There is just something about pocket-sized anything that is so appealing!
I’ll be honest, I had never heard of of Poem in Your Pocket Day until I read this post by Shannon Miller. Here is a description of Poem in Your Pocket Day from the Academy of American Poets:
Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem.
Poem in Your Pocket Day was originally initiated in 2002 by the Office of the Mayor, in partnership with the New York City Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education, as part of the city’s National Poetry Month celebration. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative to all fifty United States, encouraging individuals around the country to join in and channel their inner bard. In 2016, the League of Canadian Poets extended Poem in Your Pocket Day to Canada.
Poem in Your Pocket Day 2016 was held on April 21.
I just knew my classes had to participate!
I started with awesome poetry from the Poetry 180 program. Poetry 180 is designed to bring a different poem to high school students each day of the school year. I sampled a few of the poems before sharing it with my sixth graders and found them to be appropriate. [Note, I would use caution with younger students. You may want to hand-select poems from the site to provide age-appropriate reading material for the younger grades.]
I let the children analyze two poems using the Poetry Peace Map Method by Lauren Candler. You can preview this method of exploring poetry with this link. They selected their favorite, and edited this Canva from Shannon Miller with their poems. We printed three copies on standard paper. We placed one copy in our pockets, put another copy in a basket, and a third copy was hung outside our classrooms to celebrate and share! I also adjusted the document, selected four of my favorites, and printed four to a page. I placed them outside of my classroom for students and teachers place in their pockets. The more, the merrier!
The students were surprised to find that they actually liked some of the poems. In fact, I have even caught some of them reading from Poetry 180 during Free Reading time! I would highly encourage you to participate for Poem in Your Pocket Day next year.