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Poetry Plus


Spotlight on Poetry Webinar

March 9 @ 3:30

Join the ELA team for a Spotlight on Poetry! Our guest speaker will be the NC Poet Laureate, Shelby Stephenson. We will talk about using poetry in instructional practices. 


To register:


Shelby Stephenson is an American poet from Benson, North Carolina. On 22 December 2014, he was named by Governor Pat McCrory as the ninth North Carolina Poet Laureate, a position he is set to hold from 2014 to 2016.  Here he reads from his poem "Etchings".

Strange Wind

by Shel Silverstein


What a strange wind it was today,

Whistlin' and whirlin' and scurlin' away

Like a worried old woman with so much to say.

What a strange wind it was today.


What a strange wind it was today,

Cool and clear from a sky so grey

And my hat stayed on but my head blew away --

What a strange wind it was today.


From “Ode to the West Wind”

By Percy Bysshe Shelley

O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odors plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh, hear!

"There is no single way to do a close reading of a poem. Sometimes an impression is a way in; sometimes the “voice” in the poem stands out; sometimes it is a matter of knowing the genre of the poem; sometimes groupings of key words, phrases, or images seem to be its most striking elements; and sometimes it takes a while to get any impression whatsoever. The goal, however, is constant: you want to come to a deeper understanding of the poem." - Introduction of The Close Reading of Poetry found here. >>>

The Close Reading of Poetry:

A Practical Introduction and Guide to Explication


Foldable Directions

Foldable Uses

Poetry Foldable

This site has an extensive collection of over 5,000 poems by occasion, theme, and form, or you can search by title or first line of the poem.  This site also includes a Poem-a-Day, which is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today’s talented poets each year. It has resources for teachers to bring poetry into the classroom and how to connect with poets or find opportunities to hear or study poetry by simply typing in your zip code. 

General Poetry Resources

Essays about teaching poetry, relevant websites, and curriculum units and lesson plans.

General Poetry Resources

Poetry Collections, Poetic Forms & Styles, and Poets

Why Teaching Poetry is So Important

The oft-neglected literary form can help students learn in ways that prose can't.

General Poetry Resources

Poetry Foundation is a great site that allows you to browse poems, poets and seasonal poems. It features articles, audio & podcasts, and many other resources for teachers. You can browse poetry in all issues of Poetry Magazine all the way back to 1912!!

General Poetry Resources

Poetry teaching strategies to help new (pre-service) teachers and their students feel comfortable with experiencing poetry.

Here are 16 outstanding poetry collections to offer children and teens throughout the year and across the curriculum. These well-written and beautifully illustrated selections provide myriad options to engage students and to foster a love of language, both oral and written. A new list comes out every April. 

General Poetry Resources

Don’t wait for April to celebrate poetry.  This site offers poetry lesson plans, activities and projects, and tons of articles and resources.


Scholastic provides a list of poetry books including fun verse, rhythmic novels, and writers' biographies grouped into collections for preschoolers, beginning readers, independent readers, and preteens.  

This is a toolkit to help inspire children of all ages to Dream In Color. Students will discover the works of important African-American poets, classroom activities designed to encourage them to develop their own poetic voices, discussion guides, as well as bibliographies and links to engaging online poetry resources.

Elementary Poetry Resources

How to become a “giggle poet”!  You can perform poetry plays with popular and funny poems, read and rate poems with the giggle meter, read interviews with your favorite poets and ask your own questions, and much more!!

Elementary Poetry Resources is the website of children's author Kenn Nesbitt, where you will find lots of funny poems and poetry books for children, classic children's poetry, games, poetry lessons and activities, funny poetry podcast, videos, and lots more.

Elementary Poetry Resources

10 Ways to Use Poetry in Your Classroom

Secondary Poetry Resources

Reading Poetry in the Middle Grades: 20 Poems and Activities That Meet the Common Core Standards and Cultivate a Passion for Poetry by Paul B. Janeczko

Secondary Poetry Resources

Pinterest ideas for middle school poetry

Secondary Poetry Resources

24 Must Share Poems

Teachers share their favorites—the punch-in-the-gut poems that always get a reaction, even from teens. 

Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. They have some sample lessons.

"Poetry through the Ages is a good comparative read for poets, readers of poetry, and literary history buffs. It has also been specifically designed to serve as an ideal tool for teaching poetic forms, their influences in their eras, and their relevance today – especially among students interested in adapting the forms to 21st century issues, feelings, environments, and events."

A poem a day for American high schools from the Library of Congress.

Hosted by Billy Collins – US Poet Laureate 2001-2003                        

Secondary Poetry Resources

A cut-up poem is made by taking words and phrases from existing pieces of writing such as magainzes and newspapers and then reassembling them to create a new piece.  William S. Burroughs was described as a "champion of the Cut-Up Method of writing poetry which dates to the late 1920's when the Dadaist writer Tristan Tzara provided instructions "To Make a Dadaist Poem" in a section of his writing.


Visual Poetry 

In this curriculum unit you will find models and exercises for learning how to make Dadaist cut-up poems, visual typography poems, visual collage with words, redaction poems, concrete constructivist poems, and found poems, culminating in the production of an altered book. 


"Found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems. A pure found poem consists exclusively of outside texts: the words of the poem remain as they were found, with few additions or omissions. Decisions of form, such as where to break a line, are left to the poet."

From NCTE:  "Found & Headline Poems"

Lesson Plan and Examples

Found Poetry 

Found-Poem Instructions

ELA Wiki


NCDPI Resources

ELA Resources



Julie Joslin, Ed.D.        

    Section Chief ELA

Kristi Day, M.Ed.          

     Consultant K-5

Lisa McIntosh, MSA     

     Consultant K-5

Anna Lea Frost, M.Ed. 

     Consultant 6-8

Angela Stephenson     

     Consultant 9-12

Teresa Parker             

     Administrative Assistant

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