14 Apr National Poetry Month in April – Get your Child into Loving Reading & Writing
Started in 1996, National Poetry Month is celebrated every April in the U.S. Poetry is one of the most creative types of writing and can help get some kids excited about words and writing. Fostering a love of language and of reading and writing is central to ALOHA’s programs. It can be a fun way to get interactive with words, in a way that often leads to deeper understanding, which is a Common Core goal as well. From Poetry.com, the sponsor of this month-long event, click to see 30 ways to celebrate Poetry this month, or year-round.
For young children concrete or shape poems can be away into poetry and writing – they can draw a simple shape of something they love – like a baseball or a dog or whatever easy shape – but make it take up most of the piece of paper. Then they can write sentences along the various lines about what is it they love about and why they love – baseball, dogs or an apple or pear, writing the words along the the lines of the simple shape they drew. Click here for a worksheet with more ideas if your kids want to try this.
The next simplest forms of poetry for children to understand and write is the Haiku – this can work for younger and older students as well. An ancient poetic form from Japan, one of its most famous haiku writers was Basho – a Japanese samurai warrior in the 1600s. A haiku is a poem made of three lines, 17 syllables total, broken up into 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second line and 5 syllables in the third line. Haikus do not rhyme. Traditionally they refer to a season and are often about nature, but if you are in an urban environment you could adapt it. Click here for a resource page about the haiku.
Here is another site with examples of poems that can be read and study materials about them that work with the Common Core standards. The poems and exercises are separated by grade level and include multimedia content like podcasts and interactive sites. Click here for that site. You might also check out events in your local area for Poetry Month events. Hearing others read poetry aloud can also get older kids interested in the written and spoken word.