World Poetry Day

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By Brenda Williams

Annual World Poetry Day is a great opportunity to work on your children’s English and Geography skills, whilst also touching on PSHE by introducing a feeling of unity with children around the world. Use our poems, activities and competition ideas to create a buzz around World Poetry Day in your school.

The decision to introduce this day was made by UNESCO in 1999. Since then its popularity has grown and spread, particularly in schools here in Britain. Celebration of the day is a recognition of the ability of poetry to capture the unique nature of people from many cultures. It reaffirms our belief that individuals across the world can share the same questions and emotions.

Who is looking at the moon tonight?

The wonder of the moon has been a constant, ever since people first walked on earth. Many people have found it a great source of comfort during periods of separation from loved ones. It can be seen as a form of unifying presence, which creates a unique feeling of closeness between people even though they might be miles apart.

This poem seeks to instil a sense of unity with children of the world. It talks about children that your class may never have met, and whose lives are very different to their own, but it demonstrates that we can still feel the same emotions as these children. It makes us aware of a common bond.


'Who is looking at the moon tonight' poem
  • Before reading the poem, ask children to imagine themselves standing alone, in a garden, on a beach, or mountain top, looking at the moon.
  • Read the poem .
  • Discuss how the children felt about the poem. What kind of picture did it conjure up for them?
  • Look at a globe, and ask children which country they would like to represent before standing in a large open circle as children from different lands.
  • Read the poem again, asking them to hold hands at verse five.
  • Ask them how far this role-play influenced their feeling of comradeship. Would they like to do it with other children of the world?
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