Poem in Your Pocket Day 2010
Last year, I was inspired by Buffy Hamilton and other media specialists who were participating in National Poem In Your Pocket Day. I asked myself, “How might we celebrate this wonderful day in our elementary school?” This question developed into a 2-day celebration of poetry throughout our whole school.
Our preparation starts at the beginning of April with daily poetry on BTV and poetry writing workshops with multiple classes. This year, we did lessons on green living poetry, poetry & photography, book spine poetry, and shape poetry. Many classroom teachers also explored biopoetry and list poetry. Because of CRCT testing, we held our Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 15th instead of the national day, April 29th. On April 15th, all students, teachers, and staff carried poems in their pockets that they wrote themselves or that they copied from a book. Each person was given a “Poem In Your Pocket Day 2010” sticker indicating that they had a poem in their pocket. All day, participants were encouraged to stop one another and share their poems.
On April 14th & 15th, the media center was transformed into a poetry cafe. Tables were set with bulletin board paper tablecloths, paper lanterns, die-cut confetti, and poetry books. Crayons were also placed on tables for students to create their own images and poetry as they attended the cafe. Lamps covered by scarves lighted the sides of the media center. The stage area featured a cloth covered stool with groovy lights and fabrics as a backdrop. Every class in the school came to the cafe during the two days to read poetry at the open mic. We all celebrated each poet’s reading by snapping.
Several incredible moments happened during the two days. When our paraprofessional, Ms. Olin went to do lunch duty, she saw students asking each other to share their poems. Our principal went outside to recess on both of our school playgrounds and heard students saying, “Do you have your poem? Let me hear it”. In the media center, we saw several students who hardly ever speak go up to the microphone and share their poem. We saw students do some impromptu multiple voice poems and choral reading. We also heard a beautiful reading of Eloise Greenfield’s “Honey, I Love” from a 3rd grader. We had several adults who also shared at our open mic. Our school secretary, aka “The Queen”, shared a poem about being a queen. Our technology integration specialist, Steve Piazza, shared a poem he wrote about pockets. Meg Inscoe, a first grade paraprofessional, shared a limerick about her class. Ms. Olin shared two poems that she wrote about things she loves and dreams. Several teachers, including Ms. Em, shared their poetry as well. Our assistant principal saw students sharing poems after school as they went to their cars. Also, her son had memorized his poem and recited it for the family at dinner. The day after Poem in your Pocket Day, a PreK student brought me a poetry book he had made at home and he left space for me to include my own poems. The list could go on and on. The day was just filled with wonderful moments.
It was sad to take down all of the cafe decorations after school, but we have these pictures to help us remember this wonderful day until next year’s Poem in Your Pocket Day. Enjoy viewing the pictures and looking at examples of our poetry creations. Feel free to post comments about your own poetry celebrations.