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.

Recognizing Similes: Fast as a Whip
Students read excerpts from the work of Robert Frost, William Wordsworth and Toi Derricotte in order to gain an understanding of similes.

Renga
Explanation and examples of types of renga (Japanese poetry), additional links.

Responding to Young Adult Fiction through Writing Poetry: Trying to Understand a Mole
This article from the ALAN review discusses the riddle poem, found poem, character poem, poem for two voices, and repeat poster poem as methods students might use to respond to fiction. The article also offers an explanation of each form.

Rhyme Desk
Need some help finding a rhyme? Need some help counting syllables to achieve iambic pentameter? Try this site!

Rhyme Royal
Explanation and examples.

Rhyme Zone
In addition to a rhyming dictionary, this site provides links to online texts, interactive word quizzes, a reverse dictionary, and more.

Rhythm and Meter in English Poetry
Definitions and examples of the most common meters.

Shape Poems: Writing Extraordinary Poems About Ordinary Objects
Students write shape poems using their content knowledge and sensory awareness of a familiar object.

How to write shape poems — A Lesson for Middle School
The trick to motivating middle school students to write poetry is to focus on their interests, hobbies, and passions. Making a shape or concrete poem that focuses on this interest is usually considered easy. To add a bit of difficulty to this lesson, students will learn about metaphors, similes.

Songs My Teacher Taught Me
This month-long unit for high school students consists of 3 parts: "What is Poetry?", "Poems of Childhood," and "Self and Society." Each section includes a short reading list, a brief introduction setting tone and theme, a series of analytical questions, two creative activities, and at least one writing assignment. Poets and titles are listed, but, due to copyright restrictions, the poetry itself is not included at the site. The entire unit lasts about a month.

Specific Concrete-Visual Poems on the WWW-InterNet
This page includes links to an extensive collection of concrete poems.

Teaching Sonnets Unit Plan
A collection of 10 lessons that can be used individually or in a smaller cluster as well as in its entirety. Each lesson focuses on a different aspect, including writers like Petrarch, Drayden, Spenser, Shakespeare, and modern poets. Students may write and perform sonents. This unit plan comes from the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Template for the Comparison of Poems using Close Reading
Students compare poems found online. The lesson includes a graphic organizer. This 5-page document requires Adobe Reader or compatible application for access.

Template for the Interpretation of Poems using Close Reading
Students explore and analyze poems using online resources. The lesson includes a writing component. This 4-page document requires Adobe Reader or compatible application for access.

Uncovering Truths Beneath a Found Poem
Students respond to literature by writing a found poem. This teacher's narrative may serve as a model for responding to other pieces of literature.

United States Poets Laureate: A Guide to Online Resources
Follow links to "Library of Congress Web pages that include information on the poet laureate's life and work, as well as to external Web sites that feature biographical information, interviews, poems, audio, video, and other materials that highlight the activities of each poet."

Using Rock to Teach Literary Devices: Jimi Hendrix "The Wind Cries Mary" from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Jimi Hendrix’s "The Wind Cries Mary" is an ideal song, not just to illustrate personification, but also to demonstrate how poetic devices enhance the meaning of the poem. As soon as the students recognize that the speaker is mourning the loss of a special person, the purpose of the personification will blossom for them.

Voice
"The unit begins by defining spoken and written poetry and then moves into a more nuanced exploration of poetry as social commentary. Students begin to acquire a poetic vocabulary through a series of learning activities that include class discussion, critical writing assignments, and personal reflection. 'Voice' employs interconnectivity to create links between the poems used and the texts being read by the students through out the year. The unit culminates in an anthology of student work, fostering a richer understanding of poetry as social commentary."

What am I? Teaching Poetry through Riddles
An introduction to poetry via metaphor, simile, metonymy, concrete imagery, and creativity.

The Whole Picture
This one-page handout details a lesson on writing ekphrastic poetry. Access requires Adobe Reader or compatible application.

Women in Poetry
This technology-integrated unit introduces students to a broad range of contemporary women's voices in poetry.

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