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.

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.

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.

National Poetry Day resources from the BBC

There are more excellent poetry resources  available via BBC Teach, for both primary and secondary schools. Look out for films of top poets including Michael Rosen, Jackie Kay, Grace Nichols and Simon Armitage, and a poetry writing masterclass by George the Poet.

Celebrating poetry live: online event with Roger Stevens

National Poetry Day ambassador Roger Stevens featured on ReadingZone Live in an online poetry event, watched live by thousands of students and teachers on 28 September. To find out more, visit ReadingZone Live, a partnership between ReadingZone and The London Grid for Learning Trust. The event was hosted by a school in London with other schools joining by video conference.

Write a poem

National Poetry Day’s artist,  the poet Sophie Herxheimer, has come up with a great activity to inspire a poem about Freedom, by using some very odd rules – invented by mathematicians and poets together. It works with anyone, of any age.

Oulipo is addictive: be warned!

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.