Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Posting poetry

Here’s a tidbit that I picked up from a teacher that I think is a wonderful way to promote poetry. Post poems in places children stand, stare, and wait. In her classroom she posted a poem on the wall above the pencil sharpener. Whenever kids sharpened their pencils, they stood idly and read a poem. Ingenious! (Are there still pencil sharpeners on classroom walls?!) I started to think of other places throughout the school where children stand and have a moment to read a poem.
* at the water fountain
* on doors
* on lockers
* at entrances
Can you think of other places? This kind of incidental sharing of poetry is a lovely, gentle way of making poems a part of children’s everyday lives. In addition, once this practice is established, kids could take over choosing favorite poems to post on a rotating basis. They could copy their favorites (for handwriting practice), create an original illustration to accompany the poem (for an art activity), or even share their own original poems. They might even have creative ideas for WHERE to post poems. And when it’s time to take down a poem and replace it with a new one, the “old” poems can be compiled in a class anthology to revisit in book form. Surrounding children with poetry in these incidental ways shows children we value poetry as an everyday part of life. We know children are learning from us and from their surroundings every minute. Why not maximize their absorption with their environment by infusing poetry in subtle, yet powerful ways?


Unknown said...

Hi Sylvia, my name is Sylvia. I love your blog. I am just learning what a blog is all about. Untill this point I have just been an avid journal writer (pen and paper).

Anyway...Loved your ideas



crissachappell said...

Poetry is important. I couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

My mom used to do this when she taught Latin to her fourth graders. She even had the words for soap and sink posted in the washrooms. The kids LOVED it, and their parents told about times they'd come home from work and the children had posted the Latin words for hunger and dinner on the doors into the house!

Anonymous said...

I love this idea! I am going to try to incorporate this into my classroom this week! I am also going to pass this along to other teachers in my building. We could add a student-written poetry book to the library!

Anonymous said...

Sylvia, I like this idea, too--it's like the poetry in the subways in NYC. Billboards of poems right were placed next to the ads; you couldn't avoid reading them! I think the Acad. of American Poets sponsored it.