Yesterday I stayed after school to complete our "Poetry Madness" bulletin board. At our March meeting we began talking about what we wanted to do for our final weeks as ambassadors M said, "April we always have poetry writing. Maybe we could do something with poetry."
"Yes, April is National Poetry Month," I added smiling.
There was a pause and then T spoke up, "I love poetry. Maybe we could do something like March Madness with the poetry."
The room started to rumble as one ambassador after another jumped on board with her idea. Before long it was determined that we would each bring a favorite poetry book if we had one to our next meeting and choose books for a "Poetry Madness" challenge for our school.
Last week students arrived with their poetry books. Our media specialist, Jill Merkle, had collected a stack of favorites for the ambassadors to review. Being a poetry fan myself, I brought some of my favorites to the meeting. The first part of the meeting was spent talking about the poetry we brought and then reviewing the other books. Toward the end of the meeting each ambassador took six post-its and began selecting their favorites. Each post-it was one vote and ambassadors could use more than one vote on a poetry book they really liked. We then selected the sixteen books for the competition based upon their votes. We seeded these books for the challenge.
Following the model of March Book Madness, voting will begin on Tuesday. Our board is people/life poetry vs. nature/pets poetry. I'm a little excited that one of my favorites, Forest has a Song by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, is a number one seed in the brackets. Let's hope my favorite does a little better in this event than my favorite did in the March Madness Picture Book Challenge. (Yes, I'm still a little sad that Wolfie the Bunny didn't win.)
Next week, our reading ambassadors will begin to talk about the poetry books and our event with the students in their classrooms during morning meetings. We'll be running advertisements for voting on our school news each week. The poetry books selected have been placed on reserve in the library for students to read as they visit the media center. During the final weeks, the ambassadors hope to read one poem from each of the remaining books to their classrooms. What a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month!