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April Is Poetry Month!

Poetry Lessons

Education World editors have gathered poetry resources from our archive to help teachers everywhere celebrate National Poetry Month. Below you will find the following resources:

  • Poetry Lesson Plans
  • Teacher-Submitted Lesson Plans
  • More Poetry Activities and Projects
  • Poetry Articles and Resources




Thirty Poets in Thirty Days
As the principal poet in your school, take a look at Thirty Poets/Thirty Days, a free online event in April that spotlights never-before-seen poems from popular poets.

Turn Your Students Into Well-Versed Poets
More than 20 poetry lesson plans help teachers develop "well-versed" students. Stage a poetry slam for profit, find the funniest poems around, write synonym poems, more! Included: Links to poetry sites, rubrics, and sites that publish student poetry!

Invent Your Own Poetry Form: An End-of-the-Year Activity!
Attack poetry from a new angle: After students have tried their hands at writing traditional poetry, invite them to invent their own poetry forms. Included: Some results from Glori Chaika's junior high students.

Hink Pinks
Do you know what hink pinks are? How about hinky pinkies or hinkety pinketies? This fun activity builds vocabulary was it exercises rhyming and syllabication. Students will enjoy coming up with clues and trying to fool you or others.

Teaching Japanese Poetry Writing
Haiku can be a way through which children can express their inner souls, a window through which one can see a child's world.

Poetry Slam Cures the Mid-Winter Blahs
Educator Brenda Dyck reflects on how she used a Poetry Slam to refocus her students during the winter blahs. She shares how her students took this 1980s art form and turned it into an opportunity to connect with their peers and teachers. Included: Benchmarks for student presentations plus links to additional poetry-slam resources.

A Favorite Poem
Students explore a variety of poems, find one poem they feel a particular connection to, and share that poem by reading it aloud to their classmates. Students then create videos of their readings to share with other classes.

Poetry Slam, PowerPoint Style
Students select poems, create PowerPoint presentations that use graphics and text to enhance those poems, and then display their presentations as they read their poems aloud.

Seventh Graders Writing Italian Sonnets? You Bet!
Glori Chaika's students at Slidell (Louisiana) Junior High School are among the most-often published poets in the country. Take a look at a program that has kids writing all kinds of poems---from quatrains to limericks to (yes!) Italian sonnets.

Calling on the Muse: Exercises to Unlock the Poet Within
I think that I shall never see ... well-disciplined creativity! Don't despair! The experts -- working poets who teach their craft -- share their secrets for instructing and inspiring budding poets. Included: Exercises to help students access their creative powers.

WebQuest: Create a Poetry Presentation
Team members take on the roles of writers for an imaginary publishing firm interested in publishing a book of poetry for young people. After studying different types of poetry, teams select poems for a collection.


Spring Poetry Unit
Poems and art activities transform primary classroom bulletin boards and serve as a wall-to-wall portfolio of student work -- just in time for parent-teacher conferences. Submitted by Martha Leslie, Centennial Elementary, Spanaway, Washington.

A Mirror Into History
Students use a format (provided) to create poems about themselves. Then they research the lives of historical figures and use the same format to write poems about those famous people. Submitted by Monique Arnold, Bremond (Texas) Independent School District.

Creating and Presenting Haiku With Kid Pix
Students learn about the history and characteristics of haiku poetry and use Kid Pix to present original haiku. Submitted by Denise Stumpf, Muhlenberg Elementary Center, Penn State University, Laureldale, Pennsylvania.

Getting-to-Know-You List Poem
Students construct and illustrate a list poem that expresses personal likes and dislikes. This lesson is effective at the beginning of the year or at the start of a poetry unit. Submitted by Ruth Henck McCreery, Visitation School, Kansas City, Missouri.

Poetry Shopping Spree
K. Pittman, who teaches at Pickens (South Carolina) High School, submitted this lesson in which students go on a "poetry shopping spree."

Poetry: A Picture of Your Feelings (or No, Virginia, Poetry Doesn't Have to Rhyme)
After a series of lessons on poetic elements, the class goes on a field trip. Students paint a picture and write a poem about most memorable spot on the trip. Submitted by Sue Atkins, Spring Hill Elementary School, Spring Hill, Florida.


Sites to See: Poetry
These poetry sites provide teachers and students with practical help for writing poetry, resources for poet studies, and opportunities to experience the sheer pleasure of reading poetry. Included: Poetry sites for students and teachers.

A Poetry Slam Cures the Midwinter Blahs
Educator Brenda Dyck reflects on how her students took this 1980s art form and turned it into an opportunity to connect with peers. Included: Benchmarks for student presentations, additional poetry-slam resources.

Did You See That Poem?
Fifth and sixth graders in Saskatchewan, Canada, used video technology to turn a language arts unit into "poetry in motion." Included: Tips for creating video projects with your students.

Apple and Pumpkin PIE (Poetry Is Exciting)
One teacher's successful "Apple a Day" Internet project has spawned a new project. Join teacher Susan Silverman in the "Pumpkin Patch" this year. Getting involved is as easy as pie!


Voice of Experience: Poetry Writing: A Comprehension Tool Across the Curriculum
Educator Max Fischer's most recent Aha! moment came when he let students use poetry to demonstrate their comprehension of the history curriculum. Now Fischer has one more tool for engaging students, one more tool for his growing "bag of tricks."

Peeing in the Ool and Other Favorite Kids' Poems
Kenn Nesbitt is the author of The Aliens Have Landed! a collection of humorous poems for children. His zany and whimsical poetry has appeared in children's poetry anthologies all over planet Earth. Included: Links to poetry resources for teachers.

A Good Poem Will Give You Goose Bumps!
Discover, in the words of poet Kenn Nesbitt, how you can engage kids with poetry. Included: Five reasons why poetry is important plus five ways to engage kids with poetry!

Rhyme Time: Poetry Plans and Projects
"If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry," said Emily Dickinson. But poetry need not be a painful experience. Bring poetry into your classroom through monitor and modem with the help of these activities!

A Poem a Day...
U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins says now is the time to make a 180-degree turn in your approach to poetry in the classroom. Teachers say he's right. Included: Contributions from students whose opinion of poetry has made a 180 turn.

Updated: 4/01/2015