World Poetry Day teaching resources

World Poetry Day, established by Unesco in 1999, is a chance to reflect on the power of language and to support linguistic diversity through poetic and creative expression. The day offers endangered languages around the world the chance to be heard within their communities and, closer to home, to celebrate poetry in all its forms. Take a look at our fabulous collection of free teaching resources on poetic devices, assemblies, metaphors, poems and celebrated poets.

Early Years

Nursery rhymes

  • 49 nursery rhymes grouped under various themes, such as transport, food and minibeasts.

Minibeast rhymes

  • Poems, rhymes and songs about insects and other small creatures.

Space songs and poems

  • Let their imaginations blast off with poetry inspired by space.

This is the bear…

  • Ask pupils to suggest the rhyming words to finish each line of the poem.

Teddy bear poems

  • Poems and rhymes about bears of the teddy variety.

Make a rhyme

  • Find the rhyming words to animate Humpty, then look for further rhyming opportunities.

Write a nursery rhyme

  • Use this writing frame to write your own nursery rhyme.

Ten things found in a wizard’s pocket

  • Use Ian McMillan’s poem to stimulate writing your own list poem.

Peepo!

  • Using the structure of ‘Peepo!’, create a class poem about your classroom.

Minibeast poems frame

  • Try these two repetitive structures as frames for children’s own poetry: focus on rhyming or alliteration.

I love fruit

  • A simple poem with symbol support.

Primary resources

Poetic style

  • Lesson plans from Hamilton Trust which include the analysis of poetic style using Benjamin Zephaniah’s ‘We are Britain’.

Primary poetry 101

  • A wonderfully easy to understand resource which looks at several poetic forms and devices.

Exploring form

  • A look at different poetry forms with examples and wording that is ideal for anyone struggling with certain poetic concepts.

Narrative poems – The Highwayman

  • Two week’s worth of activities and resources based on a narrative poem; use to teach characterisation and structured poetry.

Poems and structure

  • This resource has concise explanations of haiku, tanka and kenning structure.

‘I like’ poem

  • These lesson plans provide a great way to get students in touch with their senses to create poems of their very own.

A collection of shape poems

  • A PowerPoint slide featuring some excellent calligram examples.

Seeds and plants poetry

  • A comprehensive set of themed poems for pupils to enjoy and take inspiration from.

Holocaust poetry

  • A gentle way to introduce pupils to the sensitive topic of the Holocaust through a collection of themed poems.

‘The Deserted House’ – Mary Coleridge

  • This atmospheric resource appeals to the senses of the children, getting their imaginations flowing in order to write their own poems.

Poetry class assembly

  • Poe and Etry teach Chip some of the features of poetry writing in this catchy rhyming assembly.

Senses poems

  • Adaptable and flexible collection of senses poems for the younger age groups.

‘The Book’ performance

  • An entertaining performance by Michael Rosen reading his poem ‘The Book’.

Secondary resources

For a full range of World Poetry Day resources visit our TES English collection here

Haiku worksheet

  • Introducing students to the Japanese art of Haiku.

Poetic buzz words

  • Great revision tool covering all those tricky technical terms.

Understanding metaphor

  • A well structured lesson to get students understanding metaphor within a poem.

Metaphor poetry

  • This is an informative PowerPoint discussing the ins and outs of metaphor poetry.

Patterns of poetry 1-8

  • Five minute podcasts on a range of poetic devices from alliteration to personification.

Patterns of poetry 9-15

  • A series of five minute talks on poetic devices from metaphor to rhyme and repetition.

Anthem for Doomed Youth PowerPoint

  • A detailed analysis on of the most poignant poems to come out of the First World War.

Adrian Henri – ‘Me’

  • Using Henri’s poem as inspiration, students have the chance to spread their creative wings and write their own.

Daljit Nagra – ‘Singh song’

  • Watch Daljit Nagra perform his poem ‘Singh Song’ from the comfort of a convenience store.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets

  • A clear and instructive introduction to sonnet form and iambic pentameter.

Grace Nichols – ‘Praise Song for my Mother’

  • Watch Grace Nichols perform her poem ‘Praise Song for my Mother’ at the seaside.

Phil Beadle’s masterclass

  • Phil Beadle uses a series of visual set pieces to look at poems from different cultures to excite and inspire.

William Blake – ‘London’

  • Two audio readings with additional commentary to aid revision on Blake’s poem.

Mimi Khalvati – ‘Ghazal’

  • Two audio readings with additional commentary to aid revision on Khalvati’s poem.

Accessible poetry

  • Poet Michael Rosen explores the ways poetry can be made more accessible in the classroom while Ruth Padell waxes lyrical about all things poetry.