Ideas for celebrating National Poetry Month in the Classroom

March 10, 2020



National Poetry Month takes place every April. I'm pretty sure I love the month-long celebration of poets and poems as much as students love a snow day!

National Poetry Month first began in 1996. It is organized by the American Academy of Poets as a way to build awareness and appreciation of poetry.  Since its creation, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world. Wow! Pretty cool, right? Publishers, poets, libraries, and book vendors celebrate National Poetry Month, so it only makes sense for teachers and students to celebrate too.

I've put together a list of really easy ways to celebrate National Poetry Month all April long. In addition, I've compiled my favorite poetry lessons (many of them FREE) --- just click right here. I hope you'll find an idea or two to bring into your classroom.


Ways to teach poetry and poems to students in the middle school classroom.


Ready to get celebrating National Poetry Month? It's easy, you can...



1. READ POEMS. During the month of April challenge your students to read and analyze poems. You can easily do this, just...

--- Compile poems to share at the beginning of each class. Check out the Poem-a-Day poetry at poets.org.

--- Challenge every student to find a poem to read to the class and take turns sharing them each day.



--- Teach students how to actively read and analyze poems with detailed (and fun) lessons. Find a set of 5 poems and 20 analysis tasks right here.





2. SHARE POEMS. Make poetry extra special by finding poems that you think each student might like and share them with each person. For instance, give this poem to a student who loves basketball, or this poem to a student dreaming of a vacation. Give poems away in fun ways...

--- Tape poems for particular students to their lockers or desks.

--- Slip a poem into a colleague's mailbox.



--- Dedicate a poem to a particular person in the school and have it read over the school's loudspeakers. Some of my favorite poems are right here.




3. WRITE POEMS. There's no better way to celebrate National Poetry Month than to create new poems. Poetry writing lessons can be so fun! Here are a few of my favorite lessons...

--- Extended Cinquain Poem - I love this poem lesson because students experiment with a traditional form and make it their own! Download it for FREE here!

--- Spring Poem - Combine parts of speech and poetry with this FREE poetry lesson.



--- Pinwheel Poem - This lesson is also FREE! Students write a poem filled with couplets and turn it into a pinwheel.





4. RESEARCH POETS. When I was in 6th grade, I researched Maya Angelou. That biography report changed my life. I was inspired by her triumphs and profoundly impacted by her poetry.

--- Give students a chance to have a similar experience by letting them research poets. After they are done learning about the poet, they can compile their learning onto this fun Doodle Biography Book Report.


--- Learn about poets and their poems with these unique Poet and Poem Studies. Students can learn all about Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, and Langston Hughes with the doodle articles and notes. Then, they can analyze a poem by each poet.





5. LISTEN. The beauty of poetry is often how lovely or terrifying or melancholy it sounds when it is read out loud. Celebrate listening to the poetic form by...

--- Listening to poets read their own poetry. Check out 65 videos here.

--- Playing music with poetic elements like the rhyme in Joe Jackson's "Summer in the City".



--- Sharing poems with incredible sounds devices like "Cynthia in the Snow" by Gwendolyn Brooks.



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National Poetry Month is a wonderful reminder to celebrate poetry. I hope you and your students find ways to enjoy poetry all April long! If you're looking for some ready-to-go poetry lessons, sign up to receive 5 exclusive "Poet Treats" in your email inbox.


Free lessons to teach poetry!

Thanks for stopping by!
Mary Beth



Ways to celebrate National Poetry Month! This collection of easy ways to teach students about poets and poetry during the month of April will help make teaching poetry a breeze! You'll find free poetry lessons and tons of fresh ideas in this collection of ways to celebrate National Poetry Month!






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