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Friday, October 18, 2013

Poems and National Poetry Day: news and teaching resources round up

Giant knitted poem Bring poems to life on National Poetry Day using our selection of news stories and teaching resources. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

Poetry has made the headlines this week, with the death of Ghana's most famous poet Kofi Awoonor in the Kenyan siege followed by Michael Gove's call for pupils to give up sexting in favour of sending each other love poems.

As it's National Poetry Day on Thursday 3 October, marked this year with a water theme, we have pulled together news, teaching resources, multimedia and recommended websites to help your make your celebrations inspiring.

Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor among Westgate mall victims
One of Ghana's most famous poets has been killed in the Nairobi shopping centre attack, after travelling to Kenya for a literary festival. Find out more about this incredible poet in his obituary

George the poet 'Go Home' – video
Performance artist George the Poet takes on the government's campaign against illegal immigrants. Thought-provoking video to play in class.

Top 10 most requested poems
Poetry Please, the world's longest-running radio poetry show, reveals its 10 most requested poems. Great reading for your students, plus raises interesting questions of the purpose of poetry. Why do we continue to want to hear poems written by long-dead poets?

To Autumn – poem of the week
One of the most widely published of John Keats' poems, To Autumn is laden with meaning – and is the Guardian's poem of the week. Read the poem and commentary here, great stimulus for your students' own autumn-themed poetry.

Typhoons in the news
The theme of this year's Poetry Day is water, so your students may want to do their own news-based research on the impact of water on people's lives, as super typhoon Usagi hits the western Pacific.

Romantic rhymes to Michael Gove – share your sentiments
As Michael Gove tells young people to scrap sexts for love poems, we ask teachers to tweet us their verses for the education secretary. Share your verses with us in the comments thread.

Mermaid's Lament poster
Gorgeous watery world poster to celebrate National Poetry Day inspired by Mermaid's Lament by Rachel Rooney.

Squirting Rainbows by Shirley Hughes
A classic poem by the legend that is Shirley Hughes, beautifully presented for classroom display for National Poetry Day 2013.

Born of Water key stage 3 lesson plan
This reading and writing activity by Mandy Coe is based on poems by Rachel Rooney and Carl Sandburg.

Splashing out with poetry in reception
Based on poems by James Coe, this is a reading and performance activity for early years.

Jelly fish cut out
Great idea for responding to this year's National Poetry Day watery theme for early years and primary students.

Into the Deep
Flotsam, Jetsam and the Deeps are explored in this stirring lesson plan aimed at key stage 4 based on Michael Symmons Roberts' poem.

The Whale Watcher
The Scottish Poetry Library has created a wonderful set of resources in partnership with Scottish Water, including this one on Kathleen Jamie's Whale Watcher.

Cut up and shuffle
This imaginative idea to encourage close-reading and collaboration can be adapted for ages 7 to 16.

Think of a Flood
Notes and activity-based ideas to explore Jackie Kay's poem Think of a Flood, itself an English version of a Gaelic poem by Myles Campbell, Rudan a nì uisge, which can be adapted for all ages.

Notes and ideas for teaching Don Paterson's poem Rain.

National Poetry Day animation
Leo Crane's watery-themed animation is absolutely beautiful and will only take up 30 seconds of your day. Unmissable viewing.

Scottish Poetry Library
This site aims to bring people and poetry together and has an engrossing learning section with great downloadables.

Poetry Society's Poetry Class
Fantastically inspiring resources and ideas here. The society also runs a poetry cafe in London for those craving old-school contact plus open mic sessions.

National Poetry Day website
Lots of help and ideas here here for National Poetry Day and beyond.

Apples and Snakes
Poetry site with a bite – spoken word, poetry slams and lots of collaboration to engage students.

View the original article here