Friday, April 20, 2012

Ten Activities for Celebrating National Poetry Month with Young People

April is National Poetry Month, a special time to celebrate and get young people excited about poetry. Try these ten activities to help children develop a love of poetry throughout the entire year:

Publish poetry online. Young people can write and publish online with the all-new game Martha’s Rhyme Time at Click here for more learning activities from Martha. You may also write and share poems online with Fern’s Poetry Club at

Paint or draw a poem.
Read poetry and paint or draw pictures of what it makes you feel and think.

Dress up
as your favorite character and dramatize poems. Put on a Dr. Seuss hat or costume, grab some props, and perform a poetry book. 

Attend a children's poetry reading at a local library or arts council. Participate in The Academy of American Poets' Poetry Read-A-Thon. Click here for more information. 

Go on a poetry treasure hunt
. Hide poems for children to discover around a classroom, library or at home. Have the kids share and talk about the poems they find. Create and keep a treasure chest for keeping the poems.

children's poets and poetry websites. For starters, click here to meet Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis on The Poetry Foundation's website. Check out the site's many poetry resources and offerings (Poem of the Day, poetry videos, articles and much more).

a poem. Look for a poem's rhythm. Once you find it, try clapping the rhythm and then add some steps. Presto! With a hop, a skip and a twirl, you can make your own poetry dance.

Celebrate national Poem In Your Pocket Day
on Thursday, April 26, 2012. Choose a poem during National Poetry Month, then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends. You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores. Click here for more ideas.

Encourage children to memorize
poems and recite them at an Open Mike Poetry Event.

Shape up!
Write a shape poem. Choose any object you would like to write about animals, foods, stars and planets — the possibilities are endless. Create a list of words that describe the object. Arrange your words in the shape of the object. You can draw, color or paint the words. For the tech savvy, try it on the computer.

Spread the word about National Poetry Month to your friends, family, and community by sharing this blog post. Feel free to post below in the comments information about poetry events and activities in April and the rest of the year. Got any you'd like to share?