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IDEAS For World Poetry Day

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It's World Poetry Day, on 21 March. This day recognises the unique ability of poetry to capture the very essence of humanity. 
In every culture there are poets who feed the soul of their nation and present as advocates for the arts. 

For those of you not yet completely comfortable teaching poetry, or for those looking to freshen up their current poetry resources, Here are some possibilities to explore. 

Poetry Ideas Across the Curriculum

Invite students to organize a collection of poems relating to their own culture. You could organize them around such categories as celebrations, families, food, holidays.

Collect photo essays, newspaper and magazine articles, informational books, and historical fiction and invite students to use them as source material for poetry

Make weather poems using weather reports as the basis for ideas.

Encourage students to tell their own stories/experiences in poetic form

Use a science activity to launch a poetry writing activity. A poem about volcanoes for instance. Mix poems with informational writing and pictures.

Encourage students to write poems that express a particular point of view.

Have students work in pairs to turn prose into poetry

Have students compose a poem to go with a report on a particular social issue. This will help to better understand how poetry can convey strong emotions.

Have students write poems using two voices that convey different sides of an argument or issue.

Use newspapers/magazines to get students to write ‘found poems’ In this activity they look for a particularly engaging slice of language to enlarge into a poem, or they might look for an item or story that can be pared down into a poem.

Have students look for examples of alliteration, metaphor, or simile in anthologies and record them on a chart.

Deconstruct a short poem and have students reconstruct it.

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Things To Do To Develop A Poetic Addiction

If you truly wish to become a more poetry friendly person, then here are some ideas to bring about the changes to the way you value this aspect of literacy. The poet that dwells within you will become apparent to your students (and your colleagues) over time.

Begin reading poetry on a regular basis. A poem a day will assist you in developing your poetic character.
Keep an anthology of poetry close by –at home and at work.
Share poems that take your fancy with your students.
Find a partner in poetry with whom to exchange poetry
Buy or record some poetry to play to your class.
While travelling to work learn a poem to share with your students. Why not listen to those poems you recorded?
Be seen to value poetry. Collect your own anthologies and share them with your students.
Spontaneously quote lines of poetry.
Begin a collection of your personal favourite poems.
Put poetry books on your gift lists.
Buy yourself a rhyming dictionary
Use poetry when doing a modeled writing session.
Check out internet sites that promote poetry.

If you do these things then in time your students and colleagues will begin to recognize your poet’s heart. Remember that if you make the time, then things will rhyme!

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Potential for Poetry

To improve the craft of poetry writing you could provide lessons that focus on the following :

The use of metaphor
The use of simile
The use of personification 
The use of refrain (repetition)
The use of rhyme
The use of alliteration
The use of assonance
The use of line breaks
The use of white space
The use of phrases
The use of patterns/repeated refrains
The use of onomatopoeia
Explore the conscious use of wordplay
Read/present a poem
Memorize a poem
Record poetry with sound effects/ music
Perform poems –choral reading
Varye voices when performing a poem
Select poems for an anthology
Create an anthology of favourite poems

Invite parents to be guest poets/readers for a day. During  workshop time parents write/read poetry  with students.

Design and create poet’s badges/ bookmarks

Video poetry presentations, complete with props, sound effects, movement

Create a poet’s café in your classroom, complete with umbrella, seats, table and writing materials. Rotate time for students to write poetry in this special space.

Publish children’s poetry in your school newsletter or other suitable publications.

Write a poem to a friend/ partner /relative.

Every teacher writes a poem to put together in a book for students to enjoy

Hire a poet from a neighbouring classroom to perform for you.

Print A Poem on a T-Shirt.

Invite a poet into your classroom


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