Classroom Materials

Celebrate poetry every day!

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.

View page

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.

View page

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.

View page

A guide to the language of Caribbean poetry

This guide by Pauline Christie is an excellent aide for anyone reading Caribbean poetry who wants a little extra insight to the language. Christie clearly explains the grammar and vocabulary of Caribbean Creole with examples from a range of poems. 

View page

Links to poetry resources for teaching and learning

There are so many poetry resources on the internet, it can be hard to know where to start!  We have listed some of the most useful websites where you can find out more and get in touch with relevant organisations.

View page

How to get the best out of the Poetry Archive

Whether you have heard poets read live or on the radio, or whether you've never heard a poet read, these tips are meant as a starting point to help you find your own way to enjoy what the Archive has to offer.

Tip 1

View page

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.

View page

Invite a poet

Finding a poet

View page

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.

View page

Glossary term


Referring to something by one of its characteristics rather than its name.