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Poetry in the Classroom

Arc Poetry Magazine Lesson Plans


We at Arc love to share our passion for poetry, and we want to help you share that passion with your students. To that end, Arc has developed in-depth, flexible lesson plans for some of our special and theme issues. Our lesson plans have been adapted for advanced high-school English, AP courses, community lectures, undergraduate and graduate literature courses and creative-writing workshops.


Arc 66 (summer 2011): Quarc, a science-and-literature flipbook

To download the Quarc lesson plans click HERE.

The Quarc issue fuses two award-winning literary magazines, Arc and The New Quarterly, and takes as its theme the myriad ways in which the arts and the sciences intersect. The issue includes essays and interviews exploring—or enacting—science as metaphor, literature as experiment, and code as poetry. This gathering of fiction and poetry on themes scientific and speculative includes work by Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Joan Thomas, Don McKay, P.K. Page, and Alice Major, a comic bestiary, and full-colour visual-art insights into the depths of the Canada Science and Technology Museum and the symbolic, mythological, and biological history of eggs.


Arc Annual 2011 (fall 2010): The ekphrasis issue

To download the Arc Annual 2011 lesson plans click HERE.

With the Arc Poetry Annual 2011, Arc teamed up with the National Gallery of Canada to celebrate ekphrasis—the creation of a work of art or literature in response to another. Through commissioned works of poetry and visual art, interviews, discussions, and more, the issue focuses on this practice between poetry and visual art, and on the popularity of this form of writing among contemporary Canadian poets. Set at the intersection of the written, the painted, and the performed, the Arc Annual 2011 is a natural place for a collaboration between Canada’s visual artists and poets.


Arc Annual 2010 (fall 2009): How Poems Work

To download the Arc Annual 2010 lesson plans click HERE.

For the premier edition of the Annual in 2010, Arc chose to address the mechanics: What makes poems tick? How do they work? What do they mean? Each of twenty-one poems appearing in the Arc Annual 2010 (which range from ballads, sonnets, concrete poems, nursery rhymes and free verse) is accompanied by an essay by a poet of note, who considers structure, form, craft and content. Leading poets including Stephanie Bolster, Ross Leckie, Roo Borson, George Elliott Clarke and Tim Bowling write on poems by notables as Don Coles, Margaret Avison, Robert Kroetsch, bp Nichol, Jan Zwicky, Alden Nowlan and Michael Ondaatje.


Back by popular demand: the Arc Class-Set program

Arc is a great resource for teachers to introduce students to the wonderful world of Canadian Poetry. Arc offer classroom sets of selected back issues. The magazines are provided free of charge (a flat rate of $20 for shipping applies).

Here’s how to get your free class set:


Send us an email to, subject line ‘Class set request’ containing the following information:

Teacher Name:
School Name:
School Address (shipping):
Age of students:
Number of copies required:
Are there particular back issues you’re interested in?:
Would you like the issues sent to be all the same, or would you like a variety?*:
Required by:
Not required after:

*Please note: The class set program only applies to back issues. We will try our best to honour your preferences, subject to availability.


The $20 shipping fee can be paid by cheque, or through Paypal by clicking on the button.