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3 ways to bring poetry to life in the classroom with free resources

Develop oracy and writing skills with SPOKEN WORD POWER - use free Primary & Secondary classroom resources, create original spoken word poetry to celebrate World Poetry Day, and get your students’ work published!

Develop oracy and writing skills with SPOKEN WORD POWER - use free Primary & Secondary classroom resources, create original spoken word poetry to celebrate World Poetry Day, and get your students’ work published!

14 Mar 2022, 7:30

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Education charity Eastside is providing schools with free resources to celebrate World Poetry Day this March.

Open Call is part of SPOKEN WORD POWER – a new, completely free creative project supporting Primary, Secondary and SEND schools, as well as other educational institutions across the nation to creatively champion the spoken word and get students’ poetry published.

Schools and teachers can get involved by downloading a free Speaking My Truth lesson plan and using accompanying videos to help their class develop their very own spoken word poetry to celebrate WORLD POETRY DAY. Teacher Guides are also available to help schools put on their very own School Poetry Slam.

Eastside is working with regional partners, UNESCO and BBC Upload, to share resources as part of SPOKEN WORD POWER, which embeds spoken word poetry into the nation’s school life and gives a platform for young people’s voices to be heard.

After a year in which access to the arts has been severely restricted owing to closures of schools and arts institutions, and a narrowing of the curriculum, SPOKEN WORD POWER Open Call will give every teacher the opportunity to bring the creativity into their classroom in 2022 and it’s FREE!

Schools have until 25th April 2022 to submit their chosen poem.

“So inspirational for all the children to be so excited and have such a positive experience with poetry” Mr Savage, Hobbayne Primary School

3 easy steps to get students creating high quality spoken word poetry

Use our resource pack to introduce your students to our 2022 theme ‘Speaking My Truth’, and encourage them through the whole process of poetry writing; from conception to performance.

  1. USE THE LESSON PLAN: Our Open Call Resource Pack and accompanying videos get your students writing and performing original spoken word poetry inspired by professional poet, Poetess Jess. Watch her welcome video for students here.
  2. HOST YOUR SCHOOL POETRY SLAM: The handy guide in your Pack helps you celebrate World Poetry Day on or around March 21 with a simple performance event.
  3. SUBMIT YOUR SCHOOL POEM!: Enter one poem on our form here to feature in our poetry anthology, Speaking My Truth, for free. Each participating school will receive a free copy to celebrate their achievement. Submission deadline: 25th April 2022.

Any educational institution working with students aged up to 18 is eligible to participate in this programme.

The Speaking My Truth poetry anthology will be published in June 2022. All schools featured will receive a free copy of the anthology for your school.

Why spoken word poetry, and why now?

Words are Power!

Spoken Word Poetry has impacted and changed my life drastically. Being able to write down how I feel and air my views has given me hope and a bright future. Projects like this allow young people to find who they are as an individual…and nothing is more freeing than being able to be creative – if we allow them to find their voice then they can change the world. Poetess Jess, Ambassador Poet for SPOKEN WORD POWER

SPOKEN WORD POWER embeds poetry teaching, writing and performance skills into the nation’s school life, and will inspire at least 20,000 young people over the next 3 years. Through participation, young people will develop the confidence, skills and creative know-how to write and perform their own spoken word poetry, showcasing their work.

As a youth arts charity, Eastside has been working with schools and teachers for 28 years, developing resources that support them to offer their students a platform to have their voices heard through poetry writing and performance.

Young people have experienced significant challenges over the past two years, with limited access to the arts and creativity, and many with concerns about the world that they will inherit.

Programmes such as this one, that support schools to embed spoken word poetry within the classroom, and throughout school life, can build a range of key life skills, such as oracy and collaboration, alongside boosting curriculum learning with improved writing and vocabulary skills. Additionally, Spoken Word Poetry provides an exciting medium through which young people can have their opinions on the world around them heard.

Eastside will be celebrating WORLD POETRY DAY in the West End with talented young poets from primary, secondary and SEN schools across London, who will take to the stage to represent their class in this celebration of poetry. We will also be putting together a printed Anthology, and selected poems may feature on regional BBC Radio through the BBC Upload programme.

SPOKEN WORD POWER is generously supported by Arts Council England, John Lyon’s Charity and the UK National Commission for UNESCO.

Delivery Partners


A leading youth arts organisation delivering creative programmes for young people in a range of art forms such as Poetry, Drama, Animation and Filmmaking across London and the nation. We aim to be the go to creative partner for the education sector and our mission is to empower young lives and youth voice through arts programmes that develop essential skills and creative thinking.

Grimm & Co

Grimm & Co is a registered literacy charity in Rotherham which champions the writer in every child, changing lives one story at a time. We deliver workshops for children, young people and families, as well as running creative programmes with schools and in the wider community.

Writing on the Wall

Writing on the Wall is Liverpool’s longest-running writing and literary organisation and festival. We celebrate and inspire creativity and writing in all its forms through inquiry, debate, performance and publishing. Our annual WoWFest brings together local audiences with the best local, national and international writers, artists and social commentators.

Essex Book Festival

Essex Book Festival is a multi-discipline dynamic, fun and challenging festival that celebrates storytelling in all its forms. Taking place in over forty venues across Essex from Martello Towers to Tudor Palaces, Lecture Halls to Lightships, Castles to Classrooms, it welcomes people from all ages and communities to get reading, writing, and performing, while also savouring the delights of some of the UK’s leading artists and writers.


UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) is the United Nations body responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture, and communication. Its goal is to help prevent war by building the defenses of peace in the minds of men and women.

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