Activities and Lessons
for Language Arts

Poem of the Day
~ Gregory Van Nest

Something I try to do from the beginning of the semester is have a "poem of the day." Sometimes we discuss it, sometimes I put it on an overhead, and sometimes I just read it, let them think for a moment or two and then move on. I try to get them used to poetry as a non-threatening daily event. After all, how often does the average person hear or read poetry, other than when the teacher is asking them to torture a confession out of it? How can we get the "poet-phobic" students to like poetry if all we ever do is turn it into work? I really don't think poets write because they want to provide English teachers with more teachable poems, so I don't think that I need to turn every poem into an English assignment. Eventually we do move on to a unit on poetry, but by then, they're used to hearing poems and it (hopefully) isn't such a traumatic event.

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