Every autumn, Britain breaks out in verse for National Poetry Day, this year on 6 October.
We often reach for poetry when we want to say something meaningful, whether it is in a birthday card, a graduation speech, wedding or funeral.
The aim of National Poetry Day is to have people encounter poetry in unusual places – being handed a quote card or poetry scroll in the street, on a news bulletin on the radio, on a flyer stuck to a bus stop. And to encourage people to write, read, exchange poetry.
The theme for the 2016 edition is "messages", which can be a great place to start. Why not ask pupils to write a text message or Twitter poem? They may not believe that poetry can be that short, sweet and simple, but focussing on the idea of a message can open the door to who knows how much lyricism!
Performance poetry, or slam, is very popular with teenagers, and reciting poetry is a fabulous exercise in oral expression. A great opportunity to have pupils focus on pronunciation but also expression, and really getting their message across.
There is a free ebook of poems to download from the National Poetry Day website. We've made a selection of those that work best for language teaching, with teaching suggestions. Just say it with a poem!
National Poetry Day
> ‘What They Took With Them’: Refugee Poem
> Teaching with Roald Dahl
> Free Poetry eBook for National Poetry Day
> Creative Activities for National Poetry Day