Inspire with Poetry! 10+ Ideas & Resources

science haiku tweet“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” – Robert Frost

April is National Poetry month and the perfect excuse to inspire your students with poetry no matter what subject you teach. Try posting a short poem on the board related to the topic of the day, such as the science haikus found @Sciencehaiku. Then give your students the mission to create their own poems that explore the topic more deeply. For example, they can create descriptive poems about animals and challenge their peers to guess the animal. They can create shape poems that explore science or math such as Bob Grumman’s long division poem. Start of with haikus or shorter poems that are easier for all students to create. Get them excited about animating their poems with digital tools and apps. See the slide presentation and bookmarks below for more ideas and resources.

Lesson Ideas

Here are a few lesson ideas I talked about during my presentation. Students can:


Here are a few more resources:

More Resources and Lesson Plans

Find many more ideas in my Pearltree bookmarks below. Click on the circle to make that resource appear.

Teaching Poetry in Vday Resources / Holidays & Events / ELT 2 / English Language Teaching

Cultivate your interests with Pearltrees for Android


Try one of these tools or apps to get students interested in creating their own poems.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

1 comment

  1. Good day Shelley

    I am a South African teacher and I am impressed with the way your country is celebrating National Poem month. You have opened my mind in the fact that we don’t have to present poetry in a language subject only. I am so glad that I can be part of this professional learning community through this blog.

    I will definitely post a short poem on the board in my classroom, when I teach Natural Science. I will apply your suggestion where I will ask the learners to create a poem of a topic that is part of our curriculum. Furthermore I am so excited to do this, because lately I had a dull feeling when I taught, because of the prescribed lesson. Doing this will add flavor to the lesson and I feel alive as a teacher. However our school has a computer room that is a white elephant, and I am so sad and frustrated about it.

    Thank you so much for your blog as it assisted me to have a different perception in my profession. (Niesz, T. 2007) “Their participation in networks let them know that they weren’t alone in their big dreams and big ideas and provided support and strategies for teaching against the grain.”

    Kind Regards
    A Colleague, Catherine Hendricks

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