My students have been writing poems for the past few days. We are using the Door of Poetry, as explained by Georgia Heard in Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School (a phenomenal book for any teacher interested in poetry). So far we have done the Heart Door, Observation Door, and Concerns about the World Door. It’s taken about 3 days for most of my students to really begin digging deep. I was getting a lot of “Summer is fun. Summer is great. I love Summer. Yay Summer!” at first. Slowly, the poems are getting deeper. Some of them are GORGEOUS. I was floored by the raw emotion in many of them, particularly in the heart and concerns about the world door. I highly, highly recommend Heard’s book if you are having trouble teaching poetry to kids.
Because of the great poetry that is being written, I promised my students that I would find some places that publish kid’s poems. So far we have found a few contests they can enter. One is the Powell’s contest, where they can win a water bottle and $25 gift card. There is also a contest through Scholastic’s Instructor magazine. Does anyone else have any suggestions? We are interested in contests and publishing opportunities!