Best poetry home schooling resources
Best for poetry performances
"Poetry doesn't just live in books – it lives in the sounds that words make. We think everyone has a favourite poem, it’s just that they haven’t heard it out loud yet. "
As The Children's Poetry Archive explains, poems come alive when they're read aloud, and the Archive offers over 2,000 poems to listen to for free. Every kind of English-language poetry is represented, some read by poets themselves and some read by other people. There is a wealth of wonderful poetry for children to discover, and the website is easy and fun to use.
We also love the BBC School Radio Talking Poetry website, where leading poets introduce and read some of their best-known poetry for children.
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Best interactive poetry resources
Read Write Think offers a collection of online poetry tools, free to use. Learn about and write acrostic poems, diamante poems, haikus, letter poems, riddles, "found poems" and theme poems and investigate how line breaks affect poetry.
Best poetry technique explanations
Do you know what a limerick is? How to define a rhyme scheme or a free verse poem? Can you identify a narrative poem or an acrostic poem?
Watch quick animations to explain poetry terminology and techniques to KS2 children on BBC Bitesize.
Best poetry playground website
Write funny poems, play children's poetry and word games, listen to poetry podcasts, try using a rhyming dictionary and explore loads of kids' poetry websites with Poetry4Kids, Kenn Nesbitt's "poetry playground".
There's a huge archive of poetry writing lessons for children to choose from, too, including how to write in different poetic forms and styles and video lessons on acrostic poems and rhyming.
Best poetry activity packs
Poet Shel Silverstein is the author of the American classic The Giving Tree and many collections of poetry (with wonderfully quirky illustrations). His website is packed with poetry activities: download lesson plans, "poet trees", wacky wordplay packs and silly spoonerisms and build vocabulary and boost creativity.
Best kids' poetry archive
You'll find the text of hundreds of poems for children in the Poetry Foundation archive – filter by topic (subject, occasion, holiday), or form (ballad, sonnet, couplet, free verse), period or poet's region.
Some of the poems have audio or video recordings, too, and every text is free to read online.
Best poems to learn by heart
Try a poetry "lucky dip" with the Poetry by Heart Mix It Up showcase collection, 60 poems selected to help primary school pupils and teachers find poems they love and learn them and enjoy them together by reading aloud and learning by heart. From classics by William Wordsworth, Robert Browning, John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Robert Louis Stevenson and Edith Nesbit to contemporary poets like Jackie Kay, Tony Mitton and Philip Gross, the collection includes a variety of periods, styles and voices from the UK and beyond.
There's also a KS1 and KS2 teachers' guide with handy tips to help children practise reciting poetry (and enjoy it!).
Best themed poetry collections
The poetry collections on Poets.org are curated specially for children, and there's a huge number of themes to choose from: animals, seasons, cities, Black history, friendship, love, nature, school, sports, technology, travel and loads more!
Look through the handy poetry glossary for a quick guide to poetic terminology, too.
Best platform for young poets
Young Poets Network is The Poetry Society’s online platform for young poets up to the age of 25. There are articles about poets and poetry to read, new writing from young poets, challenges and competitions to the next generation of poets and advice from the rising and established stars of the poetry world.
Lots more ideas for poetry learning at home are available on The Poetry Society's website, including videos of poets performing and discussing their work.
Best world poetry resources
The Scottish Poetry Library's archive includes poems in British Sign Language, Cornish, English, Gaelic, Scots and Shetlandic!
The worldwide poetry learning and teaching resources cover poems and poets from Nigeria, Poland, Senegal, Bosnia–Herzegovinia, New Zealand and many more – a treasure trove of voices from different times and places.
Best creative poetry challenges
Looking for different ideas to inspire your child to try writing some poetry?
How about a preposition poem, or a poem written from the perspective of a favourite toy, or a truth-and-lies poem?
These free poetry ideas from Reading Realm are unusual and crazy enough to get the creative juices flowing and they can be adapted for KS1 or KS2 children.