Classroom Materials

Celebrate National Poetry Day with the Poetry Archive

Here at the Poetry Archive we believe that poetry should be celebrated every day.  We recommend a daily diet of poetry for the heart and soul and hope that our visitors will make regular use of our vast archive of poets reading their own work.

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Poetry by Heart competition

Poetry By Heart is a pioneering national competition designed to encourage young people aged 14-18 at school and college in England to learn and to recite poems by heart.

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Listening to poetry

Poetry was an oral art form before it became textual. Homer's work lived through the spoken word long before any markings were made on a page. Hearing a poet reading his or her work remains uniquely illuminating. It helps us to understand the work as well as helping us to enjoy it.

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A guide to the language of Caribbean poetry

Click here to download a pdf version of this article.

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Hello and welcome to the Poetry Archive. And, to our old friends, a very warm welcome back. What you’re looking at now is a revamped version of the site, and I want to introduce it to you by saying I hope you enjoy what you see and hear as much as we’ve enjoyed providing it.

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Poetry, Creativity, Multimodality

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Links to poetry resources for teaching and learning

Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets website contains essays, interviews, biographies, poems and many other resources.

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How to get the best out of the Poetry Archive

Tip 1

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Poetry moments

The Poetry Archive is primarily about listening, and classroom activities around poetry need not always involve students doing their own writing - there are plenty of other ways of responding to a poem.

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Invite a poet

Finding a poet

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Create a listening atmosphere

What about visuals?

When concentration levels are low and your class is restless, something visual - whether it's a photograph, a sketch, a diagram on the whiteboard - can help support learning.

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Glossary term


A short, succinct poem, often with witty (or even vicious) content.


A tour of the Archive with Helen Gray

As a secondary schoolteacher in London for the past thirty years, it has been my privilege to have had a job which...

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