National Poetry Day planning picks

Nicola Davison
25th September 2018
National Poetry Day celebrations

Units of work and lesson ideas to help you prove to pupils that poetry need not be dull

With National Poetry Day on the horizon, there’s no better time to start thinking about engaging students of all ages in the wonderful world of verse. 

Whether it’s playing with this year’s theme of “change” or getting older pupils started on the poetry units for the new exam specifications, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at this hand-picked collection of lesson plans and units of work and see if you can't help to awaken a love of poetry in your learners.

Themed lessons

There are lots of different ways of introducing students to this year’s theme of “change”. Spruce up your lessons with these creative tips and activity ideas, or why not refer to these thought-provoking tasks, created specially for the celebrations by PoetryDayUK? Studying poetry has never been so fun!

A Change in Circumstance: A National Poetry Day resource created by The Poetry Society

Comprehensive KS4 lesson plan centered around Commended Foyle Young Poet of the Year Imogen Catsaras’ poem ‘Dawn in Dartmouth’. Students are encouraged to think, talk, read, and write in response to the poem. Includes a copy of the full poem.

By PoetryDayUk

National Poetry Day Toolkit 2018

National Poetry Day (October 4th, 2018) is an annual celebration of poetry and all things poetical. It is about everybody sharing poetry, reading poetry, writing poetry and enjoying poetry. Use this pack of tips and activity ideas and join in the celebrations – not only on National Poetry Day itself but all year round. It’s full of activities schools can do (primary and secondary) and also contains book recommendations.

By PoetryDayUk

Changing places

A comprehensive creative writing lesson plan for KS1/KS2 students, designed to teach them the value of drawing from personal experiences when writing creatively. Includes a copy of the poem ‘Blackpool Tower’ and further resources from the National Literary Trust as inspiration.

A National Poetry Day resource created by the National Literacy Trust.

By PoetryDayUk

National Poetry Day 2017 schools toolkit

National Poetry Day 2017 is on 28 September and the theme is freedom. It’s about everybody sharing poetry, reading poetry, writing poetry, enjoying poetry, and living poetry! For schools this can be a chance to make more of something already enjoyed throughout the school or it can be a launch pad for new experience and enjoyment.

Based on a four day festival of poetry run with Hull primary schools as part of the No Limits Learning Programme, here is a pack of tips and activity ideas to help schools celebrate poetry on National Poetry Day and beyond.
By PoetryDayUk

Primary resources

Limericks, haikus, sonnets… poems come in many forms. Discover and analyse the different types of poetry before encouraging your pupils to write some of their own with these stimulating classroom activities.

Poetry: 'The Quarrel' by Maxine Kumin. Ideal for National Poetry Day!

Poetry: 'The Quarrel' by Maxine Kumin. Ideal for National Poetry Day!
A fun poetry analysis and writing activity lesson (or two lessons) based on The Quarrel by Maxine Kumin. This detailed presentation analyses language and puctuation features at word level, there is thesaurus work and a range of poetry or creative writing tasks linked to the poem for the pupils to choose from. Includes the opportunity for peer assessment with target setting and review slide. Ideal for primary Y5 and 6 or KS3. Includes worksheet with poem and space for pupils' responses to the poem. Slide 2 starter could be printed out for pupils or they could copy the spidergram into their books.
By jimjo1962

Year 6 Performance Poetry

Recommended by TES! Download this popular two-week unit for Year 6 based on classic performance poetry.

A two-week literacy unit of work for Year 6, containing lesson plans and pupil resources, looking at some of Poe's atmospheric poems with dramatic mood changes in them.

In this unit pupils will:
- read and listen to classic poems by Edgar Allan Poe
- research the historical and literary context of the poems
- engage imaginatively with poetic language
- discover how Poe uses poetic devices to change the mood of a poem
- create their own mysterious Raven character
- hold a debate to find out what type of poetry 'The Raven' is
- write a recount of the frenzied events of 'The Raven'
- express the mood of a poem through performance
- prepare and give a performance to an audience

The poems include 'The Bells' and 'The Raven'.

The performance at the end of the unit would be perfect for World Poetry Day or to use in a poetry performance or assembly.
By KS2History

Poetry Train

Poetry Train is a teachers pack of activities, poems and advice for teaching poetry in primary schools. David Harmer and Roger Stevens share proven approaches for use in the classroom, based on brilliant poems by top poets such as Carol Ann Duffy and Jackie Kay.
By The Poetry Society

Phonics Screening Poetry -Phase 5

This is a lovely way to revise Phase 5 and have a go at reading alien words ready for the Phonics Screening Check.
The booklet includes a little poem to revise each Phase 5 sound, the children then need to look closely at the poem to find the words that have that sound in, as well as read the words in the grid and sort out the real words from the alien words. There is also a handy visualise page which I sometimes use to check if the children understand what the poem is about, it is another way of ticking off the comprehension and poetry objectives whilst still working on sounds!

By littlemisstechnical

Secondary resources

Spread your love of poetry and confidently tackle GCSE and A-level themes with the help of these lesson packs and imaginative tasks. Jam-packed with explanatory notes, suggested discussion points and ready-to-use exercises, there’s plenty to get those creative juices flowing.

New A Level Literature AQA A Love Through the Ages - Poetry pre-1900 (Part 1) (New Specification)

Resources to teach the pre-1900 poetry element of the Love Through the Ages specification - new for 2015.

Part 1:

Whoso List to Hunt
Sonnet 116
The Flea
To His Coy Mistress

Focused by AO throughout, including essay questions.
By archev

Newspaper Blackout Poetry

A new type of poetry that involves using newspapers to create poems. The poem is inside the text; pupils must find it. Suitable for KS2, KS3 and KS4 ***You will need newspapers and marker pens***
By jamestickle86

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