Readers and writers have strong – and disparate – opinions about the “right” way to read a poem. Worse yet, there’s wide disagreement among accomplished and highly educated poets, too. There’s really only one point we all agree on—poems are meant to be read aloud. Beyond that, it gets dicey, but here are some things to consider.

For starters, I’d always have one board that mimics a strategy I use in my writer’s notebook. I’d teach the strategy and invite students to try it—not only to try it in their notebooks but to post their ideas on the bulletin board as well. I’d choose a strategy that will serve students across genres so we can continue to fill the board for months at a time, just as I want them to re-use “old” strategies in their notebooks throughout the year, storing up ideas and inspiration for writing projects they haven’t even thought of (or I haven’t assigned) yet. After all, that’s exactly what I do in my writer’s notebook.