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National Poetry Month: Useful Resources for Teachers and Students

'Tis National Poetry Month! In April, classrooms around the country will dive into the expressive art of poetry. Shakespeare, Frost, Yeats, the list goes on and on.

There are many great ways to bring poetry into the classroom, and whether it's reading, writing or performing prose, poetry can be a great way to engage students. To help you bring poetry into your classrooms, we've compiled a list of some of the best open resources.

  • National Poetry Month from Poets.org: What can I say, this is a one-stop-shop for all things National Poetry Month. Poets.org's resources features an insightful page for educators, as well as links to events going on around the country, a list of 30 ideas for celebrating, and information about Poem in Your Pocket Day on the 18th. There’s plenty of useful stuff here to keep your classroom busy throughout the month.
  • Poetry Lesson Plans from ReadWriteThink: There are a number of relevant lesson plans here for students of every grade level and reading ability. There’s also some great interactive media for classrooms, as well as links to outside websites focused on teaching poetry.
  • The Poetry Learning Lab from the Poetry Foundation: For students, the Poetry Learning Lab is a great source of knowledge, including a glossary of poetry terms, links to public domain poems, and inspiring essays on poetry from writers and educators. The Lab also features a useful page of teacher resources, as well, with outside links and original content.
  • Literacy Resources for National Poetry Month from Reading Rockets: Helping students improve as readers is the focus of Reading Rockets, and they’ve developed this resource to help teachers use poetry to improve young readers. There are interviews with poets, teaching resources and many other useful tidbits. For ELL classrooms, Reading Rockets’ sister site -- Colorin Colorado -- offers some great poetry links, as well.
  • Writing, Reading and Understanding Poetry from The National Writing Project: Writing poetry is all about expression, and this resource from the NWP offers tips for helping students hone their ability as bards. There’s also great ideas for teaching students how to read poetry, links to poetry programs throughout the country, and plans for using podcasting as a medium for verse.
  • Selected Works from Public Domain Poems: This is a great place for students to explore the works of many of our favorites poets, from Oscar Wilde to Robert Frost. All of the poems are in the public domain and are open and accessible for classrooms. A great place to direct students in April.

From the Edutopia Vault:

Each year, Edutopia’s bloggers and staff put together extremely useful and insightful blogs. These are a few of our most popular from the last few years, mostly geared toward National Poetry Month.

More Quick Poetry Reads:

There were some many great poetry resources for teachers, that it was hard to round them all up. Here’s a few more useful links from around the Web, but be sure to let us know if we've missed anything.

Comments (3)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Sue Wise's picture
Sue Wise
Prof. Dev. Provider --Teaching with Primary Sources Consortium

The Library of Congress has millions of free primary sources and teacher resources. Here is a just small sampling useful for National Poetry Month:
* Literature and Poetry lesson plans (grades 3-12) http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/themes/literature/lessonp...
* Found Poetry (primary source set) http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/poetry/
* Poetry and Literature (resource page) http://www.loc.gov/poetry/
* From the Catbird Seat (blog) http://blogs.loc.gov/catbird/
* Poetry 180 (a poem a day for American high schools) http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/

ajr1206's picture
Educator, Author, Mentor, Consultant

Thanks for all the terrific ideas and links posted so far.
In invite you take a look at some of resources on my website including this one: Poetry Notebook: Product and Performance
Students do research gathering biographical info on poet, selecting poems on theme, on topic, or by same author; model (pattern) poem(s), write original poems, write review (evaluation), memorize and recite poetry. Interim due dates make grading manageable and create formative assessments throughout the unit.

Melanie Link Taylor's picture
Melanie Link Taylor
Educator, Blogger, Southern California

Poetry to inspire, comfort, surprise, delight. Necessary, since we are poets all.

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