How to Read a Poem
to Read a Poem: Beginner's Manual (poem)
30 Ways to Celebrate, from Poets.org
One Billion Poets (networking site for connecting teen poets)
How to Become a Poet - 10 Simple Steps
Urge students to select poems they love during National Poetry
Month, then carry them with them to share with classmates, family,
and friends on April 30.
Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events
in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores. Create
your own Poem In Your Pocket Day event using ideas below.
Start a "poems for pockets" give-away
in your school.
Urge local businesses to offer discounts for those carrying
Post pocket-sized verses around the school.
Make and share bookmarks with your favorite lines from poems.
Urge students to post poems on their blogs or social networking
Project a poem on a wall, inside or out.
Create a classroom book of poetry with favorite or original
Poems for April
April Rain Song
Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.
by Langston Hughes
by James Hearst
This I saw on an April day:
Warm rain spilt from a sun-lined cloud,
A sky-flung wave of gold at evening,
And a cock pheasant treading a dusty path
Shy and proud.
And this I found in an April field:
A new white calf in the sun at noon,
A flash of blue in a cool moss bank,
And tips of tulips promising flowers
To a blue-winged loon.
And this I tried to understand
As I scrubbed the rust from my brightening plow:
The movement of seed in furrowed earth,
And a blackbird whistling sweet and clear
From a green-sprayed bough.
More Ag in Poetry
Hesse, Karen, Out of the Dust, Scholastic
Paperback, 1999. (Grades 4-6)
A poem cycle that reads as a novel, "Out of the
Dust" tells the story of Billie Jo, a girl who struggles to help
her family survive the dustbowl years of the Depression. Fighting
against the elements on her Oklahoma farm, Billie Jo takes on
even more responsibilities when her mother dies in a tragic accident.
McKneally, Ranida, and Grace Lin, Our Seasons, Charlesbridge,
2007. (Grades K-5)
Haiku poetry accompanies season-related questions
and answers about weather, the natural world and the human body.
Nelson, Marilyn, Carver:
A Life in Poems, Front Street, 2001. (Young Adult)
In this biography
in poems, Nelson traces the life of George Washington Carver,
from his recovery after being kidnapped in infancy to his death.
The life in between is characterized by hard work, intellectual
curiosity, personal humility, devotion to the betterment of black
Americans, enormous self-possession, and practical Christian
Prelutsky, Jack, Pizza, Pigs and Poetry: How to Write a Poem, Greenwillow, 2008. (Grades 3-6)
Prelutsky relates personal anecdotes and then shows how he created poems from them, in most cases by using comic exaggeration to suit his artistic purposes.
Sidman, Joyce, and Beckie Prange, Song
of the Waterboatman and Other Pond Poems, Houghton-Mifflin, 2005. (Grades PreK-3)
Science facts combine with vivid poems
about pond life through the seasons. Focusing on one pond creature
or plant per spread, Sidman employs many poetic forms.
Stevenson, Robert Louis, and Gyo Fujikawa, A Child's Garden of Verses, Sterling, 2007. (Grades PreK-2)
The classic book of poems for children, originally
published in 1885, can be used to connect students with agriculture.
From golden apples to meadows or climbing cherry trees and enjoying
the activities of a cow, these poems celebrate 19th Century farm
Thomas, Joyce Carol, and Floyd Cooper, I Have Heard of a Land, HarperCollins, 2000. (Grades PreK-3)
Tribute in the form of a lyrical poem to the African-American pioneers who participated in the Oklahoma land runs of 1889 and 1893. Includes some hidden facts as it singles out a lone woman who hears of a place where she only has to "Lift up her feet/ running for the land/As though running for her life/And in the running claim it," a place where "Her possibilities reach as far/As her eyes can see/And as far as our imaginations can carry us." The layout and design of the book capture the expanse of the prairie. Some historical and personal context are provided.
Yolen, Jane, and Greg
Shed, Harvest Home, Harcourt, 2002.
verse, with the responsive refrain "Bringing the harvest home," young
Bess tells of reaping the season's wheat at the end of a bountiful
summer of planting. The work is hard and the heat is relentless,
but the family forges ahead, anticipating the end of their labors
and the celebratory meal for all of the friends and family who
have helped. The book concludes with a brief summary of harvest
customs around the world and simple instructions for fashioning
a harvest doll.