Poetry is great! ‘Come on, don’t you agree? Poetry can be sweet and rhyme-y or in-your-face and raw. It contains so much passion, so many illusions. It can tell a story, describe an emotion, explain a situation or throw down the truth. But how much time do we actually commit to poetry in our classrooms? If you do, then, good for you! Really! I mean it. It’s about this time of year each year that I give myself a kick in the pants and say,
Get that poetry going hard core in your classroom, girl!”
Why? Because April is National Poetry month – the perfect time to devote an extended period of time on the study and creation of poetry.
Here are some other reasons too:
1. Poetry study feeds the mind, it gets you thinking. If you read all kinds of poems, you will come across those that really make you think. Oftentimes, good poetry is not cut and dry. Just like a good story, poems don’t just tell you what happening, it paints a picture with words for the reader to decipher. It makes you visualize and infer what is going on as you read.
2. Poetry becomes personal. As you read certain poems, they start to speak to you. You bring your own experiences to the poem, creating your own specific meanings and making it your own. This is something that can become real for students and adults of all ages. (And when you find that special poem, keep it close to you!)
3. Poetry feeds your creativity. Creating a poem is an art form. You can learn all kinds of forms or take your own. You can craft lyrical lines that flow to a rhythm or simplify the beauty of nature in a few syllables. It takes thought and skill, yet anyone at any age can make it. It’s a developmental process in and of itself – no matter what stage of life you find yourself, your poetry will reflect who you are.
4. Poetry can be created by all. Short, long, simple, complex: there is no end to how to write a poem. Sure there are certain forms you can follow and rhyming schemes to match, but not always. Some of the best poetry I have created, read or heard is that which is straight from the gut. It’s not always sing-songy, but it does have flow. It may not have rhyme, but is rolls off the tongue. Introducing various types of poems to students in all grade levels is an important thing to do. That way they get exposure to limitless possibilities and then are able to find their own voice.
And the last reason I’d like to discuss here –
5. Poetry is something you can do forever. Once I learned how to free myself from the shackles of forms and set rhythms and rhymes that were put on me during my childhood, poetry came alive! I’m no slam poet, but I have a lot to say and sometimes saying it with poetry is just the way to do it. I find myself writing a poem every so often for a post or jotting one down in a journal somewhere. I even enjoy writing a couplet or two, jammin’ to the rhythm of my own little rap. It’s a great way to reflect or to capture a moment. Knowing that I can write out a poem and have it be just for me or to share is kinda special.
So – why do I wait so long to bring poetry full force into my classroom? Really? I sprinkle it in every so often, but I’m going full steam ahead this month. Join me!
I’ll be implementing a balanced approach to bringing poetry into my classroom: through appreciation and creation. Did I mention – Join me! You’d be doing a disservice to your students if you don’t. 😉
Take advantage of this new Poetry Project eResource.