National Poetry Month (April)
Poetry Month Resources
National Poetry Month provides educators with an opportunity to include poetry in the curriculum and encourage students to explore and appreciate the achievement of American poets. Adlit.org's National Poetry Month page offers ideas to help students develop a love of verse.
General Poetry Resources
The following websites have loads of background resources on poets and poems.
- Poets.org is a website dedicated to poetry all year long. Visit their poetry resources for teens for information on poetic forms, literary trends, book recommendations, poems teens like, and downloadable reading guides for Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, and Walt Whitman.
- The Poetry Foundation has a poetry tool that lets you search for poems by category, title occasion, and fist line. Visit the website to hear a reading of their poem of the day or read How to Read a Poem (and Fall in love with Poetry) — a wonderful introduction to the genre that includes strategies for reading poems.
Poetry Reading Lists
AdLit.org has two poetry-themed booklists for struggling and reluctant readers.
In the Classroom
- Want a comprehensive list of poets, their poetry, and accompanying lesson plans? Check out the resources at WebEnglishTeacher.
- Scholastic offers a comprehensive range of poetry resources, including units on poetry slams, a glossary of poetic terms, printable poetry prompts, booklists, and videos with prominent poets.
- Visit the Poetry Learning Lab for articles, essays, annotated poems, related study guides, writing ideas, and teaching tips.
- Poetry isn't just for English Language Arts classes. The Favorite Poem Project has organized their poems to support content-area teachers in History & Social Studies, Visual Arts, even foreign languages.
- Make poetry a part of your classroom all year long. Participate in Billy Collins's Poetry 180 project and get a poem every day to share with your students.
- Looking for a thematic approach to teaching poetry? Poets.org offers ideas for incorporating poetry units that feature women poets, verse about war, poetry as social commentary, and more.
- Use literary devices like simile, metaphor, and imagery, in this creative lesson on riddle poems.
- With poetry, every word counts. This ReadWriteThink minilesson explores what makes a poem a poem and asks students to create their own one-sentence poems.
- Watch poets read their poetry — a different poet and poem each day!
Just for Fun
- Get a poem in your email inbox every day during the month of April.
- Looking for a fun way to get students to read their poetry, incorporating memorization, movement, and performance? Sign up for Poetry Out Loud's National Recitation Contest.
- Try the Emily Dickinson Poem of the Week Word Search or poem quiz.