Friday, April 6, 2012

Poetry Picnic fun!

Hi friends!

I had so much fun in the library last month with a Poetry Picnic. We held ours in March during Texas Public Schools Week, and that gave us an excuse to invite parents.

Finding rhyming words at Word Central

The Poetry Picnic was everything that I love about being a teacher librarian!

We involved parents, students and teachers. I created four centers each with engaging poetry activities, aimed at different learning styles. To add picnick-y cuteness, we put checkered tablecloths on the table, every poem was related to food or drink, the center signs and instructions featured cute ants, and students put their responses onto a paper plate, instead of a paper.

One center was listening to poetry, one was looking up words in an online rhyming dictionary, one was readers theatre with a poem, and one was designing poetry placemats with short poems on them.

Designing Poetry Placemats

I hosted all seven of our third grade classes for an hour each in the library over two days. The teachers had asked me to create an activity to prepare students for the poetry portion of their upcoming standardized tests. I really love poetry and I wanted to create a special occasion that would not only accomplish the educational objectives, but also add some fun to the school day.

Parents enjoyed the activities too, and asked me where they could find poetry CDs and books for their family. I think sometimes people are intimidated by poetry, when it really can be delightful!

The students were completely engaged and on task. Different centers were favorites for different students, exactly what I wanted. I got to say things like "poetry is disgusting isn't it?" (Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich); "poetry is funny isn't it?"(A Pizza the Size of the Sun); and "poetry doesn't have to rhyme, does it?" (free verse).

It was a happy day of learning, but I have to tell you that it took a lot of time to turn those standards into fun learning centers, each taking approximately the same amount of time (12 minutes) and all suited for participation by 4-5 students. So... after I put all the time into creating the Poetry Picnic, I took all of my printables and put together a packet on TPT explaining exactly how I did it!

Here's the link to my Poetry Picnic product. Even if you don't buy what I created, I hope you will think about adding some poetry fun to your school library.
If you already have a poetry activity that you love, please share it with us.

p.s.--I blurred the students' faces in the photos to protect their privacy. Also, it was hat day at school. Our students don't normally wear hats!


  1. Love this idea! We're on Spring Break this week, but I plan to incorporate some of these ideas for Poetry Month when we get back! (Now I just have to figure out exactly how to do that.) :) I'm in a K-2 school so I need to come up with ideas for the younger students - right now I'm thinking of doing Terse-Verse with kinders, Bio Poems with 1st, and "The Best Part of Me" poem-photo project with 2nd. I think I'm going to be pretty busy for the next few weeks! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas on your blog! I love checking in to see what you'll post next! :)

    1. Thanks, Library Lady! It sounds like you will have lots of fun with your students and poetry! Please keep me posted!