April is National Poetry Month, so what better time than to have a kindergarten poetry month! By this time in spring, kindergarteners are ready for new genres in reading and writing and so it’s the perfect time to let them explore with reading and writing poetry! In addition to kindergarten poetry month, you can check out a deeper exploration of poetry with my full kindergarten poetry unit!
A very easy and simple way to celebrate National Poetry Month with your kindergarteners is to read them poems and read poems together. There are so many books with funny poems that your kindergarteners will love listening too. There are also beautiful picture books written as one poem stretched over several pages. My new favorite poem books is Change Sings by Amanda Gorman. You can also read the nursery rhymes that they may or may not know from when they were younger. These rhymes are perfect for phonological awareness development too.
When reading poems with children, there are a few activities you can do with them. Students can illustrate the poem with the images the poem makes them think of. Students can also hunt for high frequency words or spelling patterns, like the would see in decodable readers. Additionally, you can read students poems without giving away the title or subject of the poem and see if they can guess what the poem is about.
Writing Kindergarten Poetry
I have a whole blog post about writing poetry here. National Poetry Month is the perfect time to let kindergarteners start exploring with writing poetry. It helps if you have done some reading and exploring with poems before asking children to start writing poetry on their own. Children often think that poems need to rhyme. So, an important teaching point is that poetry doesn’t have to rhyme and it can really be written any way they want it to be. Poetry isn’t usually written like the kinds of true stories or non-fiction writing they have been doing previously in the year. It doesn’t need to have a full sentence. This open-endedness can be very difficult for some students, so I always like to have graphic organizers and templates available to help students get started with poetry.
At the end of the month, it could be really special to give students the chance to share one or more of their poems. I love having students paint a picture to go along with one of the poems they have written. Another option is to start National Poetry Month by painting a picture. Then, students write a poem based on the picture. For older students, it’s a great idea to have them go around to each painting and write down 1 word that comes to mind when they see the painting. Then, the student must use those words to make a poem about the painting. When I did this with second graders, I was so impressed by the poems they came up with!
National Poetry Month is a fun celebration of poetry and it comes at the perfect time for kindergarteners. Kindergarten poetry should start with reading lots of different kinds of poems so children can explore with many types of poetry. Then, children will want a chance to write and share their own poems!
Do you celebrate National Poetry Month with your students? Let me know in the comments!
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