words unlocked share selves

reflecting found intention

words now unlocked soar

over boundaries, through them

thanks whispered on wings

words unlocked evolve

glimpses into times of change

pause, transformation

words unlocked tether
through absent presence

words unlocked exist
rise up, in powerful form


words unlocked resist

shouting above silent whirlds



The semi-structured curriculum below is ready to be customized by teachers.  We have provided a 7-day curriculum, of 60-minute lessons, that can be used at any time during the month of April.  The remainder of the month is open for a la carte lessons and the creation, revision, and selection of poetic works for schoolwide contests.  The submission period for the CEEAS poetry contest is at the end of the month.

Adjusting to meet your students' needs is strongly encouraged.

Please note: Slides are in google format, but can be downloaded in .ppt. All slides for days 1-7, as well as the á la carte lessons, are included here. All materials or handouts referenced are linked to in the individual google slides or teacher notes accompanying the slides.

To download the slides as Microsoft PPT, click here.

Learn more about the poetry contest here.

Click here to print contest posters for your classroom and school.

Learn more about how to host a poetry cafe and/or a school-wide contest here.

All poems must be submitted using this template. 

*As a reminder each school may submit a maximum of 3 student poems.

Coming Soon!


Please note, the lesson days can be customized to best fit your school schedule.

*Remember that you must build-in time to host a school-wide competition or poetry cafe to select your school's top poems for submission.

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Words Unlocked

Words Unlocked is a month-long initiative that includes a seven-day structured poetry curriculum. Our practitioner-ready curricular materials, which include lessons à la carte, culminate with a nationwide competition for poetic works.

Far too many young people are locked up around the country. Through this initiative, we continue to ensure that their words are not.



WU 2020 Postponement Announcement

In light of school closures due to coronavirus and schools doing their best to manage distance learning, we are postponing our 2020 Words Unlocked initiative. While this was a difficult decision to make, we are looking forward to sponsoring the event this Fall, when we will all hopefully be able to offer it to students in its entirety and best form.


In the meantime, our resources will still be available below.