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10 Trivia Activities for National Poetry Month

Each year, the month of April is set aside as National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate poets and their craft. The Academy of American Poets started National Poetry Month in 1996 as a national celebration to widen the attention of individuals and the media to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage.

There are so many hidden poets out there, including you! Tap into your inner poet with our trivia activities.

National Poetry Month trivia

  1. What is poetry?: Learn more about poetry with fun facts. Did you know that poetry is literature that works through sounds and images? It was originally recited to an audience, and its rhythms and sounds affect the meaning of the words through poetic language which is concentrated and expresses feelings and ideas.
  2. Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day: The idea is simple: select a poem you love then carry it with you on April 24, 2014, sharing it with family and friends. You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the #pocketpoem.
  3. Read a book of poetry: Don’t know where to begin? Start browsing on poets.org with their Find a Poet and Find a Poem sections and see what strikes you. You can also visit the Poems for Every Occasion section for mini-anthologies of poems grouped thematically or listen to recordings of poets people reading their own work in the Poetry Audio Archive. You can even travel in time and read the oldest written poem is the Epic of Gilgamesh from Babylon which is about 4,000 years old or the oldest poem in English, Beowulf, written in the 8th century AD.
  4. Put a poem on the pavement: Go a step beyond hopscotch squares and write a poem in chalk on your sidewalk. Use brightly colored chalk to attract attention to your work, and add drawings or artistic flourishes to create some extra fun.
  5. Recite a poem to family and friends: Often times, children will act out a play for others to enjoy, so why not do the same with a poem? Dress up as your favorite author and read a collection of their pieces for all to enjoy!
  6. Put poetry in an unexpected place: Put a poem on a plate as a nice surprise when you finish your meal. Leave a note on the keyboard and start your day off with some words of wisdom. Wherever you choose, know there’s never a bad place for poetry.
  7. Watch a poetry movie: Many movies are based on poetry or feature poetry, and it’s a great time to pay homage with some screen time. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (and all other Dr. Seuss movies), and Disney’s Mulan are both based on a poem. There are also plenty of documentaries for you to watch on famous poets.
  8. Visit a poetry landmark: No matter where in the country you live, a poetry landmark is nearby. Whether it’s the birthplace of a contemporary poet, the site of a single poem’s inspiration, or the plot of a poet’s grave, visiting physical spaces associated with a favorite writer is a memorable way to honor their life and work.
  9. Write a letter to a poet:  Many poets will post their contact information on their websites or blogs, or you can get in touch with the poet’s publisher. Even if the poet in question is unavailable or deceased, the gesture of writing a letter can bring you closer to his or her work.
  10. Write your own poem: Enter your masterpiece in the K12 Splish-Splash Poetry Contest for a chance to win a prize!

National Poetry Month inspiration

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Brittany Marklin

Brittany Marklin

Brittany Marklin is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff and a community manager for K12. She coordinates all K12 student contests and connects with families who pursue online education. She attended George Mason University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing, with a minor in tourism and events management. Brittany spent her first five years at K12 on the social media team where she aided with content and strategy for multiple channels, and helped construct K12’s user-generated content site, “What’s Your Story?” When she’s not working, Brittany loves spending time with her husband and daughter in North Carolina.

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