Poetry and Teaching English

Since April is National Poetry month and I’m also a poet (dowload / read my latest book ), I thought I’d share some ideas and resources for using poetry in your classroom.

Activity sheet – Funeral Blues

I’ve used poetry a lot over the years in class. It can be done quite simply and doesn’t need to be any stuffy exercise. It is all about the power of expression.  Simply handing out slips of paper and asking students to write one sentence based on your prompt, then collecting them and reading them out loud – is a wonderful activity and a great intro to poetry. Even songs are poems too! Just cut out the music and go for it….

We have on EFL Classroom 2.0  our own video directory of poetry and also a whole collection of other poetry resources available.  Here are my additional recommended resources;

1. Spoken Verse youtube channel.This is where the above video comes from.

2. Billy Collins channel of animated poems. and Billy Collins group and audio on EFL Classroom 2.0.

3. Poem Hunter: Get poems on a particular subject / topic (click them on the left). Print and use in class.  Flickr Poet is also a wonderfully creative online poem/image maker.

4. PBS Favorite poem. Regular people read a poem.

5. Poetry workshop handout / ideas

6. Grammar Poems are delightful and can be used for any topic/content.
Read more and find out how to use them in your classroom.

If you liked this post – you’ll probably like the post “Teaching and Poetry”

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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3 Responses

  1. Mahmoud says:

    it’s really impressive,thanks a lot

  2. Ann says:

    Just posted a link to this on the TeachingEnglish facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TeachingEnglish.BritishCouncil if you’d like to check for comments.

    Please feel free to post there when you have anything you’d like to share.



  3. ddeubel says:


    Always appreciated. Will do and I have a few even more powerful ways to present poetry that I’ll mention.



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