Purple flowers heart and old book of poetry
Inside the Classroom

Pour Your Heart out for National Poetry Month

I need poetry. Not just to read, but to live.

I don’t want to breathe air. I want to inhale slowly and swallow the universe into my lungs, feeling the rush of a thousand breezes. I don’t want to speak words. I want my expressive vocabulary to pour from my lips, sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, but always truth—no matter how much my mouth may quiver. I don’t want my heart to beat. I want my heart to bleed, addicted to the rush of pounding.

This is why I need poetry. And, this is why I’m asking you to take part in National Poetry Month and celebrate the unique and perfectly romantic act of creating and reading poetry. Not only is this one of the most recognized literary celebrations in the country, but it’s also a great excuse to bring poetry into the classroom.

There are numerous free resources out there if you’re an educator in need of National Poetry Month ideas, but I’ll present you with three of my favorites.

  1. Poets.org. This is the main hub for all things poetry-related. Learn more about National Poetry Month, about how you can support the celebration, and about poets.
  2. Teacher.Scholastic.com. Offering free lesson plans, graphic organizers, and ideas for activities, this is an excellent source for any K–12 educator looking to incorporate more poetry into his or her classroom.
  3. ReadWriteThink.org. Focused on promoting literacy, this website is an excellent resource for reading, writing, and—you guessed it—thinking about poetry as a way to enhance students’ lives and educational experiences.

It’s not too late to participate in National Poetry Month, whether you’re an educator or not. Sign up for Poem-a-Day to receive a poem in your inbox each day for the remainder of the month. Or join other participants on Poem in Your Pocket Day, and carry a poem in your pocket on April 18.

Or better yet, memorialize your own creativity by writing an original poem. Hang it on the refrigerator, email it to your coworkers, or read it aloud over a family dinner—just don’t keep it inside. Poetry has to escape to be heard, and you are probably overflowing.

About the Author

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Rae Palmer

Rae has a BS in Journalism and a MA in English from Northern Arizona University. She has served as an ESL/ELL teacher and one-on-one tutor, writing tutor, freshman success coach, English teacher, writer, and editor. As a teacher, she felt privileged to work with hundreds of students with varying skill levels in both an online and traditional classroom setting. As a writer, she covered the education industry both on a national and a district level. This experience has given her deeper insight into the ever-changing world of education. She continued to help all learners achieve their full potential during her tenure with Edgenuity.