Monday, April 6, 2015

Beneath the Cherry Blossoms

What a strange thing

to be alive

beneath cherry blossoms

~Kobayashi Issa

It is National Poetry Month people! Here are some offerings to help celebrate language and the return of Spring to the Northern Hemisphere.

Apps for Poetry

Check out last year's Post on Poetic Apps. It included several free apps from ReadWriteThink to create and publish beautiful poems. I especially love their Haiku maker.

I've come across several more excellent free Poetry Month Apps more recently. For starters, try Poetry from the Poetry Foundation. This is an app for older students as some of the poetic themes require a mature vocabulary and mind. Poetry Daily offers free poems by theme and I would keep this one for students ages 12 or older as well. Heck, I might even wait until 14 or 15. A middle schooler with an ear for limericks might make for some sketchy situations.

Poems by Heart from Penguin Classics is a cool tool to help students memorize classic poems. Again, there are some mature themes and a few saucy words here and there.

If you really don't mind bawdy talk in your poetry or you wish to relate poetry to rap, "keeping it real," try Poetry Creator. It is free and brings in lyrics from Rap songs and mashes them with Shakespeare's sonnets and monologues creating word magnets to reassemble into original works.

Poetreat bills itself as a tool to "Write quick and simple bites of Poetry." It is a poetry editor that suggests rhymes as you write.  This one would be good for budding poets with raging hormones or anyone who needs a little rhyming help.

Teacher Resources

Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers has published a nice list of 5 Resources for National Poetry Month  He includes Scholastic's list of resources but it is worth a special mention here as well. They have everything nicely laid out by grade level.

ReadWriteThink is always one of my first stops for anything literary. They have excellent student interactives to get poets from K-12 composing. They also have Lesson Plans galore organized by theme, grade level, or form.

The 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month is really nifty with some terrific ideas and resources.

Reading Rockets has excellent poetry resources for all ages, not just the wee mongrels.

Edutopia always has something to offer that is beyond worthy. Their National Poetry Month Resources by Matt Davis is no exception.

Listening to the World

Perhaps my favorite poet, Mary Oliver recently sat down with On Being's Krista Tippett. She reads some of her illuminating poems and discusses life, habits, and grief with Krista. I love On Being and I adore Mary Oliver. Listening to the World is just for you to enjoy, dear reader. 

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