Monday, April 3, 2017

Dear Sugar: Five Easy Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month With Children

Hey, Sugar!

April is National Poetry Month!   I feel like every special month or holiday is a great opportunity to teach our children about Black history.  Too often, Black history is reserved for February (Black History Month).   Take advantage of the special months and holidays, opening the doors for your children to learn.

Here are five easy ways to celebrate National Poetry Month with your children:

1:  Buy poetry books featuring children of color to have on-hand year-round.

Here are our favorites!  Click on the photo, and you'll be taken to Amazon to read reviews, peak inside the books, and purchase.

2:  Create posters/art featuring African American poets or their poems.  

This is a great activity for a child of any age.  Older children can do online research on poets, while younger children can listen to you read a book and illustrate either the poet or one of the poems.   If the poet is living, see if you can e-mail or mail the child's art, along with a letter.  You never know! You may get a response.  And don't forget to use your multicultural markers!  

3:  Use words to create poems.

Either buy magnetic poetry sets, or simply go DIY by writing words on index cards, spreading them out on a big, flat surface, and start creating your own poems.  Easy!  Fun!  

4:  Write a haiku.

Writing a haiku seems simple, but it's really quite challenging! Tackle subjects that are silly or serious.   Have children generate their own topics, or throw topics into a container and let kids draw a topic to write about.    Haiku poetry is also great for artwork.   Have children illustrate their own haiku, or shuffle and distribute the poetry, allowing children to illustrate someone else's poem.   This is a great way to talk about interpretation!   You can even distribute the same haiku to all kids, allow them to illustrate, and then talk about the differences in their artwork.  

5:  Play the Rhyming Game.

My children love, love, love doing this.   I say a word, and they take turns coming up with as many words that rhyme with it as possible.   This is a great bedtime or car game for young-ish kiddos.  My kids even like playing the Rhyming Game during bathtime.    

How do you plan to celebrate National Poetry Month?

-This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. 

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