Spring is always a fun time of year. It’s the beginning of new growth and the promise that summer is on the way. April reminds us of fun and playful times. The wind blowing items around. Blue skies with fanciful clouds to interpret. Mornings that start out chilly and end up warm enough to play in the sun.

Sometimes April can feel like a weight due to upcoming deadlines, parent conferences, and end of school, but it really is a fun month. It’s a month with celebrations that can take you outside like Earth Day, April 22. Scientist Albert Einstein once said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” What better way to look deep into nature than going outside! Enjoy nature walks around your school. Assign Family Sensory Walk or Math Journal Walk as home learning and have each student bring in what they did to complete the activity.

The entire month of April is National Poetry Month. Why spend time exposing children to poetry? Educator and co-author of Poetry: Powerful Thoughts in Tiny Packages Stephanie Parsons states, “Poetry teaches children to explore and savor language, valuing voice and repetition, sounds and onomatopoeia…they can learn to see with their hearts, to show their feelings by capering and pretending and imagining with language.” The wonderful thing about poetry is it can be what the poet wants it to be; it’s nonthreatening. It can rhyme, or not. It can have repetition, or not. It can be silly, or not.

Start small. Start by having your students just observe an object and jot down in single words what it looks like to them.
Take a poem, like Beatrice Schenk de Regniers’ Keep a Poem in Your Pocket read it all week every day. Let it sink in so the children can feel the beat. Invite them to sing it.

Keep A Poem In Your Pocket

By Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

Keep a poem in your pocket
And a picture in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed.
The little poem will sing to you
The little picture bring to you
A dozen dreams to dance to you
At night when you’re in bed.
So - -
Keep a picture in your pocket
And a poem in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed.

Expose your class to a poem a day. Make copies of the poems for the students to keep in a Poetry Notebook. Show your students how to write a list poem or make an acrostic using their names. Even the youngest writers can do this!

Watch this short YouTube video of author/poet Georgia Heard as she reads, Recipe for Writing an Autumn Poem.

As Stephanie Parsons says, “Poetry can encourage children to see the world with fresh eyes.” What better way to do that than to go outside!

Here are some great ReadyRosie Modeled Moment videos that can be watched at school or assigned as home learning:

Books to teach poetry to children: