Beginning in 1996, April has been declared National Poetry Month in the US. This tradition was started by the Academy of American Poets to celebrate poets and the wonderful things that poetry can bring to our lives.
There are plenty of ways for kids to celebrate National Poetry Month. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Write out your favorite poem in sidewalk chalk. Include a message inviting others to add their own poem (be sure to leave a basket of chalk for them to use). Then check again later to see what new poems have arrived.
- Try your hand at a brand-new way of writing a poem, something you’ve never tried before. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out my page of poetry writing lessons for instructions on how to write an acrostic, a “found poem,” a limerick, or another interesting poetic form.
- If you frequently write letters or emails to a friend or family member, start including a poem with each message. Ask the other person to include poems in their messages, too.
- Invite your family to help you create a poetry treasure hunt. Each person should find (or write) one or two poems about everyday things and then hide them around the house. For example, a poem about stinky socks could end up taped to the laundry basket.
- Ask your teacher to help you organize a poetry reading for your classroom or grade. Each kid who participates can read their favorite poem or share their own poetry.
- Choose a classic poem to memorize with a friend or family member. You can help each other learn the poem through practice and repetition. At the end of the month, amaze your family and friends by reciting the poem out loud together!
- Participate in “Poem In Your Pocket Day” on Thursday, April 13, by carrying a poem in your pocket to share with others. Many other people will be doing the same thing. In fact, the entire town of Charlottesville, Virginia, will be celebrating by passing out poems to each other! If you’re looking for an easy way to find pocket-sized poems, check out the book Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets, which even has tear-out pages.
However you decide to celebrate National Poetry Month, have fun sharing your love of poetry with others!