Teach This Poem is a weekly series featuring a poem from our online poetry collection, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help K-12 teachers quickly and easily bring poetry into the classroom.
For homework, ask your students to select a poem (no longer than one page) that is their favorite or one of their favorites. Tell them they will be reading these poems aloud in class.
Schedule several students to read their favorite poems at the beginning of class each day for a week.
Whole-class discussion: At the end of the week, ask your students how they reacted to (a) reading their poems aloud, and (b) listening to a group of poems that their peers had selected. What did they learn from both experiences? What was the feeling or tone in the classroom after the poems were read?
Project “The Republic of Poetry” in front of the class. Ask your students to read it silently and jot down all the words and phrases that jump out at them. Ask one student to read the poem aloud as the listening students add new words and phrases that they hear to their lists. Repeat the process with a second student reading aloud.
Small-group discussion: Ask your students to share the words and phrases that jumped out at them in the poem. How do these words and phrases make them feel about poetry? How do they think the speaker in the poem feels about poetry? What is the evidence in the poem that makes them feel that way?
Ask your students to write a short poem about how they would include poetry in this class in order to make it feel like a “Republic of Poetry.” The following week, ask several students to read these poems at the beginning of class each day for a week.