Poetry Resources, Musings and Other Tidbits

It’s National Poetry Month

So it’s National Poetry Month, which means…probably very little about your planning as the curriculum is fairly set in stone, but it does mean that I have run into a great deal of poetry resources that may help in the classroom this year or next.

Personally, I am not sure how comfortable I would be at teaching (and grading) poetry I never felt very comfortable writing in the genre, but it does seem to lend itself to certain skills and many students love to write poetry.

Visual Tools to Present Poems

My Haiku Deck (untitled)


I attached an old poem of mine, which I recreated using Haiku Deck.   Haiku Deck is a digital platform similar to PowerPoint that allows students to attach images to slides that come out looking professionally done.  This is an example of an activity that students may like to analyze or create poetry.

At first I was going to use a poem from high school, but that poem was more playful in a Shel Silverstein mold.  What makes Haiku deck so easy-to-use is that it contains it’s own searchable database of copyright-free images that can be searched and imported into the presentation.  The high school poem displayed a simplistic style of writing, leading me to using a poem from college in a more Sylvia Plath-esque vein.

The poem itself was unearthed in an old folder of college works.  It has no title, I am not even sure what the assignment was or the meaning, but the angst is easily discernable.  The process of making it a visual poems had many effects that forced me to make choices and look closer at my writing.  Finding images that matched the meaning of my lines forced me to make decisions.  Additional choices of color and mood did not always reflect the mood of my poems even though the physical image matched ideas.  I also began to play with the position of my words on the page and wanted to (but didn’t) change the punctuation because it seemed to read differently in this setting.

As you can tell by reading my poem, I am no poet.  I did enjoy writing poetry because it offered me some freedom and creativity even though I was limited by rhyme schemes, syllables and other forms that were conducive to specific types of poetry.  I feel that students at West would like tools like HaikuDeck depending, but like me may find other tools more appropriate. Storyboarding tools may help in epic poems or ones that are more linear and tell stories.  If you are interested I will take my high school poems and find a platform for that as well in another post.

For more on Haiku Deck read Poetry Projects with Haiku Deck by Richard Byrne

Additional Resources:

National Poetry Month: Useful Resources for Teachers and Students -by Matt Davis -Edutopia: Contains a wide range of resources, too many to summarize, some in duplication.

Poet-to-Poet Project Poets.org- Awesome idea for a project, although it may only work for A-Level and Honors classes.  This website has videos of poets reading their poetry and talking about their poems.  It would be great to have the class read and analyze the poems before hearing the author talk about their own writing.  Additionally, students can submit work based on poems that they have heard and get published.

Poetry Contest 2014 Deanna Glick – Learning Liftoff – For National Poetry Month this site offers a contest (entries due on April 30th) for students where they can submit a video or photo of them reading their poetry.  There are some type of prizes, but I couldn’t find exactly what the prizes are for this competition.

Putting the “Tech” in Poetic Lori June – Livebinder- The name is a bit misleading as this site has a comprehensive list of poetry resources.  Make sure you browse the tabs and sub tabs as well.  For example, the tab “Poetry Lessons from Read/Write/Think contains sub tabs that help teach poetry in a cross-curricular manner.  Please take a look at the resources under “Interactive Poetry Writing”.  There really looks like some fun activities for students in this section.

Diamante Poems – By ReadWriteThink, which has many more resources for teaching poetry.  Contains video and lesson plans.

5 Resources for Teaching Poetry Brett Vogelsinger – Edutopia- Most of these resources offer ways to integrate poetry in the classroom, it is written with the focus on reading one poem a day.

Youth Voices – An interactive site where students can read poems by other students and enter their own works if they would like to participate.

Stenhouse Releases Free Poetry E-Resource by Catherine A. Cardno Education Week-This site has links to many of the classic American poems that are used in our curriculum, it has a link to an e-book with poems and lesson plans.

Three Good Resources to Help Students Learn About and Write Poetry – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers – My favorite education technology blogger gives three fun digital resources that would be easy to use in class for students who may struggle to create their own ideas.

Poetry Roundup:  Eight Tools to Celebrate April’s National Poetry Month – Helen Yoshida – National Poetry Month – Another fairly comprehensive list with links and teaching ideas.

Join!  Let’s Rejuventate with a Poetry Workshop by Christopher Lehman-If you are not already overwhelmed with the amount of work that you have on your plate and can make some extra time to write (some poetry) on your own, this online Twitter workshop is led by “Close Reading” guru, Chris Lehman.

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