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(This was originally posted in April 2017 and updated March 2019.)

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

   What Is Love?

   Celebrating Poetry 

   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

   Poetry and Basketball in “The Crossover”

   Letters from Langston Hughes

   The Life of Langston Hughes

   Homer’s ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey’

   The Real Story Behind Shakespeare’s Sonnets

   Edgar Allan Poe’s Mysterious “Raven”

   Walt Whitman’s Letter 

   Puritan and Poet Anne Bradstreet

   A Letter from Phillis Wheatley

   ‘Beowulf,’ Paganism and Christianity

   Translations of ‘Dante’s Inferno’

   Poetry Reflecting World War I

   Poet Seamus Heaney

   Modernist Poet T.S. Eliot

   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