Calling on young poets


For teachers who have not visited this site, let me tell you about the Word of the Month Poetry Challenge, which is free and open to all students from grades 3 – 12. Just above this post you’ll see Young Poets W.O.M. Poems. Click on that and you’ll see the simple guidelines. Essentially, classroom teaches are invited to post up to three of their students’ poems each month so that other readers of the blog can enjoy the young poets’ work and offer encouragement.

Each month we choose a winner, known as the Monthly Hall of Fame Young Poet, by popular vote. At the end of the twelve month period, the twelve winners’ poem will be posted again and we’ll have a vote for Young Poet of the Year.

Each month I post a new word. The word for March is “life.” Young poets write poems inspired by the word of the month and we’ve seen tremendous variety in voices and subjects that spring from that simple beginning. If your principal would like additional information about this project, you’ll find a letter to principals also posted at the top of this page. If your students are home schooled, we welcome their poems too.

Adults have their own category and each month we see poems posted from the United States and abroad. I don’t think we’ve heard from any young poets in other countries yet but I look forward to that. If you have any questions, please let me know. The idea is to give students a taste of the fun of writing and help build confidence by taking a single word, considering what might be said about that word, and composing a poem based on those thoughts.

Thanks, and I hope to hear from you,