The end of National Poetry Month is not an end at all. It’s the beginning of a new year of exploring the many gifts reading and writing poetry can bring into our lives. So we end April and move into May with a few ideas to keep you reading and writing throughout the year.
Blackout Poetry is a type of “found poetry” that involves darkening sections of previously published writing in order to create a poem. While this type of poetry often involves the use of black markers, it can be particularly creative and exciting to use colored media to create a visual artwork that interacts with the written words. We’ve linked a Scholastic article that takes this process step-by-step to lead you into creating beautiful works of written and visual art. The artwork feature today is all offered with permission from Stacy Antoville, the art teacher cited in this article. For more exquisite student art, follow her class on Instagram @art_o_ville.
We want you to get up and moving every day during quarantine, so here’s an activity to incorporate with a daily walk. Grab a pen or pencil and notepad, or if you prefer use a notepad app. Take a walk, preferably a good long one. Write down at least 5 things you see, 3 things you do, and 1 thing you overhear. Draw a quick sketch of one thing you see. You may or may not actually decide to use this in a poem later. The point is to notice details. (Adapted from an activity offered by Erika Meitner, VQR Writers’ Conference, 2019).
There are numerous audio and downloadable poetry books at the Jefferson Madison Regional Library. Temporary library cards are available online during quarantine.
Our director, Mary Anna Dunn, will be offering an online poetry class through Charlottesville Parks and Recreation’s Adaptive Recreation Program later this summer. Details TBA.
Picture Tutorial. Ever see those colorful magazine baskets and wish you knew how to make them? This series of photographs takes you through the process step-by-step.
Video Tutorial. If you need a more detailed explanation, watch this video. The video calls for decoupage glue, which most people don’t have on hand. Try making this substitute.
Science and Math
Turned used paper into seed paper. Gather up used paper from around your house and turn it into handmade recycled paper with embedded seeds. The whole page can be planted. These make fantastic greeting cards.
The Poetry of Trash
Cast Away Young People’s Poet Laureate, Naomi Shibad, finds treasure in trash, writing poems about objects she encounters in on her walks. Download this book, and play it while you take a walk in your neighborhood. Why do YOU notice while you’re out walking?
As we continue to enjoy National Poetry Month, let’s look at out how poets and lyricists express the feeling of being uplifted.
Happy. “If you feel like a room without a roof.” Wow! What a powerful way to describe happiness. Listen to the lyrics of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” and you can’t feel anything but joy. That’s the power of writing.
“Hope is the Thing With Feathers.” Spoken.ASL With Captions. Emily Dickinson uses the same theme of being lifted up in her famous poem about hope. How do you feel when you know something wonderful is just about to happen? Like something is about to soar inside you?
Try one of these opening phrases and write your own song or poem: “Joy is_____”, “Sadness is _____”, “Anger is _____”, “Love is _____,” “Excitement is _______,” “Relief is ______.”
If you would like to further explore this pairing of “Happy” and “Hope Is the Thing With Feathers,” download our lesson plans. These plans included adaptable materials for writers in need of frameworks and visual aides.
Jump for Joy: Here are a couple of videos to inspire you.
Okay, did they inspire you? Or more like intimidate you? Here are two videos to help you get those jump rope moves down.
It’s National Poetry Month! Many of our posts this month will begin with poems or poem prompts and continue with themes suggested by the poems or prompts.
Art and Literature
This young poet presents a delightful poem, but we wanted to give math a chance to answer back, so his lament to mathematics is followed up with some awesome activities around a geometric theme. Spoken word poetry is heavily influenced by hip hop and rap and is much more likely to have rhymes and strong meter than most contemporary poems. Watch this video and try reading a poem aloud. It can be your own poem or a poem you’ve read.
So, maybe the poet doesn’t know just how cool geometry actually can be. This guy does.
Science and Math
Now that you have PROOF that geometry is cool, see what you can do with geometric shapes.
Geometric Art Pinterest Board. This board will provide lots of inspiration for artists who like to get a few ideas and then let their own imaginations run.
Geometric Sunburst. (Adapted activity) But some people prefer to watch someone model drawing before they draw. If that’s you, this very soothing video will show you how to create a sunburst. Check out some of their other videos too, It may be helpful to pause the video, copy their action, and then start the video again, continuing until you complete your work.