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Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest

Information for Teachers

The schedule and curriculum for Poetry Out Loud have been intentionally designed to fit into a teacher's busy schedule without much disruption. The program can take place over two to three weeks, according to each teacher's interest and schedule, and does not require full class periods during that time.


Get Involved and Sign Up!


  1. To register your school for Poetry Out Loud, please complete the Teacher Registration Form, which is a simple online form. Thursday, November 27, 2018 is the deadline for schools and teachers to sign up for the Official 2018-2019 Poetry Out Loud Competition in South Carolina. The Teacher Registration Form is due to the S.C. Arts Commission no later than this date.

  2. Once you've registered, invite other classrooms and teachers at your school to participate, and plan to host a schoolwide competition.

  3. Create a simple timeline that outlines your school's Poetry Out Loud program, including deadlines and competition dates, and then get started!




Free Program Materials

Every teacher who participates in Poetry Out Loud will receive a complimentary toolkit for classroom use. Each toolkit contains the 2018-2019 Teacher's Guide and Poetry Out Loud posters for the classroom and other competition venues. Similar to last year, the Teacher's Guide is constructed with pocket folders to hold the posters.


The toolkits do not include a copy of the Learning Recitation DVD. The footage from the Learning Recitation DVD is available on the Poetry Out Loud national website: http://www.poetryoutloud.org/poems-and-performance/video-recitation-series. In addition to the classroom toolkit, FREE teacher resources are avaiable online at www.poetryoutloud.org.


Online resources:

  • POL Poem Anthology containing over 600 poems.
  • Teacher Lesson plans -- All POL lesson plans are available on the website: http://www.poetryoutloud.org/teaching-resources/lesson-plans. Twelve (12) lesson plans are offered online, tailored to POL and covering a wide range of topics, including optional writing exercises.
  • Judge's Guide, Advice for Judges, Contest Evaluation Sheets, Sample Tally Sheets and more are available to download for use during classroom and school competitions.
  • Recitation Tips - audio and video clips are available to help students master the art of recitation
  • NCTE and Common Core Standards


Not participating in this year's official competition?

Your school can still run its own, unofficial program using the online materials on the National Poetry Out Loud website.


NCTE and South Carolina Standards and Classroom Time

Poetry Out Loud satisfies most of the NCTE English/Language Arts Standards as well as many of the South Carolina English/Language Arts Standards. In addition to memorizing and performing great poems, students will have the opportunity to discuss poems and to write poetry of their own. The Program Guide includes optional lesson plans for the teacher, as well as all other elements the teacher needs to implement the program.