Poetry Outload

You’re invited to join other high schools in Pennsylvania and across the country for Poetry Out Loud, the annual national recitation contest for students.The Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest is a partnership of the National Endowment For the Arts; the Poetry Foundation; and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

About Poetry Outload

  • POL satisfies more than half of the NCTE English Language Arts Standards, as well as at least three Anchor Assessments per the PA Common Core ELA Standards: Speaking and Listening (SL 9-10, SL 12-11), Reading (FL 9-10, RL 11-12), and Language (L9-10, L 11-12).
  • The teachers’ guide suggests ways to customize the program to meet your schedule constraints.
  • Free, standards-based curriculum materials are available for schools, teachers, and students. Teachers receive a guide to help them teach recitation and performance, a CD of distinguished actors and writers reciting and talking about poetry, media guides, and promotional materials.
  • Teachers also have access to the POL website which includes all materials, including all support materials, poems, media guides, and more.

Getting Your School Involved

Individual or groups of teachers, a school club, or the entire school may participate. Teachers can determine the extent of their participation. For example, they may…

  • Incorporate POL into a unit of study, perhaps culminating in recitations by each student in front of the class;
  • Offer the program as an extra credit project or after-school program’s project; or
  • Use some or all of the lesson plans offered online or in the free teacher’s guide.

What Must Students Do?

  • Choose poems from the more than 750 eligible poems at the POL website to memorize and recite for a class and then school competition.
  • Recitations may not include properties, costumes, or music.
  • Some gestures and minimal movement may, however, be appropriate to a given poem. Be sure to study the recitation guidelines found online or in the Teacher’s Guide.

What Must Teachers Do?

Contest Winner

Elizabeth Catalano, Senior from Hollidaysburg Area High School (left) with Erin Murphy, POL Judge, Professor Penn State Altoona, 2015 Literary Arts Inductee, Blair County Arts Hall of Fame (right)

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