Got a poem in your pocket?

On Poem in Your Pocket Day, second graders at Earl Shapiro Hall greeted librarians, teachers, nurses, and other faculty and staff members with recitations of Shel Silverstein, Wendell Berry, and other authors, including some of their own original poems.

As part of National Poetry Month, Samantha Perrault's class spent time learning about the language of poetry and reading its storied authors. In response, students spent time writing their own poems, starting with All About Me, poems of their own identities and self expression.

When Poem in Your Pocket Day came around on April 29, students chose a poem they liked, printed it out on a piece of paper, folded it up, and put it in their pocket. With their assistant teacher Lorraine Rua-Figuero and classroom monitor Alexa Greene, groups of two to three students walked the halls greeting any adult they could find, pulling out their poems, and performing recitations that would have delighted even Langston Hughes (Lab's 1949 poet-in-residence).

In addition to learning sentence structure—subjects, verbs, adjectives—students also garnered understanding of syllables and synonyms and reinforced social emotional learning by connecting with others and striking up conversations with adults. A virtual book of the students' poetry is in the works with computer science teacher Lisa Harrison to be published later this month.

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