Asl Poetry Assignment For Elementary

April Is National Poetry Month

Found In: language arts,preK-2, 3-5

Lesson Plans

Shapes and Poetry Students in grades K-2 read the poem "Shapes" from A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein, and use geometric figures to create their own illustration for the poem.

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain Teaching Plan Students in grades K-2 record local weather and repetition and rhythm in the story.

A Bear of a Poem: Composing and Performing Found Poetry
Students in grades K-2 select words and phrases to create a collective class poem that they then turn into a performance.

Compiling Poetry Collections and a Working Definition of Poetry Students in grades 3-5 explore forms and craft elements of poetry as they read poems about everyday topics and themes. They collect favorite poems to compile their own anthologies.

Getting Started With Poetry Students in grade 4 listen to and read a variety of poems, discuss poetic language and form, and write their own modeled on those they have heard and read.

Tips for Teaching Poetry For K-12 teachers, here are a number of ways to bring poetry into the classroom.


National Poetry Month Activities
Teachers share ideas for exploring and enjoying poetry in the K-8 classroom.

Poetry Read-a-Thon
Students in grades K-12 choose poems to read and then write prose “responses” to the poems they read. Students keep a reading log and respond to elements of the poem in 75-100 words.

Poem in Your Pocket
Teachers and students in grades K-12 can celebrate National Poem In Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 27, 2017. Select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends.

Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month With The New York Times
A selection of activities for K-12 students.

Background Resources

Poems for Multiple Voices  An annotated bibliography of poetry for 2, 3, and 4 voices.

National Poetry Month (Reading Rockets)
Learn more about well-loved children’s poets with video interviews, and discover new authors, books and anthologies for K-5.

Celebrate National Poetry Month (Scholastic)
Webcasts, lessons, poetry prompts from well-known poets help inspire your young poets, for K-12.

April is National Poetry Month! (ReadWriteThink)
K-12 lesson plans and activities.

Poetry (National Council of Teachers of English)
K-12 lessons and exercises, themed journals, and galleries of writing.

Find Poetry (
Browse poems in archive by title, first line, author last name or by occasion, for K-12.

Poems (Poetry Foundation)
Search Tool

Poets (Poetry Foundation)
Search Tool

Children’s Poetry (Poetry Foundation)

National Poetry Month: Celebrating World Poetry
Lessons and websites covering different poetic forms developed across time and around the world, for K-12.


Classical Baby (I'm Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show: Video


Audio & Podcasts (Poetry Foundation)
Readings of poems and interviews with poets.


last updated: January 29, 2018

American Sign Language Poetry

ASL poetry is poetry created in sign language. Like poetry in any other language, it is an artistic expression of human experiences using the language in a creative way.

Poetry in American Sign Language is expressed with hand signs and facial expressions. As a written tradition in sign language is rather rare, and this was especially so in earlier days, the principal way of saving poetry was by passing it on from one group to another. So, people made up stories and poems and performed them before their peers, and the peers then retained these performances to repeat them elsewhere. In this, of course, some of the originality of the poet usually got lost. However, since videos and the Internet have now became more common, deaf people have taken to recording their creative works and have thus made ASL poetry both easier to preserve and more available to a wider audience than before.

Like in English and other languages, ASL poems come in a wide variety. The poems may be funny, sad, happy, playful, serious, philosophical, and so on. Sign language poets may use accepted signs in their poems or invent new ones as required just as poets in other languages use existing words and make up new ones. In this latter matter, sign language poetry is more flexible than ASL prose.

In order to make or understand this type of poetry, it is necessary to be fluent in sign language and to have an excellent grasp of its linguistic qualities. An ASL poem may lose its edge if translated into English, in much the same manner as an English poem may not seem quite as effective if translated into, say, Spanish.

The poetry is taught in sign language courses like the Narrative and Poetic Styles in ASL course at the University of Rochester and in the ASL Literature course at Gallaudet University.

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