National Poetry Day – 1st October 2020

National Poetry Day – Enjoy, Discover, Share

National Poetry Day is the annual mass celebration on the first Thursday of October that encourages all to enjoy, discover and share poetry. This year, National Poetry Day takes place on 1st October 2020, and the theme is Vision. They encourage you to get involved with activities nationwide on the day, to “See It Like a Poet” and to #ShareAPoem.

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 Vision from the National Poetry Day website:

  • There are a range of poems around the theme of Vision 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.

To celebrate, they have a new series of videos, starting with the film below by Malika Booker who took part in a challenge to write exactly 24 words in seven minutes on National Writing Day, 24 June. ‘One Day’, the poem that emerged, takes in friendship, vision and mangoes, and is the first official #MyNPDPoem.

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 socially distanced poetry show on National Poetry Day by inviting everyone to perform their poems aloud and streaming to other classrooms?

Love in the Time of Coronavirus, by Nikita Gill, illustrated by Chris Riddell

Their Poetry Toolkit is full of practical suggestions for bookshops and book groups wanting to get more involved this year. We’ve also got advice on running a Poetry Karaoke session from Gyles Brandreth and the Scottish Poetry Library. Everyone is welcome at Poetry Karaoke, events where people can simply share the poems that mean most to them, and discover new ones too.

The National Literacy Trust worked with professional poet Simon Mole, last year. Since most schools will not be allowing visitors why not use one of Simon’s most popular videos. Simon’s YouTube channel is home to his hugely popular interactive poetry tutorials, which are used by thousands of teachers and children across the world.

The National Poetry Day map is filling up; use it to check if there’s an event in your area, and while you’re on, add one of your own, great or small, to be in with a chance of winning THREE new poetry books from NPD’s recommended list, including the brand new Forward Book of Poetry – a compendium of the best new poems of the year.

Just announced, is a new partnership with English Heritage. They will be offering a fabulous programme of poetry participation opportunities linked to the hidden stories of its sites, from October 1 and running through October in parallel with Black History Month. Stand by for more news shortly – the programme is led by poet Jacob Sam-La Rose who has brilliant writing and performing tips to share.

LGfL Resources:

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

ReadingZone Live hosts the wonderful Michaela Morgan she was one of last year’s National Poetry Day Ambassadors.  She 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 part of the LEO Academy Trust.

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 Toolsuite can be used for children to use any of the j2write tools to write their own poem on the theme of Vision and why not use j2 vote to get the children to vote for their favourite poem?

Listening Books have a collection of favourite classic poets that children can listen to as inspire them on the day.

Adobe Spark (part of your Adobe Creative Cloud) has some free “poem templates”. They say, whether you’re sharing a stanza from your favorite poet, or publishing your own original prose for the world to read, Adobe Spark will serve as your creative guide. Create captivating graphics that are just as beautiful as your poem. Explore poetry templates that you can customise to perfection. Then, resize as needed to share on any social platforms or printed format. It’s as easy as choosing a template, customizing, and sharing!

Non-LGfL Resources:

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  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. You can visit the archive of writing collected in 2019 from all ages and backgrounds and the many perspectives on the places and histories of England and Wales. They have a range of toolkits still accessible for both Primary and Secondary schools on how to run poetry sessions within schools.

 

Or why not use the resources from the 2018 BBC Live Lessons 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 theme of Vision via our Twitter or Facebook pages, using the #nationalpoetryday hashtag.