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Commission on the Teaching of Poetry

Commission Co-Chairs:

Bonner Slayton, Moore-Norman Technology Center, Norman, OK
Danny Wade, Washburn University, Topeka, KS

Commission Liaison:

Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

  1. To promote the teaching of poetry across all curriculums.
  2. To examine, suggest, and promote innovative ways of teaching and responding to poetry.
  3. To establish a culture and community for the reading, writing, and teaching of poetry.
Current Projects:

1.  The Poetry Commission has completed research on each State’s ELA Standards prior to Common Core, analyzing the treatment of poetry teaching in grades 6-12. The findings have also been examined in relation to the 6-12 Common Core ELA standards. Poetry Commission Members, Hood Frazier and Danny Wade, presented the findings at the 2012 NCTE Annual Convention in Las Vegas. The session title was “The Status of Poetry in an Age of Accountability.”

2.  The Poetry Commission led a roundtable session, “Igniting Poetry in an Age of Common Core Standards” at the 2012 NCTE Annual Convention. The Commission is beginning to draft a manuscript to present the findings of the above mentioned study of poetry teaching in the states’ standards.

3. The Commission continues to compile poetry lessons designed for teachers of fearful of poetry. These lessons are disseminated at conferences and upon request.

4.  Hood Frazier, Poetry Commission member and Professor at James Madison University, completed his book manuscript, Exploring Poetry: Conversations with Contemporary American Poets. Frazier’s manuscript has several chapters devoted to interviews with poets such as Ted Kooser, Rita Dove, Nikki Giovanni, and Greg Orr. Included with each poet is a lesson plan for teaching his or her poems. Each lesson plan includes procedures, is connected to reading and writing standards, and has samples of student work. Hood requested that Poetry Commission members create and execute these poetry lessons. Indeed, several commission members did submit and their lessons are included in the manuscript. Hood is still seeking a publisher for the book and would love any suggestions that the CEE Executive Committee could provide.

5.  The NCTE-CEE Commission on the Teaching of Poetry continues to conduct engaging roundtable sessions at the NCTE Annual Convention. The 2012 session, “Igniting Poetry in an Age of Common Core Standards,” through interactive lessons and discussion shared  how to incorporate and integrate poetry with the visual arts, music, digital production, media, and self while simultaneously targeting Common Core reading and writing standards.

6.  The Poetry Commission is also seeking lessons to recommend to teachers who are fearful of teaching poetry. Interested persons, regardless of membership in the Poetry Commission, should email lessons to Danny Wade at  Please send as a Word document.  There is no required format.

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