Poetry Month is Almost Here!

Tomorrow begins another month but not just any month- It’s Poetry Month! Now not everyone waits until April to start writing poetry in the classroom but even if you haven’t had much time to squeeze it in between test prep and core standards, it’s not too late to start now on something I think you’ll want to include in your classroom every day from now on, no matter what subject you teach.
It’s time to take those novels you were planning to replace from overuse and rather than toss them, recycle them into poetry. What better way to include reading and critical thinking and creativity into something to do when you’re “all finished” with the daily assignments?

Found poetry is easy, fun and there are no losers. Everyone can find success but finding words on a given page and sequencing them into a new “found” poem.

Start with any page from any text- consider catalogs too where descriptive language can be abundant. With a pencil select words or phrases that appear pleasing. Once you’ve selected all the words you may use on a page, go back and tweak it by omitting or perhaps adding additional words found on the page to form a poem. Once I have found the words I want to use, I erase any others, and go back and circle the words I have chosen with a Sharpie marker. Then I like to go to town and draw around my poem or do Zentagngles to complete the page and finally mount it on either a mat board or even plain construction paper. Other options include, cutting out the words and arranging them on a page or using watercolors, stamps or whatever to decorate the poem. Let your creativity flow and I’m sure you’ll think of other ways too.
These examples were done right on the original page:

There are even a few poetry contests that you may want to consider including The Young Author’s Contest sponsored by Tri-County Reading Council for members only (information about becoming a member is on the site and it’s not too late to join for this school year) or the New York Time’s Found Poetry Contest. The later is slightly different but equally interesting kind of “Found Poetry”. Check it out!

I guarantee the hardest thing I have found about doing Found Poetry is tearing a page out of a book!


About Deb Barends

I am a recently retired, reinvented, primary teacher doing things I have always loved- hiking, photographing, drawing and painting, collaging and consulting among other creative outlets.
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