Teaching Poetry

April is National Poetry Month, and it’s a great opportunity to spend time exploring, creating, and celebrating the power of poetry. Introducing students to poetry not only fosters a deeper appreciation for language, but it can also spark a love of the art form that can continue for years to come.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss why teaching poetry is valuable for students, as well as share some of our favorite Listenwise lessons that put poetry front and center.  From the classics to contemporary voices, Listenwise has lessons to help educators harness the transformative power of poetry to engage and inspire students of all ages.

Why Teach Poetry to Students?

1. Fostering Creativity

Poetry invites students to think outside the box, to experiment with language, and to paint vivid images with words. Through poetry, students can explore the limitless possibilities of self-expression, fostering a sense of freedom and individuality in their writing.

Lesson Recommendation: TikTok Poet Says “We’re All Poets”

2. Developing Critical Thinking

Poetry challenges students to analyze and interpret complex ideas within a condensed form. Engaging with poetry cultivates sharp analytical skills through developing an understanding of literary devices, such as simile, imagery, personification, and metaphor.

Lesson Recommendation: Poetry for the Digital Age

3. Empowering Voice

Poetry is a powerful tool for amplifying voice and perspective. By sharing their thoughts, emotions, and experiences through poetry, students learn to assert their identity and navigate the complexities of self-expression. Whether through personal narratives or social commentary, teaching poetry to students empowers them to become agents of change, fostering empathy and understanding along the way.

Lesson Recommendation: Poet Gwendolyn Brooks Inspired Young Poets

4. Cultivating Emotional Intelligence

Poetry has a unique ability to tap into the depths of human emotion. By exploring themes of love, loss, joy, and resilience, students develop emotional intelligence and empathy. Through poetry, they learn to navigate the complexities of their own emotions and to empathize with the experiences of others, fostering a sense of connection and compassion.

Lesson Recommendation: Connecting Through Poetry

Listenwise Staff Picks 2023

Listenwise Lessons for National Poetry Month

Poetry Lessons for Younger Students

Amanda Gorman Speaks Her Truth

Haiku about Summer

Love Poems from Kids

Poem for a New School Year

What is Love?

Poetry Collections for Older Students

Poetry (Middle School)

Poetry (High School)

ELD Poetry Lessons

The Life of Langston Hughes

Maya Angelou’s Life and Legacy

Young Inaugural Poet on Her Journey

Poetry and Basketball in “The Crossover”

Listenwise Staff Picks 2023

Looking for more lesson plan ideas to help your students explore their identities? Check out our blog post, “3 Tips for Providing Windows, Mirrors, and Doors.”