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October 03

United States Congress officially adopted the position of Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry in 1985.

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United States Congress officially adopted the position of Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry in 1985.

Grades K – 12
Calendar Activity Type Literacy-Related Event

 

EVENT DESCRIPTION

 

 

From 1938 to 1986, the United States had "Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress," and from 1986 forward the position was re-named the now more familiar “Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry," or Poet Laureate. The honored poet must present one major work of poetry and read poems at national ceremonies.

According to the Library of Congress, the Poet Laureate serves as “nation's official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans. During his or her term, the Poet Laureate seeks to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry.”  Past Consultants in Poetry or Poets Laureate have included Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Robert Hayden, Gwendolyn Brooks, Rita Dove, and Billy Collins.

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY

 

 

Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States (1997-2000), began the The Favorite Poem Project in which Americans of all ages named their favorite poem.  After listening to a few poems nominated and shared as part of that project (scroll down the page to the heading “The First Events” for the media files), invite students to read or re-visit poems and collections of poetry in your classroom library to select a favorite poem they wish to share.

Use or modify the guidelines from the Favorite Poem Community Forum to host a celebration in your own school or classroom.

WEBSITES

 

 
  • Past Poet Laureate Projects

    This site provides descriptions of and links to the projects of past Poet Laureates, including Billy Collins’ Poetry 180.

  • United States Poets Laureate: A Guide to Online Resources

    From the Library of Congress Digital Reference Section, this page offers information on poet laureate's life and work, as well as to external Web sites that feature biographical information, interviews, poems, audio, video, and other materials that highlight the activities of each poet.

  • Young People’s Poet Laureate

    Awarded by the Poetry Foundation for a two-year tenure, the children’s poet laureate aims to raise awareness that children have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.

  • Poets.org for Educators

    This website provides teachers with a variety of poetry resources, including a searchable database of poets and poems, curriculum units, teacher workshops, and more.

RELATED RESOURCES

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Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

A Bear of a Poem: Composing and Performing Found Poetry

Children find favorite words, phrases, and sentences from familiar stories. Working together, they combine their words and phrases to create a poem. The poem is then shared as performance poetry.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Robert Frost Prompts the Poet in You

Students will find their inner poet laureate in this lesson that involves writing a poem in the style of Robert Frost.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Put That on the List: Collaboratively Writing a Catalog Poem

Using the structure of a list poem, students combine creative expression with poetic techniques and language exploration in order to write group poems about what really matters in their lives.

 

Grades   7 – 10  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Engineering the Perfect Poem by Using the Vocabulary of STEM

Students research engineering careers and create poetry to understand the vocabulary of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Examining History with Maya Angelou’s Poetry

To understand the historical background that influenced Maya Angelou’s poems, students research events to produce trading cards using the ReadWriteThink Trading Card App or Trading Card Student Interactive. Through the sharing of these trading cards, students understand the historical background as they analyze Angelou’s poetry.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Put That on the List: Independently Writing a Catalog Poem

In this follow-up to writing collaborative catalog poems, students write individual catalog poems about what really matters in their lives, based on Carver’s poem “The Car.”

 

Grades   1 – 3  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Theme Poems: Using the Five Senses

Students write theme poems in a flash using the picture book Flicker Flash by Joan Bransfield Graham and the online, interactive Theme Poems tool.

 

Grades   11 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

A Poem of Possibilities: Thinking about the Future

After reading John Updike's “Ex-Basketball Player,” students write poems describing themselves five years in the future. The teacher takes the poems and mails them to students in five years.

 

Grades   9 – 10  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Developing Aesthetic Criteria: Using Music to Move Beyond Like/Dislike with Poetry

In this lesson, students develop the cognitive tool of criteria development for discussing the aesthetics of poetry and music.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan

Choose, Select, Opt, or Settle: Exploring Word Choice in Poetry

Students investigate the effects of word choice in Robert Frost’s “Choose Something Like a Star” to construct a more sophisticated understanding of speaker, subject, and tone.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Found Poems/Parallel Poems

Students compose found and parallel poems based on a descriptive passage they have chosen from a piece of literature they are reading.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Slipping, Sliding, Tumbling: Reinforcing Cause and Effect Through Diamante Poems

Writing, revising, and publishing are just a few of the tasks students will complete in order to take their cause-and-effect diamante poems from an idea to a reality.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Locating Purpose in Allusion through Art and Poetry

Through this lesson, students will learn how to use the literary term "allusion" in discussing how and why authors and artists draw on and transform subject material.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Seasonal Haiku: Writing Poems to Celebrate Any Season

After listening to haiku poetry, students use seasonal descriptive words to write their own haiku, following the traditional format. They then publish their poems by mounting them on illustrated backgrounds.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Finding Poetry in Prose: Reading and Writing Love Poems

After reading several poems that expand the definition of love poetry, students compose found poems based on a personal memoir—either their own or a love story of another writer.

 

Grades   6 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Making History Come Alive Through Poetry and Song

Students compare the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald with the song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” then create their own poetry about a historical event.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Composing Cinquain Poems with Basic Parts of Speech

Reinforce student understanding of parts of speech through the analysis of sample cinquain poems followed by the creation of original cinquains.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Discovering Memory: Li-Young Lee’s Poem “Mnemonic” and the Brain

Students learn about memory by doing a memory-writing exercise, studying the brain to understand how it affects memory, reading Li-Young Lee’s poem “Mnemonic,” and creating projects to demonstrate their understanding.

 

Grades   1 – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Minilesson

Composing Cinquain Poems: A Quick-Writing Activity

Students use themed graphic organizers to compose cinquain poems on topics common in the early elementary classroom.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Reading, Writing, Haiku Hiking! A Class Book of Picturesque Poems

Students learn haiku
write descriptive poems
and share with the class.

 

Grades   4 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Talking Poetry with Blabberize

Students will be motivated to share their poetry through an online tool the features recording and animation.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Minilesson

Alliteration in Headline Poems

Students will be introduced to the term alliteration and create a headline poem consisting of 25 words that contain at least three examples of alliteration.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Color of Silence: Sensory Imagery in Pat Mora’s Poem “Echoes”

Pat Mora’s poem “Echoes” demonstrates that our senses are powerful tools for literary analysis and comprehension as students use their senses to discover new ways to read and write.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Poetry Reading and Interpretation Through Extensive Modeling

Students will research, read, clarify, analyze, and interpret John Berryman’s poetry and create a sustained evaluation of a given poem in a three- to four-page essay.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Peace Poems and Picasso Doves: Literature, Art, Technology, and Poetry

Students apply think-aloud strategies to reading and to composition of artwork and poetry. They research symbols of peace as they prewrite, compose, and publish their poetry.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Poetry: A Feast to Form Fluent Readers

Students improve their reading fluency by selecting a poem online to perform in class.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Letter Poems Deliver: Experimenting with Line Breaks in Poetry Writing

Students explore letter poems and experiment with writing letters as poems, using the placement of line breaks to enhance rhythm, sound, meaning, and appearance.

 

Grades   2 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Writing Acrostic Poems with Thematically Related Texts in the Content Areas

Students read thematically related texts, scaffolded from simple to complex, to help them gather necessary concept vocabulary and background knowledge in a content area. They then write acrostic poems to organize and present their learning in a creative way.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Playing with Prepositions through Poetry

Students play with and explore prepositions during a whole group reading of Ruth Heller’s Behind the Mask, and then by composing and publishing prepositional poems based on the book’s style.

 

Grades   7 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Crossing Boundaries Through Bilingual, Spoken-Word Poetry

Students explore the idea of “crossing boundaries” through bilingual, spoken-word poetry, culminating in a poetry slam at school or in the community.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Discovering Poetic Form and Structure Using Concrete Poems

This lesson uses concrete poems to explore the connection between a poem's layout and its meaning. While appropriate any time of year, the lesson is especially topical near Columbus Day.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Weaving the Threads: Integrating Poetry Annotation and Web Technology

Students read a poem by a Native American, explore Native American culture and then create a Website that explains words and phrases from the poem.

 

Grades   1 – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Acrostic Poems: All About Me and My Favorite Things

Students create acrostic poems using their names and the names of things that are important to them.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Poetry from Prose

Working in small groups, students compose found and parallel poems based on a descriptive passage they have chosen from a piece of literature they are reading.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Minilesson

Is a Sentence a Poem?

Students use their own poetry to analyze syntax, imagery, and meaning in a one-sentence poem by a canonical author to decide what makes it a poem.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Minilesson

Poetry Plus! Creating 21st Century Poems with Web Tools

This lesson encourages students to immerse themselves in poetry as they share their original poems orally and digitally with published poets and peers nationwide.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Multipurpose Poetry: Introducing Science Concepts and Increasing Fluency

Creepy crawlers, hoppers, and fliers are the focus of this lesson in which students chorally read poems about insects and use the Internet to locate facts about their assigned insects.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Color Poems—Using the Five Senses to Guide Prewriting

Students use their five senses as a prewriting tool to guide their poetry writing as they compose free-form poems using imagery to describe a color.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

In the Poet's Shoes: Performing Poetry and Building Meaning

Students take poetic license when they interpret William Carlos William's poem "The Red Wheelbarrow" to help create a poem of their own.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Theme Poems: Writing Extraordinary Poems About Ordinary Objects

Students select a familiar object online, build a bank of words related to the object, and write theme poems that are printed and displayed in class.