This month, in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of National Poetry Month, AdoptAClassroom.org wants to celebrate the power of poetry. Incorporating poetry in the classroom can be a great way to approach complex topics and connect with students. Check out these four free poetry resources for teachers in honor of National Poetry Month below. The best part? These poetry resources can be used to inspire curriculum throughout the year.
1. Classroom Safe Spoken Word Poetry from Button Poetry
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota (just like AdoptAClassroom.org!), Button Poetry is one of the most widely watched spoken word poetry channels, with 1.3M subscribers. Their safe for the classroom playlist is guaranteed to be appropriate for a high school audience and features poems on major topics like gender, race, sexuality, mental health, conflict with loved ones, and body image.
2. Teach Lessons Based on National and State Poet Laureates
Joy Harjo is the first native Poet Laureate of the United States. She is a member of the Muscogee Nation, which shares the same geographical area as the state of Oklahoma. Poets.org, the site of the Academy of American Poets, offers lesson plans for several of Joy Harjo’s poems.
Many states have their own Poet Laureate, as do some cities. These poets may write about local landmarks or issues and offer your students a sense of pride in their state. You can locate your state’s poet laureate here.
3. Poems for Spring
In many parts of the nation, April marks the beginning of spring and growth. Spring is a time for close observation of the world as it slowly wakes up. For students who are still learning virtually, poems that bring attention to new growth – even grass between the sidewalk cracks – could be a welcome relief to the computer screen.
The late Mary Oliver is one of the most beloved and accessible contemporary American poets. Mary’s poems were gentle observations of the rich natural world around her, whether she was near a strip mall in Indiana or watching the waves on Massachusetts Bay. Read about Oliver and find some of her poems here.
4. Encourage Students to Find “Their Poem”
Check out the “Poems for Kids” page on Poets.org. These poems can be integrated into any lesson plan. There are even specific categories of poems for Black History Month, Pride Month, Native American Month, Asian/Pacific Island Heritage Month, and more. You can also encourage your students to search through these pages for poems that resonate with them. You can create lessons around “their poem” and have students explain why that particular poem called to them.
Want to integrate poetry into your curriculum throughout the year? AdoptAClassroom.org offers flexible funding for your classroom needs. Whatever innovative new classroom lesson you have in mind, AdoptAClassroom.org has the poetry resources for teachers you need to make it a success.
AdoptAClassroom.org offers poetry books in our shop from our vendor partners Scholastic and Lee & Low Books. If you’re looking to add poetry books to your classroom collection in honor of National Poetry Month, make sure you’re registered on AdoptAClassroom.org here.