Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Poet Tree

It's hard to believe that April is winding to a close, but you still have time to celebrate National Poetry Month. Dust off that mini Christmas tree that you have stuck in a closet, and make a "Poet Tree" out of it! If you don't have a Christmas tree handy, cut some branches off of a tree outside and spray paint them a fun spring color. Stick them in a vase or jar with some rocks to keep the branches in place, and you'll have a tree fit for some fabulous poetry in no time.

It's always fun to see Christmas lights during what feels already like summer days outdoors. My students were curious at first, but once we started hanging poems to the branches, the tree came to life. Lots of children and adults are reluctant poets. I find that it's best to introduce them to fun books of poetry first and then have them take baby steps while writing their own. You can also head outside for a nature walk outside and then compose a haiku. On their walk have children use their five senses so when they get inside to write it's not so difficult to think of the perfect words. Children often have a misconception that all poems needs to rhyme. Now that's a lot of stress! If you point out that poetry is very creative and there are not set rules, that puts young writers at ease. If you need a poetry portfolio to use in the classroom or at home, visit my Teachers Pay Teachers site. This portfolio will guide you and your children through four basic forms of poetry. Have fun with it, and remember to make a place where your talented poets can display their original work!


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