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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 (Poetry Foundation)
Search tool.
Poets (Poetry Foundation)
Search tool.

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.

Harriet is a literary blog about poetry and related news. Harriet links to Open Door, which features audio, video, and other online media. For grades 9-12.


The Poetry Foundation (K-12)


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


last updated: February 18, 2020



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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.