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Celebrate Poetry throughout April!
from NCTE INBOX 3-27-12 

Another Jar of Tiny StarsEach year the month of April is set aside as National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate poets and their craft. NCTE fosters excellence in children's poetry by encouraging its publication and by promoting ways to acquaint teachers and children with poetry. For instance, NCTE established its Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children (E-M) in 1977 to honor a living American poet for his or her aggregate work for children ages 3–13. Another Jar of Tiny Stars collects poems by winners of this award.Poetry of Place

Poetry of Place: Helping Students Write Their Worlds (E-M-S) is chockfull of student poetry samples and unique ideas, including field trips and a poetry night hike, to spark students' imaginations and inspire them to write poetry.

The Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony and NCTE sponsor the 2012 Norman Mailer High School and College Writing and Poetry Awards (S-C). The Poetry Award is open to full-time students enrolled in four-year colleges, two-year colleges, junior colleges, and technical colleges. Students may submit one or more poems. The winner will receive a $5,000 cash award.

ReadWriteThink Text Messages PodcastsThe podcast series, Text Messages (M-S), celebrates National Poetry Month by recommending a variety of poetry books for teens. Featured titles include themed collections of poetry compiled for teens as well as collections of poetry written by teens. Also mentioned is the novel written in verse.

360 Degrees of Text360 Degrees of Text: Using Poetry to Teach Close Reading and Powerful Writing (S) describes an approach to teaching critical literacy that has students investigate texts through a full spectrum of learning modalities, harnessing the excitement of performance, imitation, creative writing, and argument/debate activities to become more powerful thinkers, readers, and writers. Listen to a podcast interview with the author and view the sample chapter online to read more about poetry as a means into academic writing. Learn more with these poetry lesson plans from the author.

Wordplaygrounds: Reading, Writing, and Performing Poetry in the English ClassroomThis Time It's Personal: Teaching Academic Writing through Creative NonfictionStudents examine a letter of the alphabet from all angles, creating image pools of original metaphors that they then turn into poems in the lesson "The ABCs of Poetry" (S). This lesson is written by John S. O'Connor, author of  Wordplaygrounds: Reading, Writing, and Performing Poetry in the English Classroom (M-S) and the newly released This Time It's Personal: Teaching Academic Writing through Creative Nonfiction (S-C).

For the third year in a row, TYCA is hosting a National Poetry Month Celebration (C). A new poem will be added to the website each day of April, all original works by community and two-year college English faculty.

Check out NCTE's Poetry Tournament (G) idea: create a basketball tournament-pairing chart using poetry and determine a final winner by reading the poems. Locate 64 poems and pair them off, just like basketball teams. Read two poems each day and let the students vote on the "winner." Keep going until you have a final four and the final winner!

For more poetry resources, visit the NCTE Online Store and the calendar entry on National Poetry Month. Up for a challenge? Visit the post on "30 Poems You Can Write for National Poetry Month" in the NCTE Connected Community.


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