General Poetry Resources

This page features lesson plans and activities for teaching specific types of poetry or poetry in general. Sites and Activities for Specific Poets and Collections of Poetry are also available.

Ghazal
Explanation and examples of ghazal (ancient Persian poetry) with additional links.

Glossary of Literary and Rhetorical Terms
Poetry types, meters, and figurative language defined with examples.

Haiku
A collection of resources for teaching haiku.

Hay(na)ku
This poetic form from the Philippines uses only 6 words.

How to Write a Limerick
An explanation of the rhythm and rhyme scheme. Student writing can be entered in the Limerick contest.

Iambic Pentameter
Just for fun, a cartoon about iambic pentameter.

"The Immediate Need for Poetry" by Eli Siegel
A statement of Aesthetic Realism and 7 poems.

Improving Speaking Skills with Poetry Podcasting
In this video (4:39) a teacher outlines a unit in which students record nursery rhymes, receive feedback, and reflect on their performance.

Introducing Metaphors Through Poetry
Students read excerpts from the work of Langston Hughes, Margaret Atwood, and Naomi Shihab Nye in order to gain a deeper understanding of metaphors.

Kristine O'Connell George
Children's poetry, an inviting site generous with ideas for teachers and students.

Limericks: The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form
Searchable database of limericks from throughout the English-speaking world. They also accept student work; be sure to read the notes to teachers and students first.

The Literature of War
"...an introduction to poetry for students who may not have had the opportunity for meaningful poetry exploration in the past. Students begin by developing a poetic vocabulary through the study of a single poem and move to more complex readings in the remaining four lesson plans. Students pursue an examination of the effects of war on those involved in the fighting and those they leave behind, moving chronologically through time with subsequent lesson plans. The unit concludes by looking at the world's most recent acts of war, the effects and ramifications of the events on and following September 11, through the reading of poems written since that date. As a culminating activity, students are asked to respond with a poem of their own that they illustrate with relevant images found on the web. All poems are accessible online."

Lonely as a Cloud
This lesson on similes is designed for grades 6-8. It uses Eve Merriam's "Willow and Ginkgo" and Robert Burns's "A Red, Red Rose."

Lyrical Legacy
Lyrical Legacy helps teachers explore eighteen American songs and poems from the digital collections of the Library of Congress. Each song and poem is represented by an original primary source document, along with historical background information and, in many cases, sound recordings and alternate versions. Titles include "Bonny Barbara Allan," "John Brown’s Body/The Battle Hymn of the Republic," "We Shall Overcome," more.

Making Connections Through Poetry
Students use historical documents to create found poems. Site includes explanations and links to primary documents and images.

Materials for Teachers
Sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, this site lesson plans in addition to all the other resources of Poets.org.

Metaphysical Poets
An extensive study guide for selected poems by John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell, and Henry Vaughan. Includes a definition of metaphysical poetry, a discussion of love, imagery, themes and subjects, and poetic form.

The Music in Poetry
"The lessons in this issue introduce students to the rhythms of poetry. The focus in on two poetic forms that originated as forms of song: the BALLAD stanza, found throughout British and American literature, and the BLUES stanzas of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes. The exercises take poetry off the page and put it into terms of movement, physical space, and, finally, music." This lesson is designed for grades 4-12 and includes access to a soundtrack. Access to this 16-page document requires Adobe Reader or compatible application.

National Poetry Month
Instructional ideas and study guides for the material on The Writer's Almanac site. Includes reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and links to poems.

National Writing Project: Resource Topics: Poetry
A collection of articles exploring how to teach students to write poetry.

Onomatopoeia
Students produce comic strips that use onomatopoeia. Designed for grades 6-8, includes handout.

Play with Words: Rhyme & Verse
Students explore rhythm, rhyme, and haiku. These 6 standards-based lessons are designed for grades K-2.

The Poet Speaks of Art
A collection of paintings and the poems they inspired.

Poetry
These projects reflect a variety of approaches to poetry.

Poetry Everywhere
Videos, background essays and lesson plans that help teachers and students explore the power of language and build reading and writing skills.

Poetry Out Loud
Official site of the national poetry recitation contest.

Poetic Terms
Definitions and examples of the most common poetic terms.

The Poetics of Hip Hop
Students analyze form in Shakespearean sonnets, then analyze hip hop music to determine common characteristics between the Bard's work and the music of hip hop artists. Students reinforce their understanding of the connections between hip hop and poetry through close analysis of the works of poets Saul Williams and Nikki Giovanni, and through the creation of their own poetry.

Poetry Class
Thirty-eight lessons for grades 1-12 from a team of UK poets.

Poetry Explications
Tips for how to write an analysis of a poem.

Poetry Express
Write 15 different kinds of poems, suggestions for poetry workshop, tips for revision, suggestions for publishing.

Poetry Master
A published poet offers to assist others. Be sure to check out the links "Chicken Bones" and "Master Plan."

Poetry Picnic
Designed for first grade, this 14-lesson unit provides reading, writing, speaking and listening activities to develop and strengthen phonological awareness. In addition, children are given opportunities to create original art projects and present a dramatic interpretation to compliment the poems. Poetry Picnic is a natural, enjoyable and creative approach to poems old and new. This 24-page document requires Adobe Reader or compatible application for access.

Poetry Portfolios
In this project students assemble a collection including poems they have written, favorite poems, and commentaries on both types. Includes exemplars, rubrics, and vocabulary. This project is designed for 9th grade but can be adapted to several grade levels.

Poetry Slam
Links to resources and ideas for poetry slams in the classroom.

Poetry Teachers
Activities for helping children write and appreciate poetry, including poetry theater and contests.

Poetry Walk
Designed for grades 6-8, this lesson develops skills in finding main ideas, thinking critically, and thinking creatively by asking students to determine a title for a poem.

A Poet's New Post
Students explore the poetry of Charles Simic and use his words to inspire their own writing.

Project #37: Poetry
A variety of activities and related links.

Poetry: Developing A Taste
Deisgned for third grade, ten lessons with activities that allow students to taste the excitement of poetry. Each lesson is specifically designed to allow the students to appreciate each poem and each poet in a variety of ways.

Practical Criticism from EdSitement
Students analyze the verbal devices through which poems make meaning, compare their personal interpretation of a poem with the personal interpretations of others, and develop standards of literary judgment.

Prosody Quiz
You've guided your students through the difference between iambs and anapests? Let them try the 10 items in this interactive quiz!

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