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Poetry Resolutions

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The following guest post, part of our “Teacher’s Corner” series, is by Rebecca Newland, a Fairfax County Public Schools Librarian and former Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress.

"Happy New Year." New York : Currier & Ives, c1876.
Happy New Year. New York : Currier & Ives, c1876.

No matter how much poetry reading and writing you have shared with your students this school year, it is not too late to resolve to bring more poetry into your classroom or library.

Consider beginning with Poetry 180. While the poems are numbered for use each day in a 180-day school year, you can begin at any time and choose poems from anywhere on the list. One possible way to use the list is to ask individual students or pairs to select a poem to read, comment on, then share with the rest of the class. This could take the form of a poetry slam or café experience.

Look back at some suggestions for bringing in poetry as a quick activity, such as Writing Poetry in the Classroom: Bell Ringers and Reading Poetry in the Classroom: Bell Ringers.

Other ways that you might consider incorporating poetry:

  • Collaborate with a world language teacher to translate short poems. Look for children’s poetry in many languages as the terminology and vocabulary may be most suitable for translation.
  • Team with a creative writing teacher to write poetry with their students and yours in pairs or small groups.
  • Combine with a drama class to stage a poem like “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” or an act or scene of a Shakespeare play.
  • Ask students to look for Local and Public Poetry to share.
  • Ask students to look for poems that share themes with another piece of literature you are studying. Have a round table discussion about how the poems they choose connect to the literature. Two reliable sources of poetry are the Poetry Foundation and The Academy of American Poets (where you can sign up to receive a poem a day).

These are just a few ways to incorporate poetry into your classroom or library.

In what ways are you engaging your students with poetry?


  1. another wonderful resource is the National Endowment for the Arts/Poetry Foundation free poetry recitation curriculum and contest Poetry Out Loud.

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