You can collect anthologies from the library, set up stations with access to various poetry websites you like, or have students bring in books of poetry from home. I remind students to write down the names of any poems or poets that strike them, but beyond that, it’s a free reading day.
I have seven tables around my room, each featuring a different genre - realistic fiction, historical fiction, dystopian novels, poetry, graphic novels, self-help, and creative nonfiction.
The "menu" gives a brief description of the genre, which the students will record on their handout in addition to taking their own notes about the genre based on what they notice about the commonalities found in the books at their selected table. During August, the local thrift store near my home used to have $1 bag days.
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Previously, in two other schools where I have led whole-school CPD, I have limited the creative options in training sessions for staff.
At the close of the semester, this activity was rated by students as one of their favorites, so I thought I would share how I set up this activity with my high school students in case others want to give it a try with their students this fall. So let's start with the most important aspect of this whole activity - the books.
One of the first questions that I've got from other teachers about this activity has to do with the books themselves. Looking at my classroom library and what my students have been gravitating toward the past few years, I established "menus" for each table featuring a different genre.Perhaps I am at fault for my own set of expectations; plus the context of the school and the school priorities of that time should be kept in mind, but this evening, I led a staff CPD session that was innovative, creative and engaging.Today, we offered teachers time to talk about teaching and drive grassroots pedagogy. I did ask staff very clearly, that if this session was of no value to them, then they must let me know so that I can ensure that we develop our CPD vision to become more meaningful to them; to have immediate and direct impact in the classroom.Last year, I decided to add a new element to my poetry unit, Poetry Speed-dating.This simple activity allows students to explore some poetry in a low-stakes way. Find a variety of poetry books and anthologies for students to browse.The basic process of interviewing candidates for open positions hasn’t changed very much in the last century, despite radical changes in how people socialize and interact both in and out of the workplace.