poetTREE in the Library

Last year my boss and I had talked about making a big tree with poems for National Poetry month. As attendance has been up I thought I would make a whole poetry program and was hoping to have attendance in the 20-30 range, but I only had 10 people register. Surprisingly almost everyone who registered showed up!


One of the shelvers helped me make a big tree in the children’s section. We decorated it with haiku poems and poem titles on green leaves and I made some apple blossoms with names of different poets. Then I made a handout with the different activities with instructions and examples.

Our first activity was to make and decorate our own haiku poems. I had some books for reference and different leaf templates for them to work on. Most kids stuck to the 5-7-5- format. When they finished we took a little trip to the children’s section and added their leaves to the tree and they could find a poem to read.


The next activity was probably the most time consuming. I had cut some pages out of an old, donated book to use for blackout poetry. There are a lot of examples online but I let the kids circle their words and then color the page with crayons. Even the adults got pretty involved in this one. While we worked on the poems. I walked around to check in on each table.  I also talked a little about famous poems and poets and just asked the kids questions like if they thought song lyrics were like poetry.

Boy, bird, and dog/ See me run/ Izzy & Oscar / Penguin in peril

The last five minutes of the program we dashed into the library to hunt for books to use in book spine poetry. I was worried that stacking books up to make a poem might be too simple or too overwhelming, but all of the kids took to it really naturally and they liked the aspect of hunting for titles in the library. I also think there was a bit of a thrill to being allowed to pull a bunch of books off the shelf.
I don’t know if I will do a program like this next year. I think the program itself was fine, but I have a hard time justifying doing a program with 1/5th the interest of other programs.

Attendance: 8
Registrations: 10
Activity: Haiku Leaves
Activity: Blackout Poetry
Activity: Book spine Poetry

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