National Poetry Day

From Forward Arts Foundation

Resource type: Event

Price band: Free

Key stage: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5, Adult

Region(s): All of UK

This nationwide annual celebration of poetry takes place on the first Thursday of October, which in 2022 falls on October 6th. Each year, National Poetry Day has a different theme and the theme for 2022 is The Environment.

The National Poetry Day website has a range of free resources available to support schools, including:

  • Themed lesson plans for KS1 through to KS5.
  • A competition for pupils aged 7-12 asking them to write an acrostic poem about their favourite plants and animals. Closing date Friday 4th November.
  • A selection of permissions-cleared poems that tie in with the year’s theme for schools to use.
  • Information about the National Poetry Day Ambassadors.
  • Posters and display material to raise awareness of National Poetry Day.

Cost: Resources are free with registration.

About the Forward Arts Foundation: National Poetry Day is organised by the Forward Arts Foundation, a charity committed to promoting public knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of poetry in the UK and Ireland. Other programmes include the Forward Prizes for Poetry and the annual anthology of the year’s best poems, the Forward Book of Poetry.

Further resources:

  • Watch a recording of award-winning poet Zaro Weil’s online event for KS2 pupils in which she introduces her latest collection When Poems Fall From the SkyFind teaching notes by CLPE for four of the poems here.
  • The Royal British Legion in partnership with the National Literacy Trust is providing a series of four live workshops with poet Tomos Roberts for pupils in KS2. Based on Roberts’ poem Alive with Poppies, the free workshops will support students in drafting, editing and and performing their own Remembrance poems. The workshops will take place between 11.00 and 12.00 starting on Monday 3rd October.
  • National Poetry Day sees the launch of Poetry Prompts, a series of weekly bitesize videos by Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho designed to celebrate and demystify the reading and writing of poetry. There are free posters and accompanying resources from CLPE to download.
  • The BBC Teach website has a range of Poetry Resources for primary and secondary teachers, including a Live Lesson with Joseph Coelho on National Poetry Day at 11.00am.
  • Help students in KS2 and KS3 create their own natural world poems with the Wild Poetry activities from the National Literacy Trust. The resources are available with the NLT’s free membership level, which will also provide access to resources from previous National Poetry Days.
  • Young Writers is running poetry competitions for primary and secondary pupils this half term. There are free teaching resources to download and you can join award-winning poet and international battle rapper Mark Grist for a series of live poetry writing workshops on National Poetry Day (Thursday 6th October). Cost £50 per workshop.
  • Get involved in the Poetry By Heart Competition, an annual poetry speaking competition for pupils in KS2 – KS5 in schools and colleges in England.
  • Sign up for Poetry Together, a free initiative that encourages schools and care homes to connect by learning a poem off by heart and coming together to recite it. This year they are also running a poetry competition for young people aged 5-18 on the theme of Laughter & Tears.
  • The National Poetry Centre for Primary Schools provides a comprehensive bank of resources to support the teaching of poetry in the primary classroom.
  • The Poetry Society offers a service matching poets with schools that would like to run poetry workshops.
  • Find more resources to support the teaching of poetry here.

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Logo for National Poetry Day