UNESCO observes 21st March as World Poetry Day – a day when different forms of poetry and their creators are celebrated. Hippocampus has dedicated this month to celebrating poetry and urges you to do the same in your school library. Help your students discover the fun and beauty of poetry by using our tips on awakening the poet within each child.
Let the World Know!
To create an atmosphere of festivity, splash the whole school with poetry. Paste fun and interesting poems onto library walls, school corridors, students’ desks, the staff room, bathrooms, the playground – anywhere they’re likely to grab the attention of both children and staff. Help students discover and experience poems of all shapes and sizes through March. For ideas on how to choose poems that will appeal to children, click here.
Run a Poem Marathon
Pick a day during which students are asked to write as many original poems as they can. Children who submit the maximum number of poems at the end of the day get featured on the library notice board along with their poems. Ensure that they get sufficient time to think and come up with poems. Children can even be asked to hang these poems from a tree in the school, which should then rightly be named the ‘Poetree’.
Poem in Your Pocket
Encourage students to read as many poems as they can for a week (long, short, silly, grim, happy, sad, rhyming, non-rhyming, etc). At the end of it, ask them to choose their favourite poem. Select a day on which they are to carry this poem in their pocket all day long. Set aside a time during which they can be paired up with a classmate so that they can recite the pocketed poems to each other.
In Praise of Poets
Shouldn’t children know more about the creative minds behind the poems that they’re reading? Pick 3-4 poets whose books you have in the library. Put their names up in the library for all to see. Ask children to pick a poet and find out more about his/her life from different sources. The collected information can either go up on the notice board along with a photo of the poet, or be presented by each student in a manner that they are comfortable with. Hold a short discussion for children in older grades about the link between the lives of these poets and the poems they write.
Create a poetry corner by collecting the best poetry books and CDs from the school library. Put a few mats and cushions close to the corner so that children feel at home while reading or listening to poetry. Please note that to play the CDs, there needs to be a music system and a pair of headphones.
Funny Poems in Funny places
Take a bunch of funny poems and hide them in different places in the library – under tables, in drawers, behind the book shelves and in other unlikely places. Make a poster that tells students to keep an eye out for these funny poems in funny places. And guess what? A poem in hand means a candy in the pocket!
Poetry is a form of expression. It can not only be read, but also be recited or sung. Pick a day to host poetry performances by children and teachers in the library. Encourage them to be creative by dramatizing the poem and using different props if required. Other students, teachers and parents must be invited to watch these poetic performances.
Gift a poem
Would your students like to gift a poem to someone in their family? Encourage them to find a poem that they like or write an original one. Have them write it down and make a drawing related to it. Suggest writing a short message along with the poem, to add a personal touch. There, the gift is ready for delivery!
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us how you used these tips in your school library.