Word of the Month Poetry Challenge word for April is . . .

Hi everyone,

I’ve never played an April Fool’s Day prank. Have you? I’d be interested in hearing one you’ve played or had played on you. Want to share with us? Might be fun.

Meanwhile, I’ve chosen FOOL as the Word of the Month for April. I think it has a lot of potential. Let’s see what you do with it.

If you know any teachers who are looking for meaningful activities for their students working from home, remind them of the Word of the Month Poetry Challenge for kids. Seems like the perfect time for them to join in the fun. Besides, April is National Poetry Month!

Stay safe.

My Word of the Month poem for March

Hi everyone,

I’ve been pondering and wondering what to write about for this month’s Word of the Month poem. An old memory came to my rescue.

I Wonder

I say my goodnights like I do every night,
calling them out in the dark from my bed –

“Good night, Mommy.”
“Good night, honey,” Mommy calls from their room.
“Good night, Daddy.
“Good night, son.”
“Good night, Mickey.”
“Good night, David,” my daddy answers in a gruff voice.
It ruins everything. Mickey’s my dog. He can’t talk.
“Stop it, Daddy!”
Now I have to start all over.

“Good night, Mommy.”
“Good night, sweetie.”
“Good night, Daddy.
“Good night, David.”
“Good night, Mickey.”
Daddy doesn’t answer this time.
Mommy giggles.
What’s so funny?

I get out of bed and tiptoe into their room and climb in beside Mommy.
Where did her nightgown go?

“Go back to bed, David,” she says.
“It’s past your bedtime,” Daddy says.

I go back to bed but now I have to start over.

“Good night, Mommy.”
“Good night.”
“Good night, Daddy.”
“Good night. Go to sleep.”
“Good night, Mickey.”
Daddy doesn’t answer.
Mommy doesn’t giggle.

I don’t understand grownups.
I wonder if I ever will.

— (c) 2020 David L. Harrison, all rights reserved

A picture of the March Word of the Month word

Hi everyone,

I can’t think of anything to add, except to express my gratitude to Arjun’s parents for allowing me to post their son’s picture today. Looking at a child with a book, I have to think our word for March should be WONDER.

I checked with Cory Corrado who told me I used this word in 2012, but it seems like time to bring it back for an encore. Wonder away, my friends.

4th stop on my blog tour for AFTER DARK

Hi everyone,

As the blog tour for AFTER DARK continues, today I am delighted that Sylvia Vardell is hosting at PoetryForChildren https://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com Thank you, Sylvia!

If you’ve followed the first three stops on the tour, you know that each one is different. Many of you have been helping through your own networks and for that I’m very grateful too.

My thanks to all!

On another issue, we’ve all seen the posting of student poems by teachers fall from robust to zero most months, especially since the introduction of Common Core State Standards a few years ago, which took away nearly all of a teacher’s time and focused on analyzing over writing. Over the weekend I’ve had a conversation with Rachelle Burk, who wanted to add my blog site to her suggested list of places where students can get some attention with their writing, but Rachelle became discouraged by how confusing the instructions were on the Young Poets W.O.M. Poems page plus the lack of contributions she found there.

With all that in mind I’ve made an effort to rewrite the page as you see here. Please give my your thoughts about the new page plus — especially — how we might go about attracting teachers across the country (and elsewhere) to get back in the habit of posting their students’ poems here. Many thanks!

Young Poets W.O.M. Poems

Dear Teachers,

When you are looking for ways to inspire your students to write poems, this is a special place to show off some results. Every month I post a new word and invite students of all ages to write a poem inspired by that one word. Poets in the adult category write poems based on the same word.

Young poets have been featured here since 2009. Two of the first ones are now in college and one is going into journalism.

Getting your students “published” is easy and free. Here is all you need to do.
1. Choose up to three poems per classroom to post (per month).
2. If your kids are under 13, please have on file a permission slip signed by a parent or legal guardian.
3. To post a poem, scroll down to the box at the bottom of the screen where it says LEAVE A REPLY and paste the poem there.
4. Please include the student’s name, grade, school, and city in the post.
5. Hit button to submit.
Adults who follow my blog are primarily teachers, librarians, and children’s writers or artists. You can rest assured that your students will see notes of encouragement and appreciation posted about their work. This is above all a friendly BlogSpot!

At the end of each month I erase all poems and comments and we start over with a new word. I hope to see your students join the fun.



PS: The word for February is AGE


The Word of the Month word for February is . . .

Hi everyone,

Are we ready for a new Word of the Month Poetry Challenge? I’ve been thinking lately about AGE so how about going with that?

And thank you for all the poetry fun in January. JOY turned out to be a good word and you took full advantage of it. As you know, I erase all the poems and comments at the end of each month so be sure you keep copies of your work if you want to save it for the future.

So off we go, onward and upward!