Saturday, April 21, 2007

Like the after-Christmas sale, only with poems

So Poetry month is actually almost over, but here's my bibliography for it anyway (made for teachers at Woonsocket High School).

Top Websites for Teaching Poetry

Online Poetry Classroom
This is a division of the Academy of American Poets ( for educators. It has lesson plans, a list of the best poems to teach, and information about the how and why of poetry month. It’s linked to, so you can access short biographies, selected poems, audio, and critical essays on American poets and movements. You can also sign up for a poem-a-day e-mail for the month of April.

Library of Congress Poetry Page
Check this site for online exhibits and webcasts that pair poetry with primary documents from the library of congress collections, as well as info about state and national poet laureates. Also check out the Poetry 180, a collection of new poems (“full-text available online!”) specifically selected for high school students by former laureate Billy Collins. With titles like “Fat is not a Fairy Tale,” “Cartoon Physics,” “Hate Poem,” and “The Death of Santa Claus,” these poems defy expectations.

The Poetry Foundation
This is the U.S. Mecca of poetry. Click on “Children” in the top left menu box to get lesson plans designed by none other than Maya Angelou, as well as reviews of children’s poetry collections, and an archive of poems organized by age and theme (if you don’t see it, click on “Poetry Tool” in the Archive menu box).

Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Project
This is the site of a national contest that challenges students to perform poetry –not just read it. Search the archive using keywords to find full-text of brilliant poems for reading out loud. There’s also audio of some poems read by actors like Anthony Hopkins and James Earl Jones. Go to the teacher’s guide for information about having a recitation contest in the classroom, as well as a few lesson plans.

Slam Poetry on Web English Teacher
This site links to FAQs, history, and how-to. If you already know a little about slam poetry, proceed straight to and go to the poets gallery to read about past winners and (more importantly) listen to mp3s of them slamming. You can also visit the related blog,, to hear more.

PBS News Hour Special on Poetry
If you’re looking for some short and sweet introductory essays for your students to read, this is the place. Just a few paragraphs long, these essays on appreciating poetry use simple language and striking imagery—just like the medium they describe.

1 comment:

abarlow said...

Your blog is a breath of fresh library air.

Thanks for introducing this librarian to Songs for Ice Cream Trucks, which I ordered despite the fact that I am no longer a child. I will play the music from my bedroom window to lure a real ice cream truck into my snare.