2017 Poetry Month Challenge


What's the Challenge?

In celebration of National Poetry Month (April 2017), students participated in the Newsela Poetry Month Challenge! Students participated by writing poems in the Write response box for Newsela articles of their choice. Students submitted poems by writing “Poetry Month Challenge” in the Write response box.

Educators recognized student participation with the Newsela Poetry Month Challenge certificate (download it here) and by holding class-wide or school-wide poetry readings. We’d love to hear about how your class celebrates National Poetry Month on Twitter or Instagram (@newsela)!

You can download a word cloud based on all poems submitted by students here

Student Objective

Students will be able to express their thoughts about a nonfiction article through poetry. Students will:

  1. Read a Newsela article about students writing poetry.
  2. Find another Newsela article about a topic that is meaningful to them.
  3. Write their own poems expressing their thoughts about the topic.

How to Participate

First, assign the article "Teenage poets find their voice in WordSpeak program" with these instructions:

For students:

Read this article and highlight three statements made by teachers and students about poetry. In annotations, describe what poetry means to the speaker for each highlighted statement. Then, complete the assignment in the Write box.

Second, add this Write prompt to "Teenage poets find their voice in WordSpeak program" (how to customize the Write prompt):

For students (although students will write poems about other articles of their choice, we encourage teachers to have students write their poems as Write responses on the "Teenage poets" article so that it is easier for the teacher to view them all at once):

Find another article on Newsela about a topic that is meaningful to you (use the search bar or browse the categories). You're going to write your own poem about this article. 

Read the article. Write “Poetry Month Challenge” and the title of the article you picked.

Then, write a poem that expresses your thoughts about your article.

As the poet, you are free to find the words and structure that best fit your ideas. These are a few types of poems and poetic devices you can use:

Types of poems:

-haiku: A three-line poem with a syllable structure of 5-7-5.

-ode: A lyrical poem that praises someone or something.

-acrostic poem: A poem in which the first letter of each line spells out a word or a phrase.

-concrete poem: A poem in which the letters are positioned in a way that creates an image.

Poetic devices:

-rhyme: Rhyming words share similar sounds. Example: "cat" and "hat." Many poems have rhyming words at the end of each line.

-simile: Similes use “like” or “as” to compare two things. Example: “She is as brave as a lion.”

-personification: Giving human characteristics to objects or animals. Example: “The ocean was angry.”

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