The prestigious Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is open for entries. Joanne Bowles offers some lesson ideas and tips for getting your classes involved in poetry and competitions

I run an annual poetry week at my school: a celebration of all types of poetry where we try to involve all year groups and where we embed it across the curriculum.

Running the poetry week doesn’t make me a poetry expert. I find a lot of poetry difficult to understand, and I’m honest about this with my students. I make poetry a learning experience for all of us – the result is that the students can, and often do, come up with another meaning for a poem that I thought I understood!

We tend to adopt the theme used for National Poetry Day. I have found the resources on their website a really helpful starting point. In 2016 the theme was “messages”. Before students even listened to or looked at any poems, I started my library lesson with an exploration of all the different types of messages.

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