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 these great competitions which will welcome your students’ Freedom poems.
And, if you did do something special on National Poetry Day 2017, we’d love to hear about it. Tell us via this short survey – it will really help us in planning next year’s activities – and please send us your photos too via firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can share them and show them off. We’ve got a pile of poetry books and goodies to send out in return.
Read a poem
We have a selection of poems on the National Poetry Day 2017 theme of “freedom” to get your class inspired.
Try an activity – use our free teaching resources
The Scottish Poetry Library has a great selection of poems, posters and resources too.
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.
Words That Burn
Watch out too for the new Words That Burn project from Amnesty International UK. Launching in October, Words That Burn will support teachers and secondary students to 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.
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.