Registering Your Students

Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park in partnership with the Oklahoma Arts Council the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation is pleased to support Poetry Out Loud. This free program offers high school students the opportunity to develop public speaking and recitation skills while learning great works of poetry from a rich anthology of over 600 works. Registration begins October 1, 2018. 

Models of Poetry Out Loud Participation

Poetry Out Loud can be implemented through different models to accommodate the needs of schools, arts organizations, teachers and students. Several different models are provided below to understand how Poetry Out Loud can be adapted and retain the core elements essential to program participation. Each model requires a teacher or adult to be identified as the coordinator.

1) All English teachers at a school implement Poetry Out Loud curriculum in their classrooms during a two weeks of instruction analyzing and reciting poems from the anthology. Each classroom teacher uses the Poetry Out Loud rubric to determine a classroom winner who advances to a school-wide contest. The school-wide contest is a mix of ages and skill levels during an all school assembly with a panel of community judges.

2) A team of teachers adopt Poetry Out Loud in their English classes. Each classroom winner advances to a school contest, held in the school library during lunch. Two teachers serve as judges.

3) A single teacher includes Poetry Out Loud within their curriculum. The two top classroom winners advance to compete during a school or classroom activity with two teachers serving as judges to determine the school winner.

4) A teaching artist or parent volunteer coordinates a poetry group after school through the supervision of a teacher or organizational coordinator. Students receive peer feedback. Students have a competition at school or a community organization, with two unbiased community or school judges.

5) A Home school family or co-op of home school families meets to recite poetry from the anthology. At least two competing students who meet the eligibility criteria have a competition at a local senior center and assessed by two non-biased judges (not family members).


Registration is now open for the 2017-2018 school year. Teachers and coordinators can register online beginning October 1, 2018.  Teachers can request a pdf version of the Poetry Out Loud “Teacher Resource Guide” for 2017-2018 which will be sent electronically once it is made available. Additional resources including videos and lesson plans can be located online,


All public, private, charter and home school students are eligible to participate in the official regional state competition.

All registered schools must have a school coordinator to organize and run the school competition.
To participate in official regional and state competitions, schools must hold a school wide competition with a minimum of 2 students competing and A School Final Report Form must be submitted before January 15, 2019.
Any school at any grade level may use the online Poetry Out Loud resources to run an unofficial competition. 
Students competing in unofficial contests will not be eligible for state or national awards. This is an excellent way to prepare younger grades for the official competition.


Students must be in grades 9 -12, with an exception made for 8th-grade students who are in a participating 9th-grade class.
Competitors at the state and national finals must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Students must participate in a school or organizational competition before progressing to the Poetry Out Loud regional or state finals.
Home-schooled students may participate.
School-level competitions must include two or more students.


For more information contact Kathryn McGill at [email protected]