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April is Poetry Month

By Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern


virginia-live-oak-440351_1920 smallI just love teaching poetry and spring is the perfect time. For me, inspiration comes from being outside, perhaps walking on the beach inhaling the salty ocean air, or just walking through the woods with my husband and beautiful husky who is no longer with us.


I want my classes to experience the wonderful feeling of just being outside and creating. That’s why I  teach poetry in April or May, new awakenings, flowers coming up, birds beginning to nest, and the warmth that replaces the winter cold.  So I pick a sunny day, take the class outside and have them write a nature poem using all of their senses. I tell them to breathe in the fresh air, so we take some deep yoga breaths, then sit on the grass and listen to the sounds of nature with closed eyes, making notes of what they hear, the things they see, and what they feel.

We might also hug trees, smell flowers and listen to the sounds of insects while watching them complete their instinctual activities.  One of my favorite things to do is to have the kids find a tree to lie under, to look up through the branches at the sky, or to watch the leaves fluttering in the breeze. To listen to the sound of birds and watch little insects buzzing about their business. I ask them to look at the colors and to pretend that they are the color, or the insect, or the bird, or the tree.  I want them to feel the strength of the tree and realize how secure and grounded the tree is because of it’s roots that run so deeply under the ground.

My students have created  some amazing poems from this activity and many of them have gotten published in a book entitled  Celebration of Young Poets-Creative Communication, Inc. The web address is www.poeticpower.com.

This is an example of a poem that a 6th grade student wrote after completing this activity. To tell you I was blown away by this is an understatement.

Azure Drake

Azure blossoms at my feet

Beside the road smelling sweet

To the shade of a Sycamore tree

Swaying branches over me…..Whispering

Footsteps coming down the path

An ancient one with wooden staff

Long white beard and cloak blue smeared

Electric eyes not to be feared…Scintillating

A Druid friend from long ago

The magic words sure to know

Staff held high over azure flowers

Secret words of light and power…..Conjuring

Rustling in the indigo bed

Rising up scales, tail and head

Wisdom eyes, majestic wings

Breath of lightning, Dragon sings…..Thundering

Climbing on blue scaled back

Soaring on white cloud track

Snow capped mountains, Seas of sand

Born of air Free of land….Dreaming

by Sean Hayden


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This is part of our Teacher Talk Blog Link-up. A great month ahead with loads

of ideas that will help get you through the rest of the year.

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April Teacher Talk Word Press

Let’s Go Fly a Kite

By Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern


When I taught special needs kids, each month we would do something special for those who earned enough points. One of their favorite activities was to make and fly kites in March. child-flying-a-kite smallYears later, I was mainstreamed to 6th grade and the children also loved  this activity.  After they flew their kites, they wrote two papers, one explaining how to make a kite and the other about their experience.

I am going to show you how to make simple kites that your class will love doing.

Materials for a garbage bag kite:  plastic bags, two sticks, string, a ribbon and a nice windy day.

Step 1:  Take two sticks, wooden dowels, or garden stakes and put them into the shape of a cross., one horizontally and one vertically. Place the horizontal stick about a third of the way down and tie them together with a string.

Step 2: Wrap the string securely around the horizontal and vertical sticks so that they stay together.

Step 3:  Cut the bag to fit the kite frame. Secure tightly by tying the ends of the bag to the frame at the tip of each dowel or stick.

Step 4:  Tie string from one side of the horizontal stick to the other, make it loose so that it forms a triangle, see first picture in step #4. Tie a large ball of string to thebottom part of the vertical stick. Loop under the loose portion of the horizontal string and tie a knot then tie another knot where the horizontal and vertical strings meet. You’ll know you’ve done it right if you see a triangle shape. See 2nd image in step #4.

Step 5: Tie some colorful ribbons to the end of the kite to give it balance. If it seems flimsy , you can attach washers to the ribbons to add support.

Step 6: Voila, your kites are complete. All you need is a sunny and windy March day and some space for your kids to run with their kites. Have fun. By the way, you can have a contest to see which kite flies the highest or the best.


Another fun thing that I’ve done with the kids is to take them camping at the end of the school year, but that’s another story.


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March Teacher Talk.003

Before you leave, please take a look at the rest of the blog posts that are part of our March Teacher Talk blog hop.