April is National Poetry Month.

Learning the language of poetry will help your students understand, analyze, and even enjoy what they're reading. Explore Vocabulary.com's ready-made resources and simple strategies to help your students get the most out of this timeless and challenging genre.

Poetry Terminology Lists

One of the most difficult aspects of teaching poetry is covering all the technical terms. Vocabulary.com's curriculum team has put together a comprehensive set of word lists that teach all the poetry terminology you'd ever want your students to know. These lists include relevant definitions, examples, and supplemental notes written by our editors.

We recommend selecting a list that's appropriate for your class, assigning the list for your students to practice independently, and reviewing the terms in class as needed.

Rhyme's Reason
Poetry Slam
Poetry: Literary Devices
Poetry: Genres
Poetry: Structure and Meter 
Introduction to Poetry

Recommended Reading

These lists include the most relevant vocabulary words from each poem, presented in the context of the work that's cited. We recommend assigning a list for practice before your students tackle the reading to help them unpack the challenging language in the text.


Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
Museé de Beaux Arts by W.H. Auden
Man Listening to Disc by Billy Collins
Yet Do I Marvel by Countee Cullen
Because I could not stop for death by Emily Dickinson
Birches by Robert Frost
Digging by Seamus Heaney
To an Athlete Dying Young by A.E. Housman
The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes
Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
Song VII by Rabindranath Tagore
The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth
Easter, 1916 by W.B. Yeats
Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley
On Being Brought from Africa to America by Phillis Wheatley 
A Noiseless Patient Spider by Walt Whitman 


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate
Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Bear in mind that these recommendations represent only a fraction of our vocabulary lists. You can find more resources on our Lists page.

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