Thursday, 30 April 2015

Prepping for a Poetry Cafe

Now that April is coming to a close, it's time to celebrate our wonderful poetry writing activities with a poetry cafe.  We have worked on developing wonderful poems for our open house next week.  As a final task, students will be asked to choose their favourite poem to read out loud. My goal is to transform the class into a fun cafe setting.  Here's the plan:

1)  Have students choose the poem they are proudest of.  Place the poem in a folder.

2)  Have students practice reciting their poems.  Some may choose to do this from memory.  Others may decide to use the page that's in the folder.

3)  Talk about voice projection!  I usually have students stand opposite a partner across the room.  They can project their voice.  Then the partner moves to the halfway point of the room. Voices are then projected to the halfway mark.  The partner moves close enough (within an earshot) for the last reading.  Voice projections are important.  I start with a warm up such as "Today is a wonderful day."  We practiced this yesterday.  Students were encouraged to put on their best voices.

4)  So, poetry cafe day arrives.  Then what?  Make sure you have some tealight candles.  These must be the ones that you don't have to use a lighter to light.  I bought mine around Christmas when they were readily available.  They are distributed around the room.  Our desks are transformed into cafe tables.  You may choose to turn off most of the lights.
5) Have an author's stool or special chair for your budding authors.  Students are encouraged to wear author hats and dark clothing.

6) Students will come up and read their poems.  No clapping after that!  We use our snapping fingers.

7)  End with some cafe treats.  I often serve baked goods and juice boxes.
Above is a list of the poetry forms studied.  



  1. What a cute, yet simple way to make the kids feel extra special while reading their poems. I love the lights out and tea lights on with desks pushed into pods for the cafe feel. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Glad you like it. Enjoy your poetry cafe.