Gear up for Poetry Month: part 1

April is Poetry Month!  If you’re like me, you have good intentions, and then April just creeps up on you and you don’t give poetry the time it deserves in the spotlight.  Maybe I can help over the next few posts with some ideas.

One kind of poem you might like to try is called the “Fib.” I learned about it last year at about this time from Greg Pincus over at Gotta Book.  Though he didn’t create it as a poetic form he coined the term “Fib” poem because it’s based on the Fibonacci sequence of numbers.

The poem is six lines long, with a total of 20 syllables, in this order:  1,  1,  2,  3,  5,  8.  Like haiku, it’s short and sweet!  I tried it with third graders and it worked well.

You can read what the Poetry Foundation has to say about it and how its popularity exploded due to Pincus here.

Below are two I wrote rather quickly. The first is about my after-school beverage of choice, and the second is about my cat.  Enjoy, and give these a try with your kiddos!

Tea

Hot,

Soothing,

Calms my nerves

With steaming goodness.

Black, white, green, herbal—take your pick!

Black

Cat

Kermit

Mellow now

Chase a mouse? Not him!

He’d rather snooze and snooze and snooze.

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Book Spine Poem 1 and 2

Below are my first two attempts at responding to Travis Jonker’s book spine poetry challenge for April.  It’s been great fun thinking about this and working on it with my oldest students (third graders).  Give it a go!

And, for quite a different take on a week:

Poetry: it’s all in the spine!

Poetry, Mosaic Ceiling (Washington, DC)photo © 2010 takomabibelot | more info (via: Wylio)
Here’s a great idea from Travis Jonker, elementary librarian over at 100 Scope Notes.  With the start of National Poetry Month just a few weeks away, why not look for the poetry in the book titles around you?

Literally, look at the words on the spine to build a poem called a cento.  You can read the background and see samples here.  I had so much fun thinking about this one as I lay on my couch resting after my second (yep—next year I’m getting the shot!) round of the flu.  I’m going to turn some third graders loose in the stacks and see what happens.  If we get some good results I think it would be great material for an April bulletin board, and I’ll post on my library webpage.

Let me know if you try this, and don’t forget to send Travis some samples!