“The poems students memorize will be with them all their lives.”

— Margaret Atwood

Classroom Contest

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Here’s how to bring our recitation contest into your classroom, whether your students are competing in the Junior Competition (grades 6-8) or the Senior Competition (grades 9-12):

  1. Each student finds, memorizes, and practices their recitation of one poem selected from our English anthology or our French anthology. Be sure they select poems for grades 6-8 for the Junior Recitation Competition or poems for grades 9-12 for the Senior Recitation Competition.
  2. Students recite for the class and their recitations are evaluated using our Scoring RubricEvaluation Sheet, and Accuracy Score Sheet.
  3. The student with the highest score is named your classroom champion. If there’s a tie, refer to our Rules to break the tie.


Ask your colleagues if they’ve also named a champion or champions in their classrooms. If so, you can prepare for the school contest.

If only one classroom champion is named and no school contest is to be held,* you can now prep that student for the Junior Online Finals or the Senior Online Qualifiers (formerly known as the Online Semifinals).


We hope that you’ll encourage your classroom champion to move on to the school contest and beyond; however, you and your students may decide to end your involvement with Poetry In Voice here. Through exploration, memorization, and performance, your students will have developed a personal relationship with poetry — and that’s invaluable.


*We strongly recommend that any student who advances from a grade 9-12 classroom contest directly to the Senior Online Qualifiers be given the opportunity to recite both of their poems in front of a large audience, for example, at an assembly. Whenever possible, have these students recite using a microphone on a stand (a microphone will be used at the National Finals). 

“The poems students memorize will be with them all their lives.”

— Margaret Atwood