Poetry Out Loud: Teacher Resources

The Poetry Center is pleased to announce its regional partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts in administering and facilitating Poetry Out Loud for the Southern Arizona region.

Below are the Poetry Out Loud resources the Poetry Center will make available to schools located in Southern Arizona. 

Sign Up

If you are a school in Southern Arizona, you can register for the program here, on this site, August 4th to October 24th. If you a school from the central or northern region, visit the Arizona Commission on the Arts website.


Through funding from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Poetry Center offers one day visits (7 hours) from poets for registered schools to help guide your students through the process of creating unique poem performances. The residency visits are offered to schools in Southern Arizona for FREE! In order to receive a residency package, lead teachers must attend a planning meeting, sign a contract, and agree to coordinate the visit with all parties at the school site. We have a limited number of visits to offer and they are available on a first come first serve basis.

Online Primer for Teachers and Students preparing for the contest

View past participants of the Poetry Out Loud contest recite their work and SLAM experts speak about some of the fundamentals of performance. A good review for anyone preparing for Poetry Out Loud experience.

Professional Development

Two separate one-day workshops for grade 6-12 teachers:

October 11 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the University of Arizona Poetry Center, Tucson, AZ.
November 8th 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Ellis-Shakleford House, Phoenix, AZ.

$25 registration fee. Registration form forthcoming.

Capitalize on trends in spoken word and hip-hop to get your students excited about poetry.
Help your students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Participants will develop, memorize and perform a favorite poem from the National Poetry Out Loud anthology. Through this process, they will learn first-hand about the benefits, challenges, and process of guiding students to develop their own poetry performances of favorite poems.

Through the use of innovative arts integration learning activities, participants will especially find useful an opportunity to extend ELA standards based learning and skills gained from the National Poetry Out Loud Contest process that will connect poetry performance to ELA lessons throughout the school year.

Judge Training

The Poetry Center can send representatives to deliver a 45 minute judge training workshop for judges you select for school-wide competitions. We are no longer able to send trained judges to school sites. Poetry Center does send an ambassador to each school competition bearing gifts for the top three winners!

Regional Finals

Winners from each school competition will compete at a regional finals hosted by the Poetry Center. The 2015 Semi-Finals will be held February 14th at 1 p.m. The event is open to the public and we encourage all friends and family of competing students to attend. Flyers will be made available to lead teachers to distribute about the event, information will also be made available on the web.

Lesson Plans

Check out John Hollander's "Committed to Memory" Lesson Plan on Poets.org!and the WordPlay blog.

Arizona Board of Regents