The one with digital poetry resources

We have been teaching virtually for almost a year now. How crazy is that? It’s just about time to get into poetry for third quarter. Poetry is my absolute FAVORITE genre of writing to teach. I like finding ways to read a little bit and write a little bit. 

Image: poetry typed on a napkin with poetic terms around it, Text: Three Free Digital Poetry Resources

This year, I’m finding ways to pivot (again!) and use digital poetry resources that my students can access. Here are some of my favorites that I’ve used:

  1. YouTube videos: we’ve listened to Amanda Gorman (including her inaugural poem and Super Bowl poem) and I’ve found a couple videos to help with specific skills, like this reading of Shel Silverstein’s Sick. It’s perfect for discussing tone. Listening to poems performed just makes them sound even better and truly engages your students. 
  2. This site is awesome! It’s full of a variety of poems. They have a great section for teachers, complete with lesson plans and a classroom calendar. You can search topics ranging from monthly themed (Black History Month & Women’s History Month, among others) to kids vs. teens to literary movements (Harlem Renaissance, Contemporary, Romanticism, etc.). This is so great because it’s easy for kids to access and find poems on their own also.
  3. eBooks on Epic (free for teachers!): I’m slightly obsessed with Epic. They have books for everything and they’re easy for teachers and students to access. Here’s a collection I made of my favorite poetry books. My top three: Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes, which beautifully uses verse to describe Garvey as he struggles to accept himself; Can I Touch Your Hair by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, which uses two perspectives, a white girl and a Black boy to explore race and friendship; and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, which describes how Hà and her family flee Saigon for America in 1975. 
Poetry can be a polarizing topic for both students and teachers! It can seem very complex, which is why I try to find poems that are accessible for students to start. Using these resources, I was able to help my students gain a general understanding when we started. They LOVED listening to Amanda Gorman, even if they didn’t understand everything right away. Also, several of my students were really excited about Can I Touch Your Hair, so I ended up choosing that book as a book club option. 
I hope these ideas help you out!
Looking for more on poetry? Here’s another blog post I wrote about poetry writing and one blog post about the book Love that Dog, which is my absolute favorite poetry book!
Here’s some resources I use (they’re print & digital):
Love that Dog Bundle

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