We all need more poetry in our lives, and time spent with poems in classrooms is what many students carry away and cherish years after they've left our schools. Here are resources to help you bring more of the delights of poetry into your classroom and school.
Gretchen Schroeder offers three poetry writing activities to take the pressure off of the writing process by using another poet’s structure and/or words as a starting point. You’ll be amazed by how deep and personal the resulting poems can become. Download a PDF for students to collect lines for a cento poem.
Mandy Robek delights in the surprises that emerge as her students read, write, and share poetry.
Gretchen Schroeder encourages teachers to make time for the things that are important. For her, it was poetry, and she outlines how she created a weekly poetry ritual in her high school classroom that enhanced the curriculum.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share poems to start the year that touch a variety of needs, from building community to connecting with colleagues to hosting parents for back-to-school night.
Katherine Sokolowski immerses students in poetry with mentor texts about age and time to linger in thinking about their own ages. This combination invites poetry into classrooms and gives students space to embrace the genre by writing their own age poems.
Gretchen Schroeder uses her reluctance as a marathon runner to reflect on how to encourage more engagement in reading and writing.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share the many targeted ways in which they use mentor texts to teach argument writing and move students away from five-paragraph themes.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share their favorite strategies for building a classroom community of readers where everyone has several options for choosing their next book.
Poetry can be the glue that holds many virtual classroom communities together. It works for quick morning meeting openings, transitions, or even a bit of laughter when energy is flagging. Cathy Mere shares her favorite poetry resources for remote learning.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills introduce their middle school students to pastiche, a technique of mimicking the craft of favorite poems and poets.
Shirl McPhillips shares a haunting poem and reflection on creativity, summer’s inspiration, and aging.
Gretchen Schroeder outlines a way to involve the entire school community in engaging in poetry.
Shirl McPhillips honors the poet Mary Oliver upon her passing, reflecting on the power of favorite poems and poets to endure in the lives of writers.
Poetry writing always has the potential to spark some magic in students. Christy Rush-Levine finds this magic requires a few conditions to be in place first in her middle school classroom.
Shirl McPhillips shares a poem she’s written about her grandmother Eva, and the fragments of memory that inspired it.
If you want stronger poetry from students, a good starting point might be to explore how to write a powerful simile. Gretchen Schroeder explains how she helps her high school students play with and create better similes.
Gretchen Schroeder finds helping her students see the value in rereading poems is all about helping them pay close attention to imagery.
David Pittman delights in a student’s enthusiasm for poetry, leading him to reflect on how teachers often need to overcome their own negative history with poems to spark student love of the genre.
Estelle shares a poem she has written about lost friendship with her teacher, Katherine Sokolowski. She captures the fickle nature of fifth-grade relationships among girls. Katherine connects the cadence of the writing to the style of The Crossover, and helps Estelle find possibilities for more writing.
Shirl McPhillips crafts a message from the moon about tone in poetry and school in her latest poem and companion essay.
Gretchen Schroeder uses online videos as resources to teach her high school students to appreciate spoken-word poetry and write their own.
Linda Karamatic explores poetry with her second graders. She displays poems students have written and teaches them about fresh language using a poem about a pencil sharpener.
Mary Lee Hahn finds a focus on play and "dabbling" renews student writers during a unit on narrative nonfiction.
Shirl McPhillips shares a new poem, as well as some practical tips on moving from random observations to vivid details to poetry.
Tara Smith describes how she eases her sixth-grade students into writing poetry through careful selection and analysis of mentor poems.
Megan Skogstad finds the right mentor texts can help her fourth graders move beyond acrostic poems.
Mandy Robek finds that quick poetry read-alouds are a great way to transition between activities in her second-grade classroom and build a love of poems.
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