National Poetry Day 7 October 2021

National Poetry Day 2021: We Have A Choice

Celebrate National Poetry Day 2021 on 7 October by exploring Foyle Young Poet Theodora Shillito’s ‘The Story of Squiddly Diddly’, a poem about marine conservation and recycling, commended in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020. This resource encourages KS2-3 students to think about how the choices we make affect the environment.

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Blackout history: Exploring Daniel Wale's poem 'Navajo Roads'

This lesson plan explores Daniel Wale's 'Navajo Roads', a winning poem from the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020.

The activities can be used in a single session, or over a series of sessions.

In this resource, produced by Teacher Trailblazer Joanne Bowles, students are encouraged to think about history, power and conflict and interdisciplinarity. The resource also introduces students to erasure and found poetry as a form.

Joanne Bowles Teacher Trailblazer resource

'The Fruit of the Spirit is Love (Galatians 5:22)'

This lesson plan explores Marvin Thompson's 'The Fruit of the Spirit is Love (Galatians 5:22)', which won first prize in the National Poetry Competition 2020.

In this resource, produced by Teacher Trailblazer Noor Wafa, students are encouraged to think about how we form an identity, and what it means to belong, in the context of race and cultural heritage. The resource also explores intertextuality, the villanelle form, and iambic pentameter.

Content warning: please note that the poem featured in this resource deals with the theme of racism and contains imagery of lynching.

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mandala in pink, purple, and blue

How to Belong: 'Brown Girl'

This lesson plan explores Indigo Mudbhary's 'Brown Girl', a winning poem from the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020.

The activities can be used in a single session, or over a series of sessions.

In this resource, produced by Teacher Trailblazer Fran Pridham, students are encouraged to think about identity and belonging, including the issue of race. The resource also introduces students to poetry in prose as a form.

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starry sky

The Truth Exposed: 'Polaris'

This lesson plan explores Brigitta McKeever's ‘Polaris’, a winning poem from the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020.

The activities can be used in a single session, or over a series of sessions.

In this resource, produced by Teacher Trailblazer Stephanie Nobes, students are encouraged to think about the relationship between poetry and objects, the body, and the 'Evolution of Me'. They are also encouraged to analyse the poem with a close focus on features of language, and to write creatively using juxtaposition.

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bicycle with background of streetlights

Where talk is never cheap: 'Love Poem to Young Offenders Support Workers'

This lesson plan explores Libby Russell's ‘Love Poem to Young Offenders Support Workers’, a winning poem from the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020.

The activities can be used in a single session, or over a series of sessions.

In this resource, produced by Teacher Trailblazer Gareth Ellis, students are encouraged to think about why poets choose to write about love, how society values different types of knowledge, and the relationship between ‘here’ and ‘home’ in this poem. They are also encouraged to explore the sonnet form more widely.

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Oil painting of John Keats on Hampstead Heath listening with a background of trees.

A thing of beauty: Rachel Piercey on Keats's life and works

As part of a season of activity celebrating 200 years of John Keats's legacy, poet Rachel Piercey explores the life and works of Keats through some of the paintings and objects in the collection of Keats House, London. This resource is aimed at KS4 and KS5.

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Find out more about Keats200

Image: Keats Listening to the Nightingale on Hampstead Heath by Joseph Severn. Oil painting, 1849. Image courtesy of Keats House, City of London, K/PZ/05/015.

Drawing of Keats

Amy Davis on John Keats’s ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’

As part of a season of activity celebrating 200 years of John Keats's legacy, Teacher Trailblazer Amy Davis looks closely at ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’. She offers ways to analyse the poet's techniques as well as exploring literary allusions, critical views, the poem's afterlife in art, and some prompts for creative responses. This resource is aimed at KS5.

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Find out more about Keats200

Illustration by Linda Hughes

Poets for LGBT+ History Month and Always

A Level teacher and former Education Manager Nazmia Jamal offers over fifty suggestions of LGBT+ poets you could teach in February, which is LGBT+ History Month, and any time of the year. She shares questions for class discussion, writing prompts which are particularly inspired by the pandemic, and context for poems by Keith Jarrett, Mary Jean Chan, Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Emily Dickinson and more.

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Find more LGBT+ History Month resources here

Gemma Correll illustration of a cat in a sled led by a bigger cat

Look North More Often: a poetry pack for teachers inspired by the gift of the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree

Since 2009, The Poetry Society has run Look North More Often, a unique education project celebrating the gift of the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. The tree is given to the city of London from the city of Oslo every year since 1947, as thanks for Britain's support during the Second World War. Every year, we run workshops in primary schools which inspire a children's writer to craft a new poem celebrating the tree.

In 2012, we created an extensive pack of teaching resources for primary teachers, which we've recently updated. The pack offers a history of the tree and the project, and features Norwegian writers as well as Anglophone poets. Inside, you'll discover thoughtful and fun poetry writing exercises from such leading poets as Kevin Crossley-Holland, James Carter, Frances Presley, Hanne Bramness, Coral Rumble, Kit Wright and Philip Gross.

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Find out more about the project

Discover more teaching resources inspired by the tree