Free Educator Resources for Teaching Poetry

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We have offered the Poetry Game in a variety of classrooms to help teachers meet a variety of learning goals, from 5th graders how to write with sensory details, to college students learning about the role of poetry in Arabic culture, to seniors building community and fighting cognitive challenges.

The Poetry Game generally works best for grades 5 and up, including middle school, high school and college students, as well as adults and seniors. We have played it with advanced students as young as 2nd grade. Participants need to be able to write their ideas on the page to play, so it works best after they have mastered the mechanics of writing.)

Students consistently report enjoying the game, including learning about themselves and their classmates as well as about poetry. Because everyone wins this game, and the rules make it a safe space to share, students become enthusiastic about writing and sharing their poems.

We want to make it easy for you to use the game in your class, so we’ve loaded up this page with free downloads, lesson plans, and other resources, including tips on how to adapt the game for students with learning disabilities. Enjoy, and contact us with questions, comments, and your classroom stories.

Free Poetry Game Downloads for Teachers

Download Word Version of Poetry Game English Prompt Cards for Use in Classroom

We developed the above version of the Poetry Game on advice of a 5th grade teacher who thought visual cues as well as written prompts would be helpful to her students. Since then we found it works well for older students as well, and also seniors. You have our permission to edit it for use in the classroom or by a nonprofit organization.

Download Word Version of Lesson Plan for Using Poetry Game in Class

This sample lesson plan was designed for a 5th grade classroom. We linked it to the 5th grade common core standards. The lesson plan can be adapted for other grades. It should be used with the prompt cards above (or the boxed version of the game, available here) and the handouts below. You have our permission to edit it for use in the classroom or by a nonprofit organization. The lesson takes about 1 hour, and 30-60 minutes more if you start with reading and analyzing a poem before students write.

Download Word Version of Handouts for Using Poetry Game in the Class

Handouts include instructions for students and evaluation form. You have our permission to edit it for use in the classroom or by a nonprofit organization.

We suggest that before using the game in the classroom, you test it out by playing a round with friends or fellow teachers!

Additional Resources

More Free Poetry Prompt Cards for Educators

Downloads Poetry Game Prompts for Ozymandiaus

Download Poetry Game Prompts for Ancient Egypt

Poetry Templates for Classroom and Senior Center Use

We find that sometimes a few students per classroom may have trouble playing the regular version of the Poetry Game. Perhaps they have ADHD, cognitive challenges, or trouble writing by hand. Maybe they are English Language Learners or seniors with mild cognitive impairments. We bring some copies of these templates to every Poetry Game workshop so those participants can write a poem as well.

“I Am _____” Poem Template (grade 2 and up) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dsYOPr55ACOgAUORw2Y5YdFvQTEymYHdmhgPi4_0r6A/edit?usp=sharing

“Hashtag” Poem Template (for High School) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DouMBx2PCvMB5hMYRW2X4PxiXmjCdoIhBSGbOpKE8vc/edit?usp=sharing

“When I say the Word ______” Poem Template (Grade 5 and up) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GQt1driEzFff_7S2Zjt54D5xvvAfyfXgmfCBZ7j-gEQ/edit

Poems Suitable for Classroom Use

Instrucciones en Español y Notas para Maestros

Buy the English, Spanish, Yiddish, or Arabic Game

Contact us with questions and suggestions for classroom use

Poems Suitable for Classroom Use

Poetry Game compation of poems to use in classroom https://docs.google.com/document/d/17WhNIzXusxMU93rIems1Z2DCNB6i7xVyNkVDCkKbdrU/edit#
We selected these to have a range of classic poems and newer poems and a diversity of authors and styles. These poems are suitable to use in schools; some can be used for grades 4 and up; others are better for high school and college.

We also like the list of poems listed at Poetry Out Loud, although the list skews toward male poets. http://www.poetryoutloud.org/poems-and-performance/find-poems

Split this Rock has a Quarry database of poems, http://www.splitthisrock.org/poetry-database?#. If the database does not function, try the Poem of the Week feature, including Do You Speak Persian http://www.splitthisrock.org/poetry-database/poem/do-you-speak-persian?

If you have poems to suggest to us to add, contact us. Note that poems should be in public domain.

Instrucciones en Español y Notas para Maestros

Estas recources so para el Juego de Poesía en Español. Aunque no tenemos un “download” gratis de el Juego de Poesía en Español, pero se puede comprarlo aquí.

Simple use of Poetry Game

Buy the Poetry Game here
Play it with friends
Adapt to your class as you see fit

Submit your idea, photo, or lesson plan, to share