National Poetry Month Activities for Secondary ELA

April is National Poetry Month! This is a great time to get your students thinking, reading, and writing all things poetry. Here are a few low-prep ideas to get you started.

Read the poem-a-day at is produced by the Academy of American Poets. It is the original online resource for poems, poets’ biographies, essays about poetry, and resources for K-12 teachers. You can visit this website daily for new poetry and/or subscribe to their email list too!

The perfect resource to pair with this is a poetry analysis graphic organizer (picture above.) You can edit it and paste in the poem of the day, and have students complete it digitally, which makes for quick and easy prep. Students look closely at tone, theme, figurative language, and more!

Poetry Bingo Challenge: Inspire and challenge students to read and complete poetry activities outside of their comfort zone! Students choose 5 challenges from the bingo game board horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Includes an editable version so you can customize the challenges for your own class.

Ode to a Book Character: Working on a novel or short story unit? Here’s an easy tie-in idea! Students pick any book character to write an ode for. Everything you need for easy modeling and scaffolding is included.

Mother’s Day Poetry Stations: Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, May 8. Honor a special mom or female figure by having your students write 7 different types of Mother’s Day themed poetry. Students record their poetry in a memorable keepsake Mother’s Day Poetry Mini Book with space for every station. Makes a beautiful and personal gift!

Blackout Poetry: Have students take a written piece of text from a book, newspaper, or magazine and redact words, in order to come up with their own unique poetry! You can even do it online to save on paper at

Magnetic Poetry: This one is a classic. Magnetic poetry is collection of words and short phrases that have been printed onto small magnets. Students can then arrange the magnets into creative sentences or poetry! The kits are popular gift items and can found in novelty stores, bookstores and online. You can even try it online here at

Paint Chip Poetry: Get a bunch of paint chips from your local home goods store and have students be inspired by the unique names of colors available on the chips. Students can write poetry about how the colors make them feel, objects that feature the colors, seasons that the colors remind them of – the sky’s the limit!

Publish student poetry! Are your students ready publish your poetry? Here are some great websites to publish student poetry as well as poetry contests for students to enter!

  • The web’s largest poetry writing group – from beginners to experts. Have students post their poetry and create a fan base!
  • NY Times Picture Prompts: The NY Times invites anyone 13 to 19 years old a place to publicly post writing that is read by our editors and other students around the world. Students can write creative poetry based on the daily picture posted!
  • Find current poetry contests for teens to enter here.

Happy poetry writing!


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