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5 Ideas to Teach Poetry in All Subjects
posted by: Melissa | April 10, 2019, 03:18 PM   

If you’re not a language arts teacher, you may not know that this month is National Poetry Month. In this time of siloed subjects and high-stakes testing, it’s easy to leave something like poetry to the English teachers, however we know that when we interweave different subjects together our students learn and remember more. This is especially true for something such as poetry. The natural rhythms and visual language of this type of literature can be an asset in any subject you teach, from art to mathematics.

If you teach something other than literature, here are some ways to incorporate poetry into your lessons this month.

  1. 1. Find a poem about your subject. Poetry can help solidify the topic you’re teaching and there is no lack of poems that directly relate to any number of subjects. The site has a list of poems related to school subjects to get you started. For younger students, try the Children’s Poetry Archive. If you still need other ideas, it’s likely you can find a poem on the exact subject or topic you want using a Google search.
  2. 2. Have students write their own poems. One of the best ways to cement a subject into long term memory is by activating the artistic parts of the brain. In this case, have your students write their own poems about the subjects you’re teaching.
  3. 3. Use poems as memory aids. Whether written by someone else or by the students themselves, rhythm and rhymes can help when students have to remember a list of facts. Take this poem on cell structure for example.
  4. 4. Illustrate short metaphors, similes, haikus, cinquains, etc. Instead of providing students with a longer poem, give students short poetic phrases that relate to your subject and ask your students to turn them into illustrations. Again, by activating the more creative parts of the brain, you’re helping students transfer the knowledge they’ve been learning in class to their long-term memory. These creative images in this activity are the perfect vehicle!
  5. 5. Have a subject-specific poetry slam. Especially fun for older students, take writing poems one step further and have students perform their poems in class by having a poetry slam. This is a great activity to expand beyond just one specific topic and cultivate appreciation for the subject as a whole.

How do you integrate poetry and the arts in your classroom?

Share below!

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