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National Poetry Day - October 3rd 2019

National Poetry day is on the 3rd October and the theme this year is Truth, 2019 is the 25th anniversary of National Poetry day so expect the celebrations to last all year long not just on the 3rd October.

There are a number of resources that can be used to help you plan and deliver lessons on or before National Poetry day based around the theme of Truth from the National Poetry day website:

  • There are a range of poems around the theme of truth that can be used by pupils on the day
  • Lesson plans for KS 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 from the National Poetry day website to get you started, including a toolkit full of ideas and inspirations.
  • Posters for display

The #MyNPDPoem poetry writing challenge is now open, after being launched by Forward Arts Foundation at the CLiPPA ceremony.

In association with CLPE and with the support of ALCS, #MyNPDPoem encourages schools everywhere to create poems, performances, displays and even special poetry books as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations for National Poetry Day. To take part, children aged 6 to 13 are invited to write a poem on the NPD theme Truth. They can write individually or with friends and topics could include; the truth about their family, or their school; nature might provide inspiration, provoking a poem about the truths the natural world reveals; perhaps young poets will want to share hidden truths about the way they feel about the world. Or maybe they’ll want to explore the opposite of truth – lies!

CLPE have created a resource to help spark ideas which you can download here. There are also other competitions that students of all ages can take part in you can view all the competitions here. You can also download a certificate of participation to hand out to all students who write and perform a poem

Poets Karl Nova, Michael Rosen, Rachel Rooney, Victoria Adukwei Bulley and Joseph Coelho have produced inspirational films, full of advice and ideas.

Once children have written poems, share the best on National Poetry Day by tagging pictures on Instagram or Twitter (@PoetryDayUK) with #MyNPDPoem. Why not hold your own poetry show on National Poetry Day by inviting everyone to perform their poems aloud. Present each young poet with an NPD certificate which can be downloaded here. Schools are also invited to publish the poems as books for pupils to take home to their friends and families, using Scholastic’s We Are Writers scheme. The books can be sold to raise money for the school or other charities.

Everyone who writes an original work automatically owns the copyright, regardless of their age, and #MyNPDPoem is supported by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). Find free resources and information explaining copyright to young people on the ALCS website.

The National Literacy Trust have teamed up with National Poetry Day to create two classroom resources for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. The National Poetry Day lesson plan resources provide a set of activities about fake news versus truth. Students are given an example poem and asked to create their own in a similar style, then perform it.

Each lesson plan includes:

  • A starter to get pupils involved and discussing the topic of fake news
  • A poetry relay activity
  • A writing activity where pupils create their own poem

The activities are clearly linked to the national curriculum for Key Stage 2 and 3. They support learning and developing confidence in writing, storytelling, working together and performance.

They have also worked with professional poet Simon Mole to create a Key Stage 2 lesson plan all about truth, with an accompanying video below, so that you can have a poet in your classroom this National Poetry Day!

The lesson plan includes:

  • A warm up game to introduce the theme of truth
  • A writing activity which asks pupils to write a narrative poem based on a true story
  • Further suggestions for poetry activities and games

They also have lots more brilliant poetry resources from Simon Mole - and they're all completely free! They also have a book list of brilliant poetry books for children aged 0 to 11 - that you can share with parents so that they can join in with the celebrations.

LGfL also have a range of resources to support you in teaching National Poetry Day:

Our latest Reading Zone Live was with the wonderful Michaela Morgan she is a National Poetry Day Ambassador  and writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry and regularly visits schools to perform and to run story writing or poetry workshops. Her book - Reaching the Stars written in collaboration with the poets Jan Dean and Liz Brownlee, is a collection of poems about extraordinary women some famous, some anonymous, some individual, some representative, some historic, some mythic.

In the videos below you can see a celebration of Poetry and how to get started with writing poems - great to share on National Poetry Day during an assembly or in lessons. The first two are short trailers and the third video explores what is a poet, how do you start to write a poem and does it need to rhyme? Just some of the questions answered by Michaela Morgan during this event celebrating all things poetry, and National Poetry Day, with pupils from Cheam Common Junior Academy. Head to Reading Zone live to see all the videos from the event.

Poetry Workshop with Cath Howe,  is also part of our popular ReadingZone Live resource featuring over 40 authors. Poetry Workshop offers strategies for developing creative poetry activities with primary children, suggestions for learning poems by heart and then performing them.

Special-guest material features award winning poet Joseph Coelho. There are five pages of tips for exploring and sharing poetry, learning poems by heart, performing poems, prompts to use when writing poetry and tips for learning poetry by heart. Each page features a teaching point as well as short videos.

There are a range of poets within Reading Zone Live that can be used as a starting point for teachers to use when looking at writing poetry and the themes within them. Zaro Weil one of the poets featured in Reading zone Live explains how she begins writing a poem:


Reading Zone Live also features the poet Roger Stevens who founded and runs the award-winning Poetry Zone website, which encourages children to write and publish their poetry and offers guidance and ideas for teachers on how to make the teaching of poetry fun and rewarding.

J2e Tool suite can be used for children to use any of the j2write tools to write their own poem on the theme of truth and why not use j2 vote to get the children to vote for their favourite poem. Busythings also have a template for children to use to write their favourite poems - you can find this within the special events on the home page.

Listening Books have a collection of favourite classic poets that children can listen to as inspire them on the day, reminder that Listening books is a charity and provided for LGfL subscribers, these books must only be used with students who have an illness, physical or learning disability or mental health condition which impacts on their ability to read or hold a book, and are offered for non-commercial use only.

Poetry Roundabout is the go-to place to find anything and everything about poetry for young people. Poems do not have to be written specifically for young people to be accessible to them; content is however always suitable. This is a place of fun poetry, interesting poetry, lyrical poetry, poems in all different forms and shapes and sizes!  Visit for interviews with the best children’s poets, poetry news, how to write poems, poems of course, and poetry book reviews… and more besides! For teachers, young people’s poets, and poets who are young people!

Places of Poetry  is open to all readers and writers. It aims to use creative writing to prompt reflection on national and cultural identities in England and Wales, celebrating the diversity, heritage and personalities of place. The site is open for writers to pin their poems to places up until the 4 October 2019. It will then be closed for new poems but will remain available for readers. They welcome writers of all ages and backgrounds and want to gather as many perspectives on the places and histories of England and Wales. They have a range of toolkits for both Primary and Secondary schools on how to run poetry sessions within schools.


 Or why not use the resources from the BBC Live Lessons last year led by award-winning performance poet, author and National Poetry Day ambassador Joseph Coelho, poet and author Tony Walsh, and CBBC's Katie Thistleton, this lesson features poetry reading and performance and critical analysis of similes and metaphors.

This is just one of many BBC Teach resources for both Primary and Secondary that can be used to bring poetry to life within the classroom, you can find the collection here.

We would love to see the work you do around National Poetry day via our Twitter or Facebook pages, using the #nationalpoetryday hashtag.

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