Student Poetry on Display: 4 Ways to Showcase

April is National Poetry Month! There’s no better time to guide students as they dig deep into poetry and unearth their creative voices. To help showcase student poetry, we’ve collected project showcase ideas from educators across the Summit Learning community.

A concrete poem from Summit Learning: Speak up, be heard, for your voice matters now.

Whether you choose one of the following great ideas or come up with your own, giving students a platform for expressing their voice is always on beat.

Four Ways to Showcase Student Poetry

Digital Portfolio (from DelSesto Middle School)

“Teacher Kaleen O’Leary’s sixth graders recently completed their poetry portfolio project. Kaleen reported that as new sixth graders, students were just getting used to the expectations of Summit Learning and the challenge of developing their poet’s voice. They were having some challenges with being independent. I modeled a few workshops on growth mindset using the growth mindset resources within the platform.

We were really happy to see these sixth graders complete their poetry portfolios with confidence. The students picked their top five favorite portfolios. Then, we had the students choose one poem to include in an online digital portfolio.”

– Contributor Wendy Espinoza Cotta, M. Ed., director of strategic partnerships at New England Basecamp

School-Wide Poetry Slam (from River City Academy)

River City Academy hosted a school-wide Poetry Slam for both middle and high school students. Below, High School Student Kaegan performs “If I Should Have a Daughter.” Kaegan’s poem and performance was one of the winners at the high-school level.

Students invited friends and family to enjoy their work in a night of performances, which included both spoken poetry and song lyrics.

Middle school winners of the River City Academy Poetry Slam: Nick (8th), Mark (9th), Nevan (9th), Fiona (7th), Caitlin (7th), Adia (7th), Autumn (7th)

Contributor Annaleah Karron, Social Studies teacher at River City Academy

Blackout Poetry Display (from Trimble County High School)

Try blackout poetry as a way to get students comfortable with poetry. High school students at Trimble County selected pages from books and used their unique perspectives to create something new.

Contributor Amanda Therrian, English teacher at Trimble County High School

Podcast (from Mount Tom Academy)

“We submitted this discussion of Walt Whitman’s poem, “O Me! O Life!” to the NPR podcast contest. Students at Mount Tom Academy discuss Walt Whitman’s poem and relate the poem’s main themes to their life experience as at-risk youth in an alternative high school.

Leigh-Anna introduces the podcast, followed by Leecy, Megan, Jon, Autumn, Tessa, Aisha, and then Leigh-Anna again at the close. Following a brief student-directed planning session, the podcast was recorded in one take, using a laptop and microphone.

The seven students who created the podcast are in different grades and live in different towns, yet they share difficulties with a traditional school. The podcast tells their stories of finding a place where they matter and the impact that has had on the way they see themselves and the world.”

-Contributor Barbara Cheney, lead instructor at Mount Tom Academy

Student Poetry Projects in the Summit Learning Library

Inspired yet? Check out the poetry projects in Summit Learning’s curriculum library, organized by grade level; or, create your own project!

Find other poetry resources, fun poem graphics, and more in the April Community Engagement Toolkit. Share your classroom stories and student projects on social and use hashtag #NPM19 and tag @SummitSpark on Twitter and Instagram or @SummitPersonalizedLearning on Facebook.

About the author

Summit Learning
Summit Learning is a research–based approach to education designed to drive student engagement, meaningful learning, and strong student–teacher relationships that prepare students for life after graduation. Created by teachers with experience in diverse classrooms, Summit Learning is grounded in decades of research about how children learn. With Summit Learning, students gain mastery of core subjects like math, history, English, and science, while also carefully developing the skills and habits of lifelong learners. Summit Learning is independently led and operated by the nonprofit, Gradient Learning.