Celebrating National Poetry Month: 8 Poetry Activities for Secondary ELA

Celebrating National Poetry Month: 8 Poetry Activities for Secondary ELA

April is National Poetry Month. Let’s celebrate poetry in our classrooms with some of these great poetry activities and lessons that are perfect for engaging the middle school ELA and high school English student.

1. Poetry Activities: Create Acrostic Poem Posters in Class

One of the best ways to decorate your classroom is with colorful student work. Middle school and high school students enjoy seeing their work on display. For this project, there are two kinds of acrostic posters students can create. Either assign or have students sign up for certain poetry terms or famous poets. Once students have their topics, instruct them to create a colorful acrostic poem poster that is informative and colorful. If you choose poetry terms as the topic, the poem must relate to the assigned term. If you decide to have students create posters about famous poets, their poems must relate to their assigned or chosen poet.

2. Poetry Activities: Request a FREE National Poetry Month Poster for your classroom

Delivery takes 4-6 weeks, but you still might be able to request a free poster for your classroom to wrap up the month’s celebration.

3. Poetry Activities: Teach Your Students to Annotate Poetry

Poetry activities: Teaching students how to annotate poetry.Make poetry more accessible to your students by teaching them how to annotate it. My Annotating Poetry Made Easy lesson includes an editable instructional presentation that will walk your students through the annotation process step-by-step and even includes an example poem to annotate together as a class.

After teaching your students how to annotate poetry, this skill will be easier for them, and they will be able to annotate poetry on their own. This is a poetry lesson that you’ll keep coming back to year after year!

What fellow teachers say:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Extremely satisfied:

This was a great resource for my 10th graders! I was able to use this to show them how to annotate poetry and we have been working on it for a couple of days.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Extremely satisfied:

“My students thoroughly enjoyed incorporating this into their morning activities. They were actively involved with the material and encountered no difficulties initiating their tasks. The preparation of this resource was quick and straightforward, making it convenient for me to utilize, especially in time-sensitive situations. Thank you!”

4. Poetry Activities: Create Blackout Poetry with Your Students

Poetry activities. Blackout poetry. If you are looking for a fun and engaging way to hook your students on poetry? Consider teaching blackout poetry in your ELA classroom. This step-by-step guide to teaching blackout poetry will help you discover how to teach blackout poetry and deliver a great lesson and unit to your middle school ELA or high school English students.

Blackout poetry is a created form of poetry where the poet uses pages of text and blocks out some of the words to form a new poem. The remaining words on the page form the blackout poem. Blackout poetry is a type of “found poetry,” meaning it is found somewhere because poetry is everywhere.

I typically teach blackout poetry toward the end of my poetry teaching unit because students understand poetic elements and devices.

Read more about blackout poetry via this blog post!

5. Poetry Activities: Learn and Study Poetry Terms

To get a better understanding of poetry, students need to know the academic language that accompanies poetry. Once students know common poetry terms and can apply their understanding of these terms to poems they encounter, they will be able to read and appreciate poetry on a whole new level. To help students become more acquainted with poetry terms, use my Academic Vocabulary packet with your class. This resource includes 25 common poetry terms that will help your students understand poetry more.

6. Poetry Activities: Share Your All-Time-Favorite Poem with Your Students

Create a casual atmosphere in your classroom and share your favorite poem with your students. Read it passionately. Tell your students why you love this poem and why it speaks to you. For me, one of my favorite poets is William Carlos Williams. Whenever I share his wheelbarrow poem with my students and tell them it is my favorite, they think I’ve lost it. But then, after some prompting, they analyze that poem inside and out!

7. Poetry Activities: Create Blank Verse Poem Posters

Teach blank verse and iambic pentameter to your students and have them write their own creations. In my Teachers Pay Teacher store, I have a FREE blank verse writing project that you can use in your classroom. This is a fun way to get to know your students’ interests, especially if you allow your students to choose their own topics. Once your students complete their blank verse poem posters, you can display them on your classroom wall for a colorful display. When I taught blank verse to my students during our Romeo and Juliet unit, I taught blank verse using THIS PowerPoint presentation and lesson material. They then created blank verse poem posters and they are still displayed in my classroom. It’s a perfect decoration for National Poetry Month.

8. Poetry Activities: Participate in the National High School Poetry Contest

Persuade your students to write and enter an original poem in the National High School Poetry contest. Applicants must be current high school students, and their poems need to be 20 lines or less.



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