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Inviting Poetry Into Your Classroom by Christie Wyman

Poetry Ponderings Inviting Poetry into our Classrooms logo

Any day is a good day to welcome poetry into our classrooms:

No matter the age of your students, weaving poetry into the fabric of your classroom life will bring joy to your teaching. You’ll see!

Worried about finding the time for a daily dose of poetry? Here are a few questions to ponder:

  • When during your school day, or school week, would it make sense to read and discuss poetry?

  • Could you start or end each day with a poem?

  • Could you read poetry in class every day? Once a week?

  • Could you bring poetry into your content areas?

  • Could you read poetry for your read aloud?

Poems are great teaching tools. Reading and listening to poetry supports and extends language and literacy development. Poetic mentor texts teach us about the structure and craft of writing, about perspective and point of view, as well as content knowledge.

A little advice when it comes to discussing poetry. Instead of explaining a poem, explore a poem with your students. After several readings by different voices, ask questions such as:

  • How does this poem make you feel?

  • What does this poem remind you of?

  • If you could make a picture or a movie of this poem, what would it look like?

What might inviting poetry into your classroom look like? Let’s explore a few options. Remember, we aren’t writing poetry yet, just reading it. Writing it will come later.

Building Your Classroom Library of Poetry Books

Building up a collection of poetic picture books, verse novels, and diverse anthologies is a perfect way to get started.

Some of my favorite poetic picture books include:

What about a verse novel? This genre is HOT right now. A few suggestions to get you started include:

If you decide to read individual poems, you’ll need a collection or anthology. A few suggestions are:

Your Invite to Write

Ready to do a little writing? This Invite to Write is a way for you to dive deeper into your poetry ponderings and your own writing. I encourage you to give these invitations a try!

  • In a notebook, take a few minutes to jot down your thoughts on the role poetry currently plays in your classroom. (Remember, it’s OK if it has no place yet!) If it doesn’t, perhaps you can write why it has yet to find a place in your classroom or teaching.

  • Next, write down some ideas for moving forward. Later on, you might turn your thoughts and ideas into the outline of an action plan.

While you ponder poetry’s role in your classroom, you might enjoy listening to the following podcasts.

Join me on this journey to welcome poetry into our classrooms! You'll find it's worth the trip.

Christie Wyman blog author

Christie Wyman has been teaching kindergarten for over 20 years in Weston, MA. She is an avid poet, seeking inspiration for her poems from nature and the world around her. When not exploring a vernal pool or hiking a nearby mountain, you can find her notebooking and writing alongside other teacher-writers. You can connect with Christie on Twitter and on her blog, Wondering and Wondering.

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