April is National Poetry Month, which may seem silly and perhaps even frivolous with everything else going on in the early childhood education space, but it's actually quite important.
Started in 1996 by the National Academy of Poets, the stated goal of the month was to:
- highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets
- encourage the reading of poems
- assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms
- increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
- encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
- encourage support for poets and poetry.
Poetry often employs the use of rhyme and rhythm – helpful especially to young children still learning to build language and comprehension skills! It also allows children to use their creativity to discuss subjects of interest to them in a fun way that can help them learn to love reading, and can even be used as a great exercise for English language learners.
Some resources and ideas to help you celebrate poetry during National Poetry Month and throughout the year:
- 30 ways to celebrate national poetry month, via Poets.org
- Videos of poets speaking about poetry, and resources to show how poetry can be used in teaching via Reading Rockets
- Teachers share their best National Poetry Month activity ideas on the Scholastic website