The Academy of American Poets instituted National Poetry Month in April 1996 to to “celebrate poetry and its place in American culture.” Check out the Academy’s website: http://www.poets.org/ for tons of ideas, links and even a “National Poetry Almanac.” Try to schedule poetry into your day at least once this month. These activities are good year-round. After all, a poem a day keeps boredom at bay!
The word poem derives from the Greek word poein, which means “to make.” Poems are usually made of words, but can be combined with other media. Have your child create a collage that combines key words and images to express his or her personality. This multimedia “me montage” can be as ambitious as your time and supplies allow.
Is it a Poetry Fest or Poetry Fandango? Have your child invent a tantalizing name for a poetry sharing day. Invite friends or family members to bring a copy of a favorite childhood poem and read it out loud. Involve your child in writing invitations and sending them out. If people cannot attend, request that they write back and identify their favorite poem, so that their choice can still be shared.
Even those who cringe at the word poetry love music, and music is full of poetry. Find the lyrics for a favorite song. Here are some activities to go along with song lyrics:
1. Read the lyrics aloud. Next play the music. Ask your child if he thinks the music was written first or the words? Why?
2. Take a favorite tune and write new lyrics. This can be a fun family activity. Ask your child to perform his new song.
3. Share advertising jingles you recall. Which ones really helped to remind you of the product? Was it the music or the words or both? Discuss how advertisers use the power of music and poetry to get us to remember products.