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(This was originally posted in April 2017 and updated April 2018.)

April is National Poetry Month! First celebrated in 1996, the Academy of American Poets organized the holiday to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. During Poetry Month, help your students explore the stories and people behind the most famous poems with these Listenwise stories. We suggest kicking off your poetry lesson with this story which shows students the relationship between poetry and music. You can listen to an audio poem each day from the Poetry Foundation, or find a few audio resources from the Listenwise site below.

Current Events

   Poet Gwendolyn Brooks Inspired Young Poets

    America’s First Black Poet

   Francis Scott Key: Lawyer, Poet, and Creator of “The Star Spangled Banner”  

    Maya Angelou, Poet, Author and Civil Rights Activist, Dies at 86

   Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves Of Grass’

   A Friend Remembers Robert Frost

   The Life and Poetry of Sylvia Plath

   Lord Tennyson and the Real Light Brigade

   Rudyard Kipling’s Poetry


Lesson Plans

  Walt Whitman’s Letter 

    Puritan and Poet Anne Bradstreet

   A Letter from Phillis Wheatley

   ‘Beowulf,’ Paganism and Christianity

   Translations of ‘Dante’s Inferno’

   Gary Soto’s Poetry

   Poetry Reflecting World War I

   The Life of Langston Hughes

   Poet Seamus Heaney

   Modernist Poet T.S. Eliot

   Poet Emily Dickinson, an Eccentric Recluse

   The Life of Sylvia Plath

   Maya Angelou’s Life and Legacy

Other Poetry Resources

From Edutopia

From Share My Lesson

From Facing History

For ELLs from Colorin Colorado

From the National Council of Teachers of English