Poetry Month Resources

Please feel free to add your own resources and we ask that you contact Janet by email if you discover a dead link. Thanks!

General Resources:

Audio and Podcasts

Book Spine Poetry (fun library project - bulletin board?)

Cowboy Poetry

The Envelope Project (Great 45 minute lesson)

Flash Poetry Generator

Free Stenhouse Sampler Poetry Lesson Plans

Guerilla Poetics - Imagine hiding poems all over your school and having students post them on your bulletin board and tagging a school map of where they've been found!

How To Recite a Poem

Instant Poetry Forms

Lesson Plans

National Poetry Month - lots of resources - free poster!

PBS Activity Kit

Photo Poems

Pocket Poems

The Poetry Tool - an excellent resource for finding poems in full-text and finding articles about poetry and poets.

Scholastic Poetry Resources and Lessons

Search for a Poem

TeachingBooks.net (multimedia clips)

Elementary Resources:


Nursery Rhymes

Poetry Webquest

Celebrating Shel Silverstein

Wild About Poetry (intermediate/middle)



Children's Haiku Garden

Links adaptable to SMART lessons

LiveBinder - Poetry Pathfinders

NCTE Poetry Lesson Plans

Nursery Rhyme Coloring Sheets

Outta Ray's Head (Be sure to scroll down to see the unit outline!)

Fun Poetry Generator (SMART)

Share That Poem!

Shel Silverstein IGames and Puzzles

Shannon WilsonMar 15, 2010 11:18 AM

I use music to teach poetry. I use Vivaldi's the four seasons music to write descriptive images from nature, then turn them into poems about the seasons.

Kristen HeckelMar 22, 2010 1:54 PM

I am in love with the Poetry spine label activity but can see it being a shelving nightmare. To avoid this, I made up a simple handout where the kids can just write down the title, cut them out and arrange them into a poem. This way the books don't come off the shelves unnecessarily and they only focus on the title, not the jacket, "liner notes," or the plot. It is just a one column Microsoft Word document with 20-ish rows. Here are the directions I sent to my teachers:

1. Write down 20-25 interesting book titles they see just by spotting the book on the shelf, no reading of the covers or jackets allowed. (I have attached a generic handout that would work fine) You can choose to explain the assignment before hand or totally leave them in the dark as to why they are doing this. Being the sadist I am, I wouldn't say a word.
2. Send students back to their seat, cut out the titles and arrange into a poem. You may give them a minimum number of titles they must use or you can give them all the freedom in the world.
3. Glue titles onto a piece of paper and...voila! instant poetry.
*It might be fun to let the kids do a title swap with any left overs they aren't using.

Janet LanhamMar 23, 2010 1:12 PM

From Sarah Woo of Holten Richmond Middle School:
"We've had a lot of success with poetry this year. A colleague and I went to Robert Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project Institute last summer and have introduced his ideas and our enthusiasm to students and colleagues this year. We started by requiring the students to read one poetry title in the summer. See my library site for details:

We've done a lot with it this year, but what's been most successful for people has been just having students develop their own favorite poem anthologies throughout the year, modeled after Pinsky's project.

Basically, the main point is that students just enjoy the poems - they don't analyze them, they don't try to figure them out - at least not with anything teacher-directed - they just read lots of poems and choose their favorites. They might have to say why they liked it, or why they felt connected to it, or very occasionally do a reflection, but mostly it's just to find 20 or 25 poems over the course of the year that they really like, and write them out, and create an anthology. It has been a bit hard for some teachers to let go of the analysis, but Pinsky's main point is that the anthology is to encourage enjoyment. Each month I send 3 carts of poems to the three 8th grade ELAs and they drop everything to peruse poetry books. I think they try to choose at least 2 a month to add to their anthology.

We've had lots of offshoots of this - people getting the books for a few days one month and then having a poetry slam after a couple of weeks....people in various subjects just sharing poems once in a while....and we had an evening of favorite poems last week in which several students had met some senior citizens in town, talked about their favorite poems, and then read them for an audience at the senior center - this event benefited our local food pantry: attendees donated items for the pantry, and we had a bake sale. We've done a small anthology of favorite poems ourselves - we didn't get as many students as we planned, not for lack of interest, but just for lack of time to create the DVD...

I've noticed a big increase in kids checking out poetry for fun in the library - circulation of poetry was almost non-existent before.

That's about it!"

Janet LanhamMar 25, 2013 2:26 PM

(Share with permission from list post)
Here’s an idea for encouraging students to read lots and lots of poetry. I used to do this years ago with high school freshmen.

Their project for our poetry unit was to create a gift of poetry for someone specific. They had to package the gift in an appropriate way (they could create something to package the poems in, they could create a lovely scrapbook for the poems, etc.) (examples, some copied their poems on grandfather clock shaped pages and the poems were a gift to a grandfather). When they turned in their projects, they also had to provide an essay telling me why who their gift was going to be for, why they had selected the particular poems for that person and why they had packaged their poems in that particular way. Of course, their gifts of poetry were returned to them so they could actually present the gifts later.

My students read more poems than they ever would have read had I assigned specific poems to read. At the beginning of each class, I did a brief lesson (maybe on metaphor, or on ballads, or narrative poetry – just a brief lesson that addresses various aspects of the 9th grade poetry curriculum. After that their time was spent reading and selecting poems for their poetry gifts.

So, that’s an idea, but not a specific lesson plan.

Janet LanhamApr 18, 2014 9:39 AM

From Paula Eads of Lancaster Elementary
A while back, someone posted an Easter activity of hiding Easter eggs with a poem inside. I did that this year starting this past Monday. I didn't announce it, I just hid a dozen eggs with a poem inside which is attached. This has been one of the best things I have done all year! The whole school is on the hunt! After all 12 eggs are found, I re-hide them to go again. When they bring me their egg, I give them a piece of candy or two. I am on my 4th bag of candy in 4 days. Surprisingly, it is the teachers who are hunting the hardest! I really didn't want to put too many rules in play, but I have had to tell some of the teacher's own kids that they can't look before the other kids are released in the morning, and I have had to ask some persistent types to only bring me one and leave the rest for someone else to find.