poetry
in the classroom

Poetry in the Classroom aims to introduce students to basic concepts of poetry, bring professional writers into classrooms, and to publish, perform and share student writing about place with the community

About Elk River’s

poetry in the classroom

Poetry in the Classroom is a collaboration between Elk River Arts & Lectures, Park County Environmental Council and the Livingston School District that grew out of a partnership with Humanities Montana launching their Gather Round program, encouraging community-wide conversations about “hearth” and place.

The aims of the project are to introduce students to basic concepts of poetry, integrate ideas of place into student writing, bring professional writers into classrooms, create relationships between local poets and teachers, and to publish, perform and share student writing about place with the community.

In 2019, local poets partnered with fifth grade educators to work with 100 Livingston students exploring the themes of community, identity, and place. Many of those poems were subsequently chosen to be published in a chapbook based on the project.

Two of those young poets, Brandt Carter and Juliana Buchans, read at the Gather Round event, alongside world-renowned authors Chigozie Obioma, Carl Safina, and Debra Magpie Earling.

In Poetry in the Classroom, we encourage students and poets to consider their place on this earth, posing the question: How does where you are shape who you are?

Then they are asked to write a poem that reflects what they feel is most important about Park County, Montana.

The project reinforces concepts of writing that are already taught in the fifth grade, including the difference between poetry and other forms of writing, imagery, voice, sensory detail and figurative language.

In 2022, Elk River Arts & Lectures board member Earl Craig, a recent Montana poet laureate, will inspire a new crop of students to explore their world through Haiku in a program that will culminate in the publication of an illustrated chapbook and a public reading of the students’ work on Earth Day.