April is National Poetry Month. Help your kids celebrate by writing some poetry of their own and by creating a “poet tree.” The inspiration for this activity comes from the amazing children’s book author Shel Silverstein. Silverstein is best known for his quirky poems and books, particularly “The Giving Tree” and “Where The Sidewalk Ends.”  
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How to Create a Poet Tree

This activity is super easy. Head over to the author’s website ShelSilverstein.com, print the document double-sided, and cut out the leaves. One side of the paper  leaf has a poem written by Shel — including the inspiration for this activity “Poet Tree” — and the blank side is for your kiddo to create their own poem. 
Runny Babbit
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Once they’ve finished their poems, hang the leaves from trees in your yard. What a treat for your neighbors walking by! Also, post your finished Poet Tree to social media with the hashtag #ShelPoetTree to share your creations with the world. 
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Want some Poet Tree Inspiration? Read some Shel Silverstein Books

Are your kids unsure about what to write on their Poet Tree leaves? Inspire them by reading some of Shel Silverstein’s poems first. You can read the poems off the leaves, or enjoy one of his many books. Some of our favorites include “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” “Falling Up,” and “A Light in the Attic.” Your kids will adore his playful style and mind-bending rhymes, as well as his whimsical black and white illustrations.  https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwp8OLZnJbr/

More Educational Resources and Activities

The fun doesn’t end with the Poet Tree though. There are plenty of other ways to learn about reading and writing poetry. The author’s website is packed with educational activities and printouts that are inspired by Shel Silverstein’s books and poems. Lesson kits include everything from discussion questions and writing activities to free printables. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bh9-yj_h7x3/ Kids can also learn more about reading and writing poetry with the “Every Thing On It” pack, which includes more than 15 activities. While some are geared toward classrooms, many are easily adaptable to learning at home.  Now go forth, be silly, and have fun making your Poet Tree!


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  1. kids activities is great you guys…when you have 12 kids the conditioner playdough was a huge hit and soooo easy

  2. Thank you for this wonderful poetry activity and ideas. I am an elementary school librarian and Poetry was my theme for April so I am excited that I can offer this as an activity for my students. I am going to send it to my students to use during this time of quarantine (credit given to Liz Hall).
    Thank you again.
    Renee Ponder
    Sunset Acres Elementary School