“National Poetry Month brings us together as readers and writers, whether at home, in classrooms, bookstores, or libraries throughout our nation,” said Governor Janet T. Mills as part of the official proclamation. “Poetry illuminates hope in our darkest hours, gives voice to our struggles, brings inspiration to our triumphs, and is a gift of expression that transcends our personal experience to unite us in words.”
The Maine Department of Education (DOE) joins Governor Mills and our partners throughout the state this month by promoting and participating in activities that support schools in using poetry as a tool and a topic for instruction.
“Poetry is often taught as a stand-alone unit of study, yet the power of poetry is in its versatility by virtue of form and precision, and could be included in every unit of study all year long,” said Morgan Dunton, Maine DOE English Language Arts Specialist. “Regular engagement with poems, long or short, contemporary or historical, provides an opportunity to better understand complex texts.”
With a theme of “Normalize Poetry in Your Classroom” the Maine DOE has collaborated on poetry themed events and opportunities in April including:
How We Do It: Inspiring Students to Write and Publish
The Telling Room hosted a conversation with educators about their experience supporting and encouraging educators to write stories and poems. They discussed their recent collection of youth poems called, “A New Land” and share resources you can use in your classroom. Download the collection here. Learn more and access their educator toolkit.
Spend an evening with Maine Poet Gary Lawless
Hosted by the Maine Council of English Language Arts. Lawless is a poet who has authored 21 collections of poems. He is also the co-owner of Gulf of Maine Books, a book editor, and publisher. Thursday, April 8th, 7pm: Click here to register.
Normalize Poetry: Teach Poetry in Every Unit
Many of us teach a poetry unit each year, but that is just not enough. Poetry is a fabulous tool for teaching the fine art of language use in every instructional unit. Maine DOE ELA Specialist Morgan Dunton will demonstrate methods of teaching grammar, usage, mechanics, and appreciation of the poetic form to enhance reading, speaking, and writing skills. Thursday, April 15th, 3:30 pm. Click here to register.
In concluding the official proclamation, Governor Mills writes, “I urge all Maine citizens to celebrate the creativity of poets and the indelible marks their words leave upon the pages of our shared humanity by reading and writing poetry.”
Find additional information, events, and resources to celebrate and appreciate the beauty of poetry all month on the Maine DOE Website. For further questions about poetry in curriculum or the Department’s efforts for poetry month, please contact Maine DOE English Language Arts (ELA) Specialist Morgan Dunton at email@example.com.