Friday, April 5, 2019

Celebrating National Poetry Month


I like to celebrate Black History Month, Women's History Month, and National Poetry Month in the school library. April has arrived, and it is time for poetry. 

Click on the picture to enlarge it, the poem in the middle was written by a sophomore
One of the things that I used to do was send an email blast out to all students and staff with a poem every day of the week. The poem would be the body of the email. I would occasionally get replies back with comments about the poems, so I know that they were being read. Now, instead of the email blast, I find a poem that I like that is posted on the web and add the link to the daily Paw Prints that is sent to all students and teachers and parents who have signed up for it. I decided that I didn't want to flood in boxes with email that wouldn't get read. Anyway, I use poems from the Poetry Foundation or Poets.org or even link to one of the poem generators that I have listed in this Symbaloo. Then I print out the poem and post it on the door of the library. By the end of the month, the doors are filled with poems. Sometimes students send me poems that they want me to post or even write poems for me to post. 


At a conference that I attended a couple of years ago, my librarian friends at St. Thomas More in Lafayette, LA talked about how they had students read poems to them to help erase overdue fines. When I first heard about this, I just thought that it was an amazing idea, and I think that this is the third year that I have done it. I give the students at least two weeks to visit the library to read poetry to me. If they find a poem online or pick one out of a book, they can reduce their fine by five cents for every line that they read. If they write a poem, then they can reduce their fine by ten cents. It still boggles my mind that students will pay me during this period rather than read poetry to me. It is their choice. I have students reading lines to knock out two and three dollars worth of fines. I love this idea, and I love the idea of giving students a way to work off what they owe. 


Last year, I made a station at a table where students could create black out poetry. I haven't done it yet, but I think that I will cut up some of the book pages that we used for the craft for Teen Tech Week and have students create poems from the words. That is a task for next week. If you want to know what we have done over the years for Poetry Month, check out this Wakelet that I made. (By the way, Wakelet is my newest favorite curation tool.)

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