Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month with Second Graders During Distance Learning
April is National Poetry month! Chances are, you had all sorts of fun activities planned for your primary classroom. Even though you may be participating in distance learning right now, you can still bring poetry to your second graders! Try these fun activities to celebrate poetry during April or year-round on or offline!
Close Read Poetry
Don’t let distance learning discourage you from teaching your young learners how to read a poem! Focus on close reading poems to aid in comprehension. This second-grade poetry pack is added directly to your Google Drive to integrate with Google Classroom for your distance learning needs. Using color-coding, your students will be able to identify vocabulary, poetic devices, and comprehend poems with close reading techniques!
Celebrating poetry is not just about reading silly nursery rhymes. Sure, those are fun, but to challenge your little learners, I love using the following poems with second grade students:
- “My Brother’s Not a Werewolf” by Ken Nesbitt
- “Little Things” by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer
- “My Shadow” by Robert Louis Stevenson
- “Picture-books in Winter” by Robert Louis Stevenson
- “Halloween” by Edwin C. Ranck
- “Caterpillar” by Christina Rossetti
- “The Rainbow” by Christina Rossetti
- “Hope is the Thing with Feathers” by Emily Dickinson
- “Knoxville, Tennessee” by Nikki Giovanni
- “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost
- “Young Night-Thought” by Robert Louis Stevenson
- “Eletelephony” by Laura Richards
Yes! Your second grade students can learn to comprehend and unpack Dickinson, Giovanni, and Frost. These poems all align with common core standards. Through these poems, your students will be able to describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.
Different Types of Poetry
Learning about different types of poetry is essential to comprehension. There are many different ways to approach this, but since many students are learning from home, I recommend a good digital distance learning resource like my Types of Poems – Poetry Targeted Practice unit.
After you share and close read engaging poems, review poetic devices and figurative language within the poems, have your students write their own poems! You may have them model their poem after one of the mentor text poems they read. For example, your students may write a personification poem like “Hope is a Thing with Feathers” or a poem about a sibling or friend like “My Brother’s Not a Werewolf”. To differentiate instruction, provide scaffolding through frames and templates for learners who struggle in writing. For students who have met the standards and objectives, encourage them to write their own free verse poems!
Even though you may not be in your physical classroom at this time, you can still host your own poetry reading or poetry slam with your students. Have your second graders share their favorite poems in video form. You can have them post to Seesaw, Google Classroom, or Flipgrid! You may even want to host a Zoom or Google Meet session to have your students read their own creations live. Invite parents, other teachers, and administrators to make it a regular poetry party!
Poetry doesn’t stop during distance learning time! Use these digital poetry resources to introduce engaging and standards-based poetry to your learners. Don’t worry if your students do not have digital access. The same resources are available in a printable version.
Your second graders can learn and celebrate National Poetry Month from home with these distance learning resources. How will you celebrate National Poetry Month with your students?
Other Digital Resources
Don’t forget that I have a ton of distance learning resources that are perfect for keeping your students learning while teaching from afar.