Every July, when we celebrate the most fun day for poetry on the planet, Take Your Poet to Work Day, we hear the collective lament of teachers, librarians and students asking, “Please do this during the school year. We want to play too!”
Well, we happen to think poetry can be serious fun at work, and after work, during the summer, and while school is in session. And what better time to kick off that serious fun during school than National Poetry Month? This year, for the first time, we’re celebrating five whole days of Take Your Poet to School Week.
New Take Your Poet to School Week Poets
We’ve introduced four new poets with special appeal to students:
Remember, you can also use any of the poets in our Take Your Poet to Work collection (most would probably rather go to school, anyway). You’ll find many of your favorites:
The Haiku Masters
Edgar Allan Poe
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Our printable coloring book features our classic cut ‘n color collection plus all four of the new poets.
Celebrate with a New Theme Every Day of Take Your Poet to School Week (Use One of These or Make Your Own!)
Monday: Talk Like a Poet Day. Answer questions in iambic pentameter or 5-7-5 Haiku form. Choose a favorite poem word or phrase and find ways to change a word and insert it into conversation throughout the day. For example, Poe’s “Nevermore,” T.S. Eliot’s “Shall I eat a peach,” Emily Dickinson’s “Hope is the thing with feathers” or even William Carlos Williams’s “This is just to say.”)
Tuesday: Poet on a T-Shirt Day. Using fabric paints, create a T-shirt design with your favorite poet or favorite poem line.
Wednesday: Poet in Your Math Book Day. Many poems reference math (and many poem forms require at least a basic understanding of math). Consider Carl Sandburg’s “How Much,” Walt Whitman’s “When I Heard the Ancient Astronomer” and Emily Dickinson’s “One day is there of the series.” To celebrate the intersection of poetry and math, print out your favorite poem or poet and tuck it into your math book for the day.
Thursday: Dress Like a Poet Day. Perhaps you’re fond of the Beat Poets’ black beret. Or, like Emily Dickinson, you find a simple white dress charming. Dress up like your favorite poet for the day.
Friday: Poet in a Cupcake Day
We’ve launched a sweet, brand new event to cap off the week: Poet in a Cupcake Day. Students can research a few fun facts about their favorite poet, then decorate cupcakes (real or cut-out) to match. Pop in a poet-on-a-stick and have a platter full of fun poet love to share with friends.
More Integrated Studies Celebration Ideas!
1. Poet mobile. Get a hoop, a hanger, or even sticks from the yard. Attach strings and tie on your favorite cut ‘n color poets.
2. Poet timeline. Secure a string or fishing line from one end of the room to another. Write historical events on cards and clip them to the string. Choose some of your favorite poets and add them at their proper junctures in history.
3. Poetmobile. What kind of car would your favorite poet drive? Design a custom poetmobile for him or her. For instance, you could rev up your engine and make a sleek black “Raven” car with wings for Edgar Allan Poe. You get the idea.
4. Poet rap or memory-poems duel. Stage an epic poet rap or memory-poems duel. Invite friends to the front of the class, dress as your favorite poets, let loose the words and may the best poet win.
5. Poet parade. Put your favorite cut ‘n color poets on popsicle sticks and take them for a parade around the playground or to visit another classroom.
6. Poet garden. If your school has a garden, or even a few potted plants in the classroom, make it a poet garden by tucking in your poets-on-a-stick.
7. Poets on Stage. Hang a sheet over a string tied across the room (or make a small theater with a big box) and stage a poet puppet show with your cut ‘n color poets on popsicle sticks.
8. Poet on the Shelf. All throughout National Poetry Month, make acceptable mischief with a favorite poet (Elf on the Shelf style). Each day, create a new scene with your poet. Take photos and post to Twitter or Instagram and we might feature! #poetontheshelf
9. Poet Secret Admirers. Poets have often been known to write little (poetic) notes to their friends. Cut out poets and a favorite verse and leave them anonymously for your friends.
Tell us how you celebrate!