In 1996, the Academy of American Poets designated April as National Poetry Month, a time when schools, libraries, poets, writers, and publishers could come together in a nationwide celebration to honor the legacy of our nation’s and world’s poetry and poets. In the words of the US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, “Poetry is quiet, private, meditative, and rather than summing things up in pat and predictable ways, it surprises and deepens our sense of the ordinary. Poetry tells us that the world is full of wonder, revelation, consolation, and meaning. It reminds us that our inner lives deserve time, space, and attention.”
In a Facing History & Ourselves classroom, poetry can help students explore and connect with issues of identity, group membership, and belonging, as well as provide models and inspiration for how they might tell their own stories.
The following mini-lesson provides ways that you and your students can join the National Poetry Month celebration by weaving poetry into your curriculum not just in April, but throughout the year.