Education

National Poetry Day isn’t bounded by just one day – it’s a storehouse of ideas and activities for you to use all year round.  Explore this site for loads of ways to celebrate with poetry in school, including the Toolkit for Schools. And check out our competitions page for more exciting and rewarding activities for children and young people.

Your feedback please!

If you and your school took part in National Poetry Day 2018 we’d love to hear about it. Do email us poetryday@forwardartsfoundation.org with photos we can share to inspire others, and please take a moment to give us your feedback via this survey, you could win poetry books and National Poetry Day goodies.

Read a poem

We have a selection of poems on the National Poetry Day 2018 theme of “change” to get your class inspired. Send us your recommendations too as we’ll be adding to the selection from now until National Poetry Day on 4 October.

Try an activity – use our free teaching resources

Take a look at our bank of online resources to get your class started, plus posters to decorate your classroom.

Use this form to sign up for packs of printed materials – NB! It’s first come, first served and our partners at Browns Books for Students are also distributing materials.

Join the UK’s biggest classroom at 2pm on National Poetry Day, Thursday 4th October, at bbc.com/livelessons

Featuring poetry reading, performances, and critical analysis of similes and metaphor, this free interactive show will broadcast live into schools across the UK. It will be led by award-winning performance poet, author and National Poetry Day ambassador Joseph Coelho, and BBC presenter and author Katie Thistleton.

Using poetry from the National Poetry Day anthology Poetry for a Change, children will discover how intonation, volume and speed can affect the delivery and performance of a poem and use their imaginations to contribute to a mass Live Lessons poem.

Inspired by the National Poetry Day theme ‘Change’, the programme will encourage children to consider how they experience change in their everyday lives and how they can bring this theme to the poetry they read, write and perform.

This lesson is aimed at Key Stage 2 and 2nd Level students.

BBC Teach Live Lessons bring the curriculum to life with leading experts and access to the BBC’s biggest brands and talent. The Poetry Live Lesson is one of a series of eight new half hour interactive webcasts for schools. Find out more at bbc.com/livelessons and follow @BBC_Teach for regular updates on all upcoming Live Lessons.

Plus, brush up your pupils’ Shakespeare with this new resource from the Shakespeare Schools Foundation

We are delighted to be partnering with the Shakespeare Schools Foundation in 2018. Use this special Lesson Plan on Shakespeare’s rhythms and get your class writing Iambic poetry!

The Scottish Poetry Library  has a great selection of poems, posters and resources too.

Words That Burn

Watch out too for the Words That Burn project from Amnesty International UK, a national project to support teachers and secondary students explore human rights and express themselves through poetry. The free teaching resource includes lesson plans and activity ideas, lots of relevant and exciting poems as well as AV links to spoken word performances.

Write a poem

Want to write a poem? Now’s the time to start! Poems often grow from poems, and Kate Clanchy has created a great activity, based on the work she does with students at Oxford Spires, which will get you started.

Takeover the school

What happens when a school becomes a seed-bed for poetry? With Forward Books of Poetry as the seed packets? In 2014/15, the poet Kate Clanchy of Oxford Spires Academy decided to find out, by encouraging students throughout the school to raid the Forward Book of Poetry 2015 for inspiration for work of their own. The result is documented in a poetry anthology that is also a treasure trove of teaching ideas. 

I was educated until I was 14 in Afghanistan and Pakistan. When I came here it was a big shock to me: I want to be an A student, but because of my English I get Bs and Cs… I love to read and write poetry. I especially liked the Kevin Powers poems because of the way he wrote about war. My poems are also about war, and leaving my country… Winning the Forward Young Responses Competition made me very proud. Now I will take AS Creative Writing next year and I believe I can get an A.

Shikria Rezaei, Student, Oxford Spires Academy

Let us know how you get on

Don’t forget to let us know what you get up to with #nationalpoetryday, so that we can share your work with our supporters.