materials for teachers

Since 1996, we’ve been providing online resources to teachers to help them bring poetry to the classroom. Here you’ll find poetry lesson plans, essays about teaching, a glossary of poetry terms, and more. And our lesson plans, most of which are aligned with the Common Core, have been reviewed by our Educator in Residence with an eye toward developing skills of perception and imagination. 

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April Is National Poetry Month

Happy National Poetry Month! Here are some ways to join the celebration:

Introduce this year’s National Poetry Month poster, designed by Maira Kalman, with this special lesson plan.

Invite your students to participate in the Dear Poet project by writing letters in response to videos of our award-winning Chancellors reading their work. We will consider all letters for publication on in May 2017, and our Chancellors will reply to select letters of their choosing.

Take a look at these poems about reading and writing, these lesson plans about ars poetica poems, and different poets’ definitions of the word poetry.

Save the date for this year's Poem in Your Pocket Day. On April 27, people across North America will carry poems to share with others throughout the day. Download a packet of poems for the occasion and learn how to bring Poem in Your Pocket Day to schools, bookstores, libraries, public spaces, and on Twitter (with the hashtag #pocketpoem).

For National Library Week, beginning on April 9, read Nikki Giovanni’s poem “My First Memory (of Librarians).”

For Earth Day on April 22, browse these poems about nature.

And share your activities with us on social media this month using the hashtag #npm17.


New Education Videos Featuring Richard Blanco

In these two new education videos, Education Ambassador Richard Blanco, Educator in Residence Mady Holzer, and Harvard Professor Lisa New discuss Blanco’s poem “Looking for the Gulf Motel” and how to teach it in the classroom.
"Memory and Longing: 'Looking for the Gulf Motel' by Richard Blanco"

"Poetry and Pedagogy with the American Academy of Poets"

These videos were produced for Poetry in America for Teachers, a professional development course designed for K-12 educators and offered in partnership between Poetry in America and Harvard University.

Poetry in the Classroom Calendar

Take a look at our brand-new Poetry in the Classroom Calendar, a downloadable, interactive PDF designed to inspire ideas for teaching poetry throughout each month, with links to related lesson plans, activities, and other resources.

Poetry in the Classroom Calendar

Teach This Poem

Teach This Poem is a weekly series featuring a poem from our online poetry collection, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help K-12 teachers quickly and easily bring poetry into the classroom.


Join Our Educator Community

Browse our collection of the most popular poems to teach in the classroom.
To receive our monthly Educator Newsletter for lesson plans and more sign up.

Create an anthology of poems on a specific theme to share with your students.

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lesson plans

lesson plan
Submitted by Carol McCarthy
lesson plan
Produced for K-12 educators, Teach This Poem features one poem a week from our
lesson plan
Submitted by Madeleine Fuchs Holzer

on teaching poetry

on teaching poetry
An examination and reimagining of the poetry workshop model.
on teaching poetry
A guide to teaching a selection of poems by Emily Dickinson.
on teaching poetry
To celebrate National Poetry Month 2017, we asked teachers to share how they