Ideas that Teens Like for Teaching American Poetry in Homeschool Co-op

Here are some ideas that teens like for teaching American Poetry in homeschool co-op.

Teaching American Poetry in Homeschool Co-op

Ideas that Teens Like for Teaching American Poetry in Homeschool Co-op

Homeschool co-op is a wonderful place to teach poetry.

*Choose a good curriculum. For many homeschool high schoolers, they will get the most out of a curriculum that allows them to:

  • have some fun with American Poetry
  • feel they can understand, be touched by or relate to the poetry selections
  • gain some skills for reading and writing poetry
  • feel they can be successful at writing basic poetry
  • not be overwhelmed or feel the course is overdone

That’s exactly what 7Sisters’ American Poetry: Reading and Writing is about. The lessons are short, accessible, fun and engaging. There’s an answer key to help co-op teachers grade assignments.

American Poetry Writing

Create a syllabus for the course.

American Poetry: Reading and Writing is a quick, five-week course. This is perfect for introducing American Poetry in a homeschool co-op setting. Click here for a simple how-to on writing a syllabus for your course.

Or for teens who get excited and want a full year/full credit of poetry, here’s a syllabus for a poetry credit to walk them through the process.

Start with interest-building.

This is probably the most important thing you will do to win your homeschool high schoolers’ attention. Show them a video (or several videos) of famous people reading American poems. There are some links in American Poetry: Reading and Writing. Here are a few more:

Share a quote about poetry at the beginning of class each week.

Here are a few from

  • Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. -T.S. Eliot
  • Poetry: the best words in the best order. -Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Listen, real poetry doesn’t say anything; it just ticks off the all possibilities. Opens all the doors. You can walk through any one that suits you. -Jim Morrison
  • You can find poetry in your everyday life, in your memory, in what people say on the bus, in the news, or just what’s in your heart. -Carol Ann Duffy
  • Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. – Leonard Cohen

Read a poem in person each week.

Choose a favorite poem to read as a group, you read or a student reads.

Build vocabulary.

Create a word wall. Have students bring an interesting word that they have found this week and write it on a group poster board. Then have each student share their word and what it means. Over the unit they will have enriched their vocabulary in a fun way.

Group writing each week.

Introduce each topic and then write a poem of that style as a group (you lead the activity). Allow this to be fun, silly and no-fail.

Team writing each week.

Break into teams. Have them write a quick, fun version of the topic then share with the group.

Sharing poems.

Each week have students share their homework poem with the group. This can be done by passing around.

For more practical planning tips for teaching homeschool co-ops, check out this post.

Remember to keep the attitude light-hearted. There is no way to fail with poetry if your homeschool high schoolers are having fun!

Watch Sabrina’s WONDERFUL Facebook Live about teaching poetry.

Download American Poetry: Reading and Writing and get started!


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Ideas that Teens Like for Teaching American Poetry in Homeschool Co-op

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

2 Replies to “Ideas that Teens Like for Teaching American Poetry in Homeschool Co-op”

  1. As this article suggests, I am interested in using this for a small high school co-op class I teach once/week. I just want to make sure I am being respectful of all copyrighted materials if I do choose to use this. Thanks!

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