National Poetry Month Resources

Started in 1996 by the American Academy of Poets, April is set aside as National Poetry month. The purpose is to encourage the reading of and celebrate poetry in the classroom as well as society as a whole. As teachers of Literature, our challenge lies in providing students with the tools to analyze poetry without killing the poem. The idea of having students read a poem daily without the task of deconstructing the poem for meaning but simply to appreciate the beauty of the words is one that is worth exploring this month.

Resources for poems:

Poem a Day from the American Academy of Poets

Poetry 180 from the Library of Congress (hosted by Billy Collins)

The Writer’s Almanac features daily reading by Garrison Keillor and is supported by the Poetry Foundation.

The New Yorker is my go-to resource for current poetry; I use this to do cold readings of poems with my students. As an added bonus  The New Yorker Poetry Podcast features poets reading their poems and sharing their thoughts.

Poem of the Week from The Guardian

American Life in Poetry sponsored by the Library of Congress and The Poetry Foundation

Teaching Resources:

EDSitement Twenty-One Poems for AP Lit – each featured poem comes with biographical information about the poet, a reading of the poem, and often lesson ideas.

Teach This Poem from the American Academy of Poets features a weekly poem that includes detailed lesson ideas.

The Poet Speaks of Art from Emory University professor Harry Rusche pairs poems with art.

Kicking Off National Poetry Month from the Poetry Foundation offers ways to celebrate National Poetry month.

Poetry Out Loud

Poetry ideas from AP Lit Help contributors:

Ten Commandments for Teaching Poetry by Susan Barber

Ten Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month by Amy Adams

Literary CSI by Brian Sztabnik

The Poetry Service Project by Karla Hilliard

Texas Teens Meet Shelley’s “Skylark” by Roy Smith

Poetry Fridays by Jori Krulder

It’s Poetry to Me: Using Post-it Notes to Open the Discussion on Poetry by Jill Massey

Poetry Props: Strategies for Student Understanding

These resources just scratch the surface but will hopefully get your mind thinking about how you can highlight poetry in your classroom and school. I am looking forward to students writing favorite poems in chalk on the school sidewalks, reading a poem daily in class just for fun, carrying a poem in our pockets on April 27th, and trying our hand at slam poetry.

How will you celebrate National Poetry Month?

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