Happy National Poetry Month!–Poetry Adventure #1

Community, National Poetry Month 2021 / Thursday, April 8th, 2021

I’ve been teaching poetry in the schools for the past couple years with Red Hen Press. This spring presented new challenges because of the pandemic–we had to do everything through zoom. Because of this, I couldn’t improvise in class as I usually do. So instead I wrote some thoughts on ways to enter and think of and present poetry.

Although these “poetry adventures” were written for 5th graders, I thought they might be fun to share with you. They come from the same places I usually start writing. And maybe, you might enjoy reading and even doing some of them. I’ll be posting these poetry adventures throughout the month. There are six of them. Here’s the first!

Adventure 1: A Poem About My Name.

Poetry often starts by asking questions about things we think we already know. In a way, poetry is like science—we are trying to better understand who, what, where, and why we are.

Important Note: Your poetry is your own. So please don’t worry. Some students will choose to share work, and others will not. If you prefer not to share you work with the class, that is fine. 🙂

Please think about your name. Now, imagine your answers to these questions.

Write each answer on its own line. Daydream on your paper.

When you hear your name-

  • What food do you smell?
  • Where is the smell coming from?
  • What animal or character do you think of?
  • What is that animal or character doing?

When friends hear your name-

  • What time is it?
  • What color do they see?
  • What musical instrument do they hear?
  • What game are they playing? Who is winning?

When you hear your name (second time!)-

  • What season is it?
  • Whose voice do you hear?
  • Where were you yesterday?
  • Where will you be tomorrow?