National Poetry Month Ideas

National Poetry Month Ideas from Standard Deviants Accelerate

April is National Poetry Month! Each year the month of April is set aside as National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate poets and their craft. Various events are held throughout the month by the Academy of American Poets and other poetry organizations. In honor of National Poetry Month, introduce your kids to variety of poets, poems, and poetic forms.

National Poetry Month Ideas

1. Poet of the Day

Head to the library and take out some poetry books. Either read to, or have your children read aloud, poetry from a given author. Below is a list of suggestions to get you started. Each day you can choose a different poet to sample.

  • Shel Silverstein
  • Jack Prelutsky
  • Walt Whitman
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • William Wadsworth
  • Robert Frost
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Maya Angelou
  • John Keats
  • William Shakespeare
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • E.E. Cummings
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Henry David Thoreau

2. Getting To Know You

After you have created a list of poets for each day, let your children pick a poet or two they would like to know more about. Have them do some research about the poets they chose. You can have them answer questions like:

  • What is their full name?
  • Birth/Death Dates
  • Where were they born? Where did they spend most of their life?
  • What was going on in the world during their lifetime? (wars, specific movements, etc.)
  • Type(s) of poetry they were famous for
  • Names of famous poems

3. Try Creating Different Forms of Poetry

Poetic “form” is a set of rules for writing a certain type of poem. These rules can include the number of lines or syllables the poem should have, the placement of rhymes, and so on. Here are some examples of different forms of poetry to try out with your children.

  • Rhyming
  • Theme/Shape
  • Tongue Twisters
  • Limerick
  • Haiku
  • Free Verse
  • Acrostic
  • Diamante
  • Cinquain

4. Poem Starters

Try using some of these poem starters to get the creative juices flowing.

  • Nighttime
  • a color
  • spring, summer, winter, fall
  • the ocean
  • birthdays
  • tree swing or fort
  • family (brother, sister, cousin, mother, father)
  • vacation
  • car travel (space, train, bicycle)
  • animals

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