I'm revving up for the kickoff of National Poetry Month in just a few short days. Here's what I've done in the past.
- 2014 - Science Poetry Pairings - project pairing poetry and nonfiction picture books
- 2013 - Poetry A-Z - project covering a range of thematic posts with poetry titles selected by adjectives like xeric, penitent, impish, collaborative, and more.
- 2011 - Poetry in the Classroom - project highlighting a poem, a theme, a book, or a poet and suggesting ways to make poetry a regular part of life in the classroom.
- 2010 and 2009 - Poetry Makers - project containing interviews with poets who write for children (and sometimes adults!).
- 2008 - Poetry in the Classroom - project highlighting a poem, a theme, a book, or a poet and suggesting ways to make poetry a regular part of life in the classroom.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about my topic for this year and have spent time looking at a range of poetry for kids. After embarking on a year-long writing challenge with my poetry group, coupled with participating in and following the March Madness poetry event, I’ve decided that I want to focus on poetic forms.
One of the things I love about Poetry 180 is that it provides such a range of topics and forms for classrooms. However, it is focused for high schools. I want to shine a spotlight on forms other than strictly rhyming (though rhyme is perfectly fine) for the elementary and middle school classroom. I love rhyme just as much as the next person, but I worry that much of the poetry parents select for kids and teachers select for classrooms is chosen simply because it rhymes. And I don’t want the merit or “goodness” of poetry judged simply on this trait. Kids need to be exposed to poets old (classic) and new, poems funny and serious, in the glorious range that exists. Poetry for kids can be smart and challenging and I want to highlight this aspect.
In addition to focusing on forms, I'll also be sharing the thoughts of selected poets. I can't wait for April to begin! I hope you'll stop by to see what I've thrown together.