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Bringing Poetry to the Classroom, Grades 9-12

April is National Poetry Month

Found In: language arts, 9-12

Lesson Plans

Letters from Emily Dickinson: 'Will you be my preceptor?' In three lessons, students in grades 9-12 explore Dickinson's poetry and letters, analyze her poetry, and emulate her writing style.

Discovering Traditional Sonnet Forms
Students in grades 9-12 read and analyze sonnets to discover their traditional forms.

Women in Poetry
In this unit, students in grades 10-12 explore contemporary poetry with diverse themes pertaining to women.

The Literature of War
In this unit, students in grades 10-12 read and respond to poems pertaining to war.


Poetry Read-a-Thon
Students in grades K-12 choose poems to read and then write prose “responses” to the poems they read. Students keep a reading log and respond to elements of the poem in 75-100 words.

Poem in Your Pocket
Teachers and students in grades K-12 can celebrate National Poem In Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 27, 2017. Select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends.

Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month With The New York Times
A selection of activities for K-12 students.

What Memorable Poetry Have You Ever Read or Heard?
Students in grades 9-12 can share their experiences with verse on the Learning Network blog.

Poetry Out Loud
Out Loud is a contest that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization and recitation.

Background Resources

Tips for Teaching Poetry For K-12 teachers, here are a number of ways to bring poetry into the classroom.

Celebrate National Poetry Month (Scholastic)
Webcasts, lessons, poetry prompts from well-known poets help inspire your young poets, for K-12.

April is National Poetry Month! (ReadWriteThink)
K-12 lesson plans and activities.

Poetry (National Council of Teachers of English)
K-12 lessons and exercises, themed journals, and galleries of writing.

Find Poetry (
Browse poems in archive by title, first line, author last name or by occasion, for K-12.

Poems & Poets (Poetry Foundation)
A multi-approach search tool for poetry, for K-12.

National Poetry Month: Celebrating World Poetry
Lessons and websites covering different poetic forms developed across time and around the world, for K-12.

Curriculum & Lesson Plans (
Essays and tips on teaching poetry, unit plans, a teacher discussion forum, and more, for grades 9-12.

Poetry (Poetry Society)
Essays on poetry by poets and audio readings, for grades 9-12.

Open Door: Harriet the Blog
Harriet is the news blog of the Poetry Foundation. “Open Door” features audio, video, and other online media to document dynamic interactions between poetry and its audience. For grades 9-12.


The Poetry Foundation (K-12)


Audio & Podcasts (Poetry Foundation)
Readings of poems and interviews with poets.


last updated: February 21, 2017



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Michael Rosen is a website dedicated to imparting the love of poetry to your K-12 learners. Use these resources for teachers, news, videos and podcasts for adults and much more.


Join the NEA Foundation's National Poetry Month Challenge! Inspired by a Maryland high school student: how educators, students, and poetry-lovers can celebrate the love of poetry.