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Five Lesson Plan Ideas to Celebrate National Poetry Month

by Sara Qualls
5 lesson plan ideas for celebrating National Poetry Month in the classroom.

April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate the beauty, power, and creativity of poetry in our classrooms. Engage your students in the magic of verse with these five lesson ideas tailored for National Poetry Month!

1. Poetry Slam Showcase

Host a poetry slam for National Poetry Month where students can showcase their original poems or recite works from famous poets. Encourage creativity and self-expression while fostering public speaking skills. Provide a supportive environment where students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and emotions through poetry.

2. Poet Study and Analysis

Rockin' resources provides a step-by-step guide for student poety analysis. This can be used during National Poetry Month or anytime!
Screenshot by Emily Horn | Rockin’ Resources | Step-by-Step to Effective Poetry Analysis

Select a diverse range of poets and their works for students to study and analyze. Explore different styles, themes, and literary devices employed by poets such as Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, and Maya Angelou, or contemporary poets like Amanda Gorman. Engage students in critical thinking by discussing the significance of each poet’s contributions to the world of literature. It’s a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month.

3. Found Poetry Workshop

Introduce the concept of found poetry, where students create poems using existing texts such as newspapers, magazines, or even their favorite books. This can be a fun National Poetry Month activity or you can use it at any point throughout the year! Teach students how to extract meaningful phrases or words from these sources and arrange them to create new poetic compositions. Encourage experimentation and creativity as students repurpose language to convey their own unique messages.

4. Collaborative Poetry Anthology

Divide students into small groups and assign each group a theme or topic to explore through poetry. Encourage collaboration as students brainstorm ideas, write individual poems, and then compile them into a collaborative poetry anthology. This project promotes teamwork, creativity, and a sense of collective achievement as students contribute to a shared body of work. Incorporate this activity during National Poetry Month or use it to make connections to content at other points during the year.

5. Dear Poet 2024

Dear Poet 2024 offers students a way to engage with poets during National Poetry Month.
Screenshot by Emily Horn | Poets.org | Dear Poet 2024

Each National Poetry Month, Dear Poet provides an immersive educational initiative inviting 5th-12th grade students to craft letters in response to the works of celebrated poets. Through this multimedia project, participants engage with poetry on a personal level, connecting with the artistry and insights of award-winning poets through their written and spoken words.

National Poetry Month provides an excellent opportunity to ignite students’ passion for poetry and cultivate their skills as writers, thinkers, and performers. Incorporate these lesson ideas into your classroom to inspire creativity, critical thinking, and a lifelong love of poetry among your students.

More Poetry Month Resources

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