April is National Poetry Month. The POETS.ORG website sponsored by the Academy of American Poets is a wonderful website to feature during this month-long celebration.
The “Dear Poet” multimedia education project for grades five through twelve is a letter writing contest specifically for National Poetry Month. Students watch video-recorded poetry readings, then respond in the form of a letter. To learn more, go to http://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/dear-poet.
The “Browse Poems & Poets” section of the website provides access to thousand of biographies of poets and poems, essays, and books related to poetry. Users can browse by poem, poet, text, book, or audio. For youth working on projects, students can search for poems by occasion, schools & movements, or forms. Featured poems and poets can get students started. The audio section is particularly useful to young poets learning about the cadence of poetry. Readers can listen to poems like The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost read aloud. Links allow users to share their favorite poems through social media or print them out.
The “Poem-a-Day” feature providers readers with an unpublished poem throughout the week and classic poems on weekends. Consider highlighting new poetry on a bulletin board during the month of April.
The “Materials for Teachers” section provides dozens of standards-aligned lesson plans for primary and secondary levels. In addition, the area includes thoughts on teaching poetry and additional resources.
The “Stanza: Updates” area is a blog highlighting new resources and events.
To extend the National Poetry Month experience, try some of the resources provided at Reading Rockets at http://www.readingrockets.org/calendar/poetry.