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NYC Helpline: How To: Manage Your Classroom
View Instructional Videos for Teachers about Classroom Management

Classroom Management (Secondary)

A high school science teacher demonstrates how her structured and routine-based classroom environment is the key to success.

Classroom Management (Elementary)

An elementary school teacher guides us through her daily classroom routines and shows how consistency and structure are essential.

Classroom Management through Cooperative Groups

View two elementary school teachers demonstrate how they engage their students through group work to help them learn.

How to Home
NYC Helpline: Manage Your Classroom
NYC Helpline: How To Get Started

For the Love of Poetry
Carolyn Hornik

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

Mark Strand, "Eating Poetry,"
Reasons for Moving
, 1968

Students do “eat up” poetry. They love to read and write poetry. They are excited by the rhythm, rhyme and beat of poetry. Poetry has a soothing effect on students, much in the same way music does. Humor can be brought out through poetry and moods can be altered. When there is a transitional period during the school day try reciting a poem together with your students; you’ll get, and likely keep, their attention.

Poetry is an integral part of the literacy program. Encouraging students to read, write and enjoy poetry is a means to developing a love for literature.  Many New York City schools participate in the annual Poem In Your Pocket celebration in which students carry their favorite poems in their pockets and share them with others. Students can share their poems in literacy circles. Since poetry can be integrated into all subject areas, educators of all subjects can instill poetry into their lessons.

Exposure to the many types of poetry is a major component of the study of poetry. Descriptions and examples of each type of poetry (acrostic, ballad, chant, cinquain, diamonte, haiku, limerick, ode, sestina, sonnet, to name just a few), along with strategies for introducing various types of poetry, can be found at the following web sites:

Types of Poetry

Ideas for Writing Poetry in the Classroom

The English Room

Poetic Forms and Techniques

It’s important to call attention to the use of poetic devices in poetry, such as  alliteration, metaphor, onomatopoeia, personification, and simile. Use of these poetic devices makes the writing more vivid, exciting, descriptive, and interesting. Understanding the use of these devices helps students interpret the mood, meaning, and theme of poetry.

Descriptions and examples, along with lesson plans for teaching about poetic devices, are available at:

Poetic Devices

Teaching Poetic Devices

Analyzing Poetic Devices: Robert Hayden's Those Winter Sundays

Poetry can be a vehicle for instruction in all curriculum areas. Below are resources that describe how poetry can be integrated into content areas:

Geometry Meets Poetry

Social Studies:

War Literature

The Ottoman Empire

The Causes of the American Revolution


The Dirt on Soil

Forced to Flee: Famine and Plague

Print materials that reveal strategies for integrating poetry with subject areas of study are offered in:
Community School District 21, Reading and Writing Connections

Poems for Teaching in the Content Areas, J. Patrick Lewis and Laura Robb

Using Poetry Across the Curriculum, Barbara Chatton

Poetry and music are closely linked. Many song lyrics are actually poems. Poetry and music share rhythmic and rhyming elements. The following web sites describe lesson plans that integrate poetry and music:
The Connection Between Poetry and Music

Poetry Intro

Jazz Talk Activity


As an offshoot of examining the connection between poetry and music, we can also make the connection between poetry and rap. The following web sites explore ways of presenting rap as a poetry form:

Philip Clark, Teaching Poetry through Rap

Mindi R. Englart, Rap as Modern Poetic Form

Gigi Goshko, Voice

Another way to encourage students to write poetry is to have them enter their works in poetry contests. The links below provide listings of poetry contests for students:

Teen Ink Contests For Teen

The America Library of Poetry

Waxing Poetic: Our 2004 Poetry Contest

River of Words

The Atlantic Online Student Writing Contest

It’s important to expose students to and appreciate all forms of literature. Instilling a love for poetry can begin well before children are pre-schoolers with nursery rhymes and finger plays and extend into adulthood with more complex forms of poetry. Reading, writing, and illustrating poetic forms as an essential part of a literacy program will encourage students to become lovers of poetry.

Related Poetry Resources

Glossary of Poetry Terms

745 Poetry Lesson Plans

Teachers Network: Lesson Plans

Types of Poems for Kids

Types of Poetry Word Search

Virtual Poetry

The Poem Machine

BJ Pinchbeck's English Homework Helper Links” – Tons and Tons Of Poems

Poetry Lessons

See also:

Learning to Write Poetry by Wendy C. Marks

Out Loud: Preparing for a Poetry Read-Aloud by Sandy Scragg


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