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.

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

Photo of a red heart shaped balloon in a blue sky

Love Yourself

This lesson plan explores Cia Mangat’s ‘Love Poem to Myself’, a winning poem from the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019.

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

The activities stimulated by reading Cia’s poem should inspire students to think about themselves and look to a variety of love poems as a rich source for prompting poetry writing.

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Hope on a Postcard

Inspired by Dr Martin Luther King’s visit to Newcastle University in 1967 to accept an honorary doctorate, poets John Challis and Sinéad Morrissey were invited to run poetry workshops in a male maximum security prison. They explored, with a group of self-selecting inmates, the three themes of King’s acceptance speech: poverty, racism and war. Techniques explored include writing a Golden Shovel, a ghazal, and experimenting with enjambement. We invite you to try these exercises yourself or as part of a school or other poetry group. 

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Read more about the prison workshops in Poetry News online.

Sharing the Gift of Hope at Christmas

Poet Clare Pollard guides you through a brand new festive poetry lesson on the theme of hope. Pupils will learn about personification, writing letters, metaphors and similes, all while gearing up to writing a hopeful poem inspired by Clare Pollard's 2019 Christmas Tree poem 'The Gift'. Perfect for KS1 and KS2!

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For added inspiration, don't forget to read Clare's poem 'The Gift', commissioned as part of The Poetry Society's annual Look North More Often programme

Photo of a 1980s style cinema

The Power of Memory and Association

Teacher Trailblazer Gagandeep Chaggar guides you through teaching 'God in 80s Movies', a Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2018 winning poem by Em Power set in 80s films. Includes: close reading, writing your own film-inspired poem, and a note from the poet herself. Download

Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market

In collaboration with the Watts Gallery and their exhibition Christina Rossetti: Vision and Verse we are exploring one of Christina Rossetti's most famous poems Goblin Market. This resource is designed for A Level students. Topics at a glance include sisterhood, consumerism, Marxism, feminism and literary critical theories. Written by Romanticism expert Dr Bethan Roberts with additional support from The Poetry Society and Watts Gallery. 

Download the Christina Rossetti A Level Resource

Celebrations: a Foyle Young Poets resource

This lesson plan by Teacher Trailblazer Fran Pridham looks at Lucy Thynne's  ‘the parents anniversary', a winning poem in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2017.

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Poetry manifestos: End Hunger UK

With a free PowerPoint presentation by End Hunger UK and accompanying audio clip, Fran Pridham helps students to respond to food poverty in the UK through poetry. She uses Foyle Young Poet Phoebe Stuckes’ poem ‘Daughters’ as a way into writing manifestos against injustice. Enter your pupils’ work into the Young Poets Network challenge to win free workshops and inclusion on the nationwide End Hunger UK touring exhibition (closing 6 May 2018). Download teaching resource.