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Character Education

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Digital Learning

Make a Splash in April

April is Poetry Month, National Card and Letter Writing Month, and even contains National Cleaning for a Reason Week! (That probably won't be happening here. Even if I tell you it might.)

I found more than 220 observances for April online, but of course the two that stand out most strongly in our classrooms are Earth Day and Poetry Month. (True, at least, in my classroom!) I love poetry, have always taught it all through the year, but I've always loved making a really big splash with it in April. I hope you'll love this idea as much as my students have!

In my opinion, nothing freshens a lesson and gets the attention of your students like art! Add an activity or craftivity and watch their interest in writing poetry bloom anew!

Just one idea with many variations: Try "publishing" your students' original poem as flowers!

Hope the blooms above got your attention! The one on the left was done with liquid drawing ink and a sponge, embellished with fine point and extra fine point permanent Sharpies.  The one on the right? Bingo dabbers! Easy-peasy for sure!  Of course, the poem is written in the center circle. I just whipped these up in no time at all in my kitchen this morning. (My favorite place to work. It's where the coffee lives!)
Here's the "how to":

For the flower on the left, you will need large backline flowers with a large central circle. I printed the flowers on cardstock, cut them out, and flipped to trace onto watercolor paper.

I was able to get watercolor paper with quite a bit of "tooth" (texture) at Michael's! On sale! With a teacher discount! (You may need to ask for it and show your teaching badge. Or use a coupon.) Just as with baking, the better your ingredients, the better the finished product!

Did not cut the flower outline just yet!
Next, I wet the entire surface of the paper, using a natural sponge. (Also from Michael's! Kids love to use real artist's materials. They can often be found at the same cost as "play" ones.)


 Above: Wetting the paper, dropping liquid watercolors on the page (I used liquid drawing inks.), and finally just a little more sponging with a slightly wet sponge to blend just a little. Staying in the lines is not required since we will be cutting around the outline only.

 Above: Using fine and then extra fine Sharpies, add veins to the leaves and then go around the color splashes in the zig-zaggy way they have dried naturally. Neon circle glued to the center to add the poem.


Above: Bingo dabbers. Two minutes. Seriously.

Blacklines for all of the above, plus posters with four poetry forms and poetry samples in full color and grayscale, can be found by clicking here:

Markers or colored pencils or crayons will also work in this Poetry Flowers project, with a lot less prep, and a little less splash! Your choice! 

You may also like these ideas for making a splash in April:

For more great April ideas, check out our April Teacher Talk!