Welcome to today’s tip in my month-long Poetry Tips for Teachers series.
Tip #20: Mix it up!
I hear people advise teachers, “Just share poems you love!” I kind of disagree with that. I mean, of course, share the poems you love. But perhaps your poetry taste is very narrow. If you only share silly rhyming poems all year because they’re your favorite, that does students a disservice. So, yes, share poems you love, because your enthusiasm will help kids love them to. But make a conscious effort to share a broad variety of poetic moods, forms, lengths, genres, topics, etc. In fact, invite students to select poems that you will present. This ensures you’ll get a mix that reflects the taste of your students. I believe the goal is to expose kids to many types of poems in the hopes that students will find poems that they can connect to–poems that matter to them.
Here’s a poem that’s kind of sweet, so it’s pretty different from my usual poetry style. It’s from Gift Tag, a Kindle poetry anthology edited by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell, who have gone on to create all the amazing Poetry Friday Anthologies, too! “We Are Woven” goes with the gift of potholders (remember making them on those fun plastic looms?).
And here I am reading it aloud: