Poetry Extravaganza builds student excitement about poems


Poetry is everywhere this month at the Holten Richmond Middle School in Danvers, MA – with everyone from students to teachers getting in on the poetic action. Their Poetry Month celebration kicked off with a Poetry Extravaganza event in collaboration with Sarah Woo, the school librarian, and English Language Arts teachers Amy Roy and Megan White.

“Virtually all students embraced the Poetry Extravaganza” said Woo. We didn’t hear anyone say, “I don’t like poetry,” or “I can’t write a poem.”

During the event, students met in the library and had fun as they visited stations to create different types of poems. One form that was popular with students is Paint Chip Poetry. Not only is it a great way to recycle paint chips from the hardware store, but it also serves as a source of inspiration for students.

“Students view paint chips to inspire them to write poems about color. They can choose to incorporate the actual names of the colors into their poems, or not” said Woo. “We also have the book Hailstones & Halibut Bones: Adventures in Color by Mary O’Neill available for them to be inspired by color poems already written.”


Red_poem The_Spring_Frost

Students also created blackout poetry, found poetry, and group poem creation. Roy said the celebration was a positive experience for participants.

“We noticed a change in attitude on the part of students as we began to study poetry this year” said Roy. “Paint chip poetry, along with all the other poetry-related activities on Poetry Extravaganza Day, allowed students to play with poetry and have fun with it before we introduced it as part of the curriculum, so they expected poetry to be enjoyable as we began studying it.”