If you ask your students to name their favorite poets, would they have an answer for you? Would they even be able to rattle off a few names? I hope the answer is, “Yes and Yes!” I think over the past few years (with the help of blog posts and reading research), we’ve learned the value of using poetry in the classroom, and I also think we’ve learned to use poetry all year long. Even so, having a day dedicated to poetry and poets helps our students attach positive memories to poetry reading, right?
In this post, I want to share what I learned from our guest poet, Brod Baggert, one of the funniest presenters I’ve ever heard.
Finding a Poem for Your Pocket:
If you’re an elementary teacher, chances are your favorite poems won’t be one from Emily Dickinson or Robert Frost. In my classroom, it’d more likely be Jack Prelutsky or Shel Silverstein. However, I have found a few others that my kids have thoroughly enjoyed. Ken Nesbitt and Brod Bagert are two that can quickly cause an uproar in my room. Have you read the poem, “Booger Love” from Brod Bagert’s book, Giant Children? Gross as can be, but oh so hilarious (especially if you want to hook in your boys)! I also love “Invisible Line” from Brod’s book, School Fever. The poem I would choose for my back pocket would be “The Library Cheer” from his book, Shout! Little Poems that Roar. As a reading specialist, you can probably guess why.
Several years ago, Brod came to visit our school, and since then, I have been a huge fan of his poetry. In fact I’d say he even inspired me to give poetry writing a try, and of all of the resources I’ve developed, the two I am attached to most are the Concept of Word Poetry Sets for our youngest kiddos and my Poem of the Week Bundles I put together. There is just something about creating a piece of work all by yourself that is completely original, and I think giving that power to our kids is really super important. Since Brod’s visit, shortly after he published Giant Children, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting quite a few authors including Steven Kellogg, Jan Brett, Gary Paulsen, Jeff Kinney, and this year’s highlight, Jacqueline Woodson. Each visit has given me such great memories and attachments to their books. Children need those opportunities too, so if you’re able to bring in an author, by all means, make it happen. Brod is a great choice!
Here’s a video clip from one of Brod’s school visits.
So how can we celebrate poetry on this special day?
Well, here are a few ideas.
- Poetry is best shared orally, so be sure to read them aloud.
- Explore sensory words and imagery, as well as other poetic elements.
- Spend time writing a poem as a class, in small groups, and individually.
- Pull together an assortment of poems for your students to read and rank to make a Top 20 List
- Introduce your students to more serious poets-Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, and Robert Frost.
- Visit the library to show your students where to find poetry books.
- Bring in “Famous Poets” (aka moms and dads) to share their work.
- Have your students do a mock interview of the “Famous Poets”.
Resources You Might Try Out
Of course, I will share a few things I have available in my store and tell you a little about each.
The first set is my Spring Poem of the Week bundle. As I mentioned earlier, the poems are all original and include activities to go with each. There are 10 original poems in the set (42 pages). It is priced at $5.00 in my store.