Poetry: Not Just for April!

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April is one of my favorite months. I love the sunshine and flowers and all the wonderful things that come with spring, and I love that April is poetry month. Frankly, I think poetry should be celebrated every day of every month but if you can't celebrate it every waking moment, then focus on April!

The following is a list of poetry books that have worked well with a range of ages in elementary schools, but don't let my list restrict you from trying your own favorites. Obviously, the presentation can be tailored to suit the grade and the length of time you have to present. I try to encourage a flee-for-all discussion with the kids about what they think poetry is. This means I cannot give you a formal script as you will have to play off what the kids say.

What is poetry?

Poetry is anything and everything that appeals to your five senses! (Example: Poetry is sunshine on my cat's back.) Does poetry have to rhyme? Here is an introduction to different kinds of poetry:

Haiku: A quick glimpse of nature!

Haiku: One breath poetry. N. Wakan (ill.). Bt Bound, 2001. $17.25. 0-613-34000-0.

A pocketful of poems. N. Grimes. Clarion, 2001. $15.00. 0-395-93868-6.

Acrostic: Poetry that spells!

Autumn: An alphabet acrostic. S. Schnur. Clarion, 1997. $15.00. 0-395-77043-2.

Spring: An alphabet acrostic. S. Schnur. Clarion, 1999. $15.00. 0-395-82269-6.

Summer: An alphabet acrostic. S. Schnur. Clarion, 2001. 0-618-02372-0.

Winter: An alphabet acrostic. S. Schnur. Clarion, 2002. $15.00. 0-618-02374-7.

Concrete poems and other poetry in all shapes and sizes!

A pizza the size of the sun: Poems. J. Prelutsky. Greenwillow, 1996. $17.99.0-688-13235-9.

A poke in the I: A collection of concrete poems. …