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April is National Poetry Month

Using poetry for practicing braille skills and to have students express themselves through this form of writing is a win, win!

Notebook with the word POETRY written on it.

History of Poetry Month

The success of Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March led to the initiation of National Poetry Month in April by The Academy of National Poets. The first-ever National Poetry Month was celebrated in 1996, but the history of poetry itself goes back to about thousands of years ago. To learn more about the history of poetry and the forms of poetry go to National Today’s Poetry Article.

National Braille Press

As part of U.S. National Poetry Month, National Braille Press will be holding two virtual poetry circles on Wednesday, April 26th. The theme of this year’s poetry circles is ‘Beauty.’ What is beauty? What does beauty mean to you? If you sign up, then you will have the opportunity to share a poem about beauty. It could be a poem written by yourself or another author. This year, we are holding two sessions so everyone has a chance to participate.

The first 100 individuals who sign up will receive a print/braille refrigerator magnet, which has this quote from Helen Keller: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” Sign Up

APH Blog: Using Poetry to Build Braille Literacy

Author: Sarah Bradley

National Poetry Month in April is an opportunity for everyone to create and marvel at the beauty of poetry. Not only is poetry a requirement within the Common Core Standards, but it is also an excellent way to incorporate many lessons on braille contractions and formatting rules.  Participate in the following poetry lesson to learn how to write your own poem using an APH Light-Touch Perkins Brailler.

Poetry is used throughout education to learn and practice many types of writing and comprehension skills. Have you ever considered all the braille skills that can be used when reading and writing poetry? The different poetic styles allow the incorporation of braille contractions, proofreading, and braille format planning, as well as the official rules of Poetry and Song Formats. If you do not feel comfortable with poetry, do not stress! There are great resources, such as Poetry Writing Lessons for Kids and Introducing Students to Writing Poetry with Formula Poems, that give a great overview of the types of poems with examples. Many students using refreshable braille devices do not get the chance to read paper braille poems and experience the rhythm that comes with the formatting of poetry.


  • APH Light-Touch Perkins Brailler
  • Braille Paper


The student will use braille contractions to write a Rhyming Couplets poem.


  1. Determine the contractions to be used in the lesson. For this example, I chose ENCE, ANCE, CH, and ST.
  2. Introduce Rhyming Couplets poetry. Rhyming Couplets are a two-lined stanza with a rhyme scheme following the AA BB CC pattern.
  3. Emboss and preview a page of Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham text. Have the student notice the rhythm and rhyming. Ask the student to notice the line breaks and where they occur. Do they notice a pattern? Why do they think line breaks are important?
  4. Prewriting: Brainstorm a topic that is of high interest to the student. For this example, my student chose braille.
  5. Have the student write a list of at least 5 words with each contraction. For this lesson example, the student chose:
    1. Essence, sentence, presence, absence, difference
    2. Chance, distance, importance, brilliance, stance
    3. Past, last, start, strong, first
    4. Chance, catch, chart, batch, touch
  6. Drafting: Have the student braille basic sentences incorporating the brainstorming words.
  7. Revising: Ask the student to read aloud what they have written, and ask the following questions:
    1. How does it sound? Does it have rhythm?
    2. Does it make sense?
    3. Are there any spelling, punctuation, or braille errors?
  1. Editing: Have the student braille the poem on a fresh piece of paper.
  2. Publishing: Have your student share their work with teachers, friends, family and/or display their work in the classroom or hallway

April is National Poetry Month title and a picture of a journal with the word POETRY written on it.
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