Our Top Five Poetry Resources

Poetry can be hard to sell to pupils, which on the face of things is pretty puzzling: it can be enormous fun, especially when performed, and there's such a wide range of poetry in existence that there really should be something to appeal to everyone.

There are ways into poetry for everyone. I'm honestly a big believer that even just learning and reciting poetry is a rewarding and beneficial thing to do for pupils, and the existence of things like the Poetry By Heart Scotland competition confirms that others share this belief. It gives less confident pupils a chance to perform a piece without the sense of exposure that comes with performing something they've written themselves. And if you do want pupils to go and compose poetry, I think it's enormously helpful to get them to recite existing poems out loud, to get a sense of the kind of rhythms and sounds that make a poem work - that's why our Steven Camden learning resource below encourages pupils to do just that.

Even just listening to different types of poetry is enormously valuable

Even just listening to different types of poetry is enormously valuable, not least to expose pupils to stuff which might change their perceptions of poetry entirely. Our Authors Live poetry events include a poetry slam where hip hop artists and performance poets square off against one another, and a deeply moving event with Jackie Kay, Miko Berry and Jenny Lindsay.

Have a look below and see if there's something that could help you spark a love of poetry in your classroom or library!

Ross Collins and a polar bear on a chair
Ross Collins Resource - Creating Rhyming Poetry

As you can tell from its title, Ross Collins's book, There's a Bear on my Chair, wholeheartedly embraces rhyming, and this resource takes you step-by-step through the creation of rhyming poetry with Level 1 pupils. If you want to hear Ross read the book out loud, head on over to the resources and videos for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2017.

Case Study Package - Word War

South Lanarkshire teachers Peter Kelly and Helen McKenzie used our Authors Live Poetry Slam event as the inspiration for a class debate in poetry form! A fantastic project for engaging reluctant readers and writers, Word War subsequently grew in stature to an intra-local authority battle between different schools. In this case study package you'll find everything you need to try it for yourself. The format continues to grow in popularity, with schemes like the ConFAB Scottish Youth Poetry Slam competition!

Steven Camden Resource - Character Creation and Poetry

Steven Camden is an author and spoken word artist who performs under the name Polarbear, and his deeply affecting spoken word work will resonate with many of your pupils. This resource helps pupils to create a character and deliver a spoken word dramatic monologue.

Michael Rosen performing at an Authors Live event
Michael Rosen Learning Resource

The former Children's Laureate appeared in our first ever Authors Live event way back in 2010, and we commissioned this learning resource to help upper primary and lower secondary teachers and librarians use Michael's poems in school. Michael is worth a follow on Twitter too, for some provocative discussion about education.

Read the rest of our poetry blogs

Our Teachers and Librarians blog is a rich source of excellent practice in the teaching of reading and writing. Why not check out all the previous poetry-related posts? You can find out how one teacher took poetry at National 5 to the Home Economics classroom, get a look at some top tips for teaching poetry, and much more!

Check out all our poetry-related book lists for some inspiring verse.

Want to watch some brilliant poets on National Poetry Day and beyond? Check out these brilliant performances of children's poems and some fantastic slam performances on YouTube.