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.
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.
Activity: Haiku Leaves
Activity: Blackout Poetry
Activity: Book spine Poetry