Low Effort, High Impact Ideas for Poetry

Introduction to Poetry 
By Billy Collins 

I ask them to take a poem 
and hold it up to the light 
like a color slide 

or press an ear against its hive. 

I say drop a mouse into a poem 
and watch him probe his way out, 

or walk inside the poem’s room 
and feel the walls for a light switch. 

I want them to waterski 
across the surface of a poem 
waving at the author’s name on the shore. 

But all they want to do 
is tie the poem to a chair with rope 
and torture a confession out of it. 

They begin beating it with a hose 
to find out what it really means. 

Poetry is fun! But we know that it can also be difficult in a variety of ways. Difficult to read, to understand, to teach, to write, to appreciate. Given the right resources and a little bit of confidence, however, poetry can be beautiful and moving, powerful and light. It is art at its very finest. And as this is National Poetry Month, we want to celebrate the art of words by sharing resources that will help you bring poetry to life with your students (with minimal work on your part – you’re welcome). 

Poetry Foundation – Poem of the day, highlights on a poet, collections of poems, audio recordings of readings, videos, blogs, podcasts, essays, and more. ALL about poetry! 

  • Educator page for articles, poem guides, essays 
  • Teen page for poems, videos, podcast episodes, and articles that speak to teenagers 
  • Children page for poems, activities, and videos that appeal to young students 

Poets.org – Thousands of poems, over 3,000 poets, and find lots of ideas for National Poetry Month 

  • Materials for Teachers to find everything you need to bring poetry into your classroom 
  • Teach This Poem for all the resources needed to teach a poem chosen by Poets.org 
  • Poem-a-Day for daily inspiration from new poems by contemporary poets every day 

Edutopia – all kinds of resources for National Poetry Month 

More ideas: 
Find local poets to visit your class (physically or virtually) 
Have a poetry slam or reading night and invite families and community members 
Create a progressive class poem (each student adds a line) 
Check out this blog where we make poetry easy for you! 

The MI Write Team

Measurement Incorporated

With past lives that range from restaurant servers and sales reps to teachers and models, the MI Write team has a wealth of knowledge, experience, and wisdom to share with readers!  
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