New Thematic Educator Guides: Teaching Poetry

By Kaitlyn Spotts | June 1 2023 | Middle SchoolGeneralEnglish Language ArtsHigh School

Poetic voice, according to former U.S. Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, is an “artistic choice,” and in her 2019 TED-Ed Talk, she compelled students to “speak up.” The immense popularity of poetry slams, open mic nights, and other spoken word poetry events attests to the power of poetry to provide a platform for social commentary, and today’s youth voices are being heard louder than ever. We’ve created thematic guides teachers can use to help their students find personal and collective voice within the power of poetry.

The Middle School Guide on Teaching Poetry addresses the following line inquiry: How can poets use their process to explore and establish identity? Students are asked to reflect on the complexities of this question as they read closely, write critically, and collaborate with peers.

The High School Guide on Teaching Poetry asks: How do poets use poetry to establish voice and promote social justice? The suggested strategies generate possible answers to this essential question while providing the critical reading, writing, and thinking required of today’s students.

Download the free guides for elementary school, middle school, and high school.

Call Us What We Carry
The instant #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestsellerThe breakout poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman
$24.99 US
Dec 07, 2021
240 Pages
Viking Books

My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice
A Guide to Writing Poetry and Speaking Your Truth
The ultimate writing guide for teens from the editor of Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience
$16.95 US
Mar 31, 2020
128 Pages
Seven Stories Press

Bronx Masquerade
A Coretta Scott King Award winner! Using the structure of a poetry slam, Nikki Grimes's award-winning novel is a powerful exploration of self, an homage to spoken-word poetry, and an intriguing look into the life of eighteen urban teens. Now available in a great new package and format.
$10.99 US
Aug 08, 2017
192 Pages
Dial Books

Alma Presses Play
A lyrical novel-in-verse that takes us through the journey of coming of age in New York during the 80s.
$17.99 US
Sep 14, 2021
336 Pages
Make Me a World

Respect the Mic
Celebrating 20 Years of Poetry from a Chicagoland High School
An expansive, moving poetry anthology, representing 20 years of poetry from students and alumni of Chicago's Oak Park River Forest High School Spoken Word Club -- now in paperback!
$9.99 US
Feb 07, 2023
176 Pages
Penguin Workshop

Poetry to Light Up the Darkness
An inspiring and beautiful collection of poems to give you strength, arm you for hardship, and remind you that you're always growing, from the bestselling author of Chasers of the Light.
$18.00 US
Mar 30, 2021
160 Pages

Measure for Measure
An Anthology of Poetic Meters
This comprehensive and joyous celebration of metered verse—from Shakespeare to slam poetry—brings together some of the best rhythmic lines in literature.
$20.00 US
Mar 31, 2015
256 Pages
Everyman's Library