Tag Archives: poetry month

Book Spine Poetry

Poetry books from The Blue Rose Girls

Teen books from the Halifax Public Library

From the 2010 Book Spine Poem Gallery at 100 Scope Notes

…and this one even rhymes!

from the Papertrails Family Book Blog (via 100 Scope Notes Gallery)

Click on images to link to sources.

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Funny Friday: Cute Kid’s Poems by Kenn Nesbitt

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Nursery Rhyme Video Playlist for Poetry Month

Many more at Kid Rhymes YouTube playlist

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Hear the Rhythm of a River by David Morley

Via @HuffPost Books

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A Poetry Month Contest for all Grades

“Poets in the modern world don’t enjoy the elevated social status they did a century or two ago. Wordsworth, Byron, Keats and Shelley were the rock stars of their time. Their poetic skills earned them adulation, celebrity and even a touch of wealth.

These days, poems and poetry are sadly relegated to sparsely attended coffeehouse readings or the obscure pages of tiny literary magazines.

On the other side of the proverbial coin, there are wonderful opportunities available in today’s music industry for talented poets who successfully adapt their writing style to song lyric writing. Songs are the popular lyrical medium of our time. That’s where the status is. That’s where the money is.”

The above quote is from the introduction to “Poetry and Song Lyrics” by Carla Starrett.  She goes on to describe the similarities and differences between poetry and song lyrics. Both use potent language, engage readers and listeners on an emotional level and require skilled use of words and rhyming. Beyond the basic contrast of reading a poem and listening to a song, Starrett observes that a poem can be more complex (re-read for understanding) and can be any length, and can be read silently standing alone without voice or accompaniment.

In the lesson Seeing Poetry Through Song Lyrics, on Outta Ray’s Head’s Poetry Page, former teacher librarian Ray Saitz explains how he taught his students that modern poetry can often be seen or heard through song lyrics. Some poetic devices as applied to lyrics are discussed in this post on Pardon My Ducks.

Handwritten Lyrics to LA Woman by The Doors

Bob Woodward explores the origins of poetry and asks if poetry and song lyrics have diverged into to completely different forms of expression in the article Lyrics Poetry?.

“Long before the written word there was poetry, and it was through this oral tradition that much of the form and feel of today’s verse was developed; its melodies and rhythms, and the rhymes which until recently were such an integral part of the discipline, all have their roots in a poetry that, in some sense, was meant to be sung. Though I’m not daring enough to attempt a definition of poetry here, I’d argue that the feature that sets it apart most definitely from prose is this musicality. However, since the advent of writing, a poetry that is written primarily for the printed page has evolved down some very different paths from its oral counterpart. “

Perhaps, considering the challenge in inspiring a connection in our students to poetry, the form has simply begun to revert to its origins. Our students identify with song lyrics, many of them can recite (or sing) the words to multiple songs without effort. I suspect that for most, we could identify poetic devices used and appreciated deliberately or instinctively by writer and listener.

A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall by Bob Dylan

Therefore, I have decided to employ their connection to song lyrics to engage my students in thinking about poetry for Poetry Month.

I took this decision, without any other specific plans to my Library Advisors Group and asked for their ideas. Within minutes they had decided to create a poetry poster contest adjusted slightly by grade division. Students will be asked to create a poster with their favourite and most poetic (in their own opinion) song lyrics: individually from Grades 7-9 and as a class in Grades 1-6. The winning posters in  Division 1 (Grades 1-3) and Division 2 (Grades 4-6) will win dance parties for their class.  One poster in Junior High and one in Senior High will each win for their maker a $25.00 gift certificate from a music store.

The advisor’s group is going to make an example/contest announcement poster and record announcements with music to promote the contest. I am very proud of how they have embraced this project.

Teachers who want to embrace this project can get more ideas from the sites linked above  and the Song Analysis Webquest, which, after the lesson, encourages students to ” …take some time to be aware of the poetry in the music you hear every day.  The next time you turn on the radio, listen closely!  You’ll hear similes, metaphors, alliteration, and all of the devices we’ve been learning about during our unit.  Imagine that!”

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The Raven, Beautifully Read

The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe, read by James Earl Jones

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Sunday Surfing Selection: Free Printables for Poetry Month




Lesson Plans

Temporarily Free

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Sunday Surfing Selection: Prepare for Poetry Month

April 2012 marks the 14th year that Poetry Month has been celebrated throughout Canada. I’ll share here the links I’ve collected as I surf around for ideas to share with teachers or program in my library.


Young Poets.ca  is a project of The League of Canadian Poets. April 15-21 has been set aside for young people to share and have their poetry critiqued by established mentors online.  Check out their ezine, forums and Teacher’s Lounge.

PBS Kid’s Poetry Site

Giggle Poetry: Hundreds of Poems to Read and Rate – how to’s, poetry theatre, fill-in-the-blank poems and more.

Lesson Plans, Tips for Teachers and Tips for Librarians from The Academy of American Poets

Book Spine Poetry at 100 Scope Notes. Ms. B. did the activity with Grade 1 students!

Poem in Your Pocket Day

“I Am” Prompts for Poetry and Ducking Under the Caution Tape: Approachable Poems from the Visual Thesaurus Teachers at Work column.

ETTC has “New and Improved Poetry Forms” for more fill-in-the-blank fun.

Drag and drop words in PicLits to create a poem (might be fun on a Smart Board)


Canadian and international Poetry link list from McClelland & Stewart

Poetry Portal – A directory of international poetry online

Find transcriptions of “roughly 7000 works by about 800 poets” indexed by subject, author and title at Poets Corner, works for children are here.

A collection of “…50 short video documentaries showcases individual Americans reading and speaking personally about poems they love” can be found at the Favorite Poem Project.

Poetry links at Curriculum Services Canada

Online Songs & Poetry for Children, part of the Children’s Literature Web Guide from the University of Calgary

Poets preform their own work at BBC Poetry Out Loud

Click on the image above for an activity page from Ted Nellen’s Cyber English on Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Less Taken’ including several audio and one video version.

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