Susan at Chicken Spaghetti posted this morning about the free poster to celebrate National Poetry Month in April. Many thanks to Susan for the link, and to the Academy of American Poets for the poster, which is available to teachers, librarians, booksellers, students, and community center staff. Naturally the teacher and student bit caught my eye — I’m assuming that those two categories include home educating families, and just to be sure sent the Academy a query by email for the official okey dokey (will post the answer here when it comes)*. Unfortunately, the poster can’t be shipped internationally, so those of us living in Canada and elsewhere out of the U.S. can have it shipped to poetry-loving family members or friends who happen to be residing in the 50 states…
You can also take a look at previous years’ posters, some of which can still be ordered for $5 each.
Susan also mentions the Academy’s list of 30 ways to celebrate poetry month in April, part of the National Poetry Almanac — 365 days’ worth of poetry highlights, activities, ideas, and history for individual exploration and classroom use. Is it any wonder I’m feeling faint all of a sudden? And you might also be interested in the Academy’s Poetry-Read-a-Thon 2006, for children in grades 5-8. Intrepid home school types can find out if you can register your kids, and if you can adapt it for younger poetry-loving types. If you need an incentive, know that “classrooms will be entered into a raffle to receive one of five $250 donations from the Academy of American Poets toward their school library’s acquisition of poetry books.” Even if you decide not to participate, there is a downloadable Teacher’s Guide.
The Academy website is full of goodies. You can sign up (free registration required) for a Poem-A-Day, selected from new books published this spring, to arrive in your email in box. The “Poetry Near You” link lists, among other things, a Calendar of Events, a National Poetry Map, and the Poetry Book Club. The “For Educators” link made me giddy: Curriculum and Lesson Plans; Essays on Teaching by Jim Trelease, Kenneth Koch, Bill Zavatsky, and others; a list of Great Poems to Teach, with 341 titles (so you should be able to find something); Tips for Teaching Poetry; and the Teaching Resource Center, which in itself is a huge, amazing list of links. Go!
*Update: Had an answer to my query, and homeschoolers get the thumbs up from the Academy for the poster. Order away!