back to my collections of poems that I have used before and added the new poems sent to me by members of Bookmarked and printed out 45 pages of poetry. On April 23rd after school, five students helped by cutting out the poems, wrapping with a ribbon, and then hiding all over school. We forgot to warn the custodians before we began hiding the poems, and some made their way into the trash. I do think that we hid about 100 poems throughout the whole school. The next day students were allowed to find one poem. Then they needed to bring the poem into the library and read it aloud to me. If they read the poem aloud, I would give them a sweet treat as a prize. I covered the doors of the library with the poems. I know that the activity was successful when two 6th grade boys ran in with their poems saying that we should do this every week.

Students reading their poetry




Next year, I made a promise to myself to plan some activities early so I will be ready for poetry month. 

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