Here it is, folks! March Poetry Madness is the most important bracket in your class. Let the teacher/coaches play around with the college basketball bracket in their lowbrow classrooms. You'll be busy RUNNING your own tournament.
This assignment was surprisingly successful with regular English 10. It could be awesome in middle school. Middle school honors - yes. I just had a student from 2005 or so contact me. He was the tournament champion, and it was the first thing he mentioned. If you can play it up and get excited, many of the students will join you.
This unit pack contains a tournament outline with instructions for 13 'rounds' of double-elimination excitement. Cut it back a bit if you want. Make it more structured if necessary. The pack also includes brackets, a couple of the assignments, and a couple of cool signs. There's also a list of American poets throughout history if you want to assign poets, which I did the first year. If you don't assign, you'll have Poe, Silverstein, Seuss, and Prelutsky in almost every bracket. Depends on what you're after. I allowed rap artists the last few years without too many issues (but it was high school).
While basketball is a lot of fun, poetry can be fun AND much more relevant to learning. Yes, I basically gave you the full idea and you could create all the material on your own, but I've got all of it available for an affordable price. Help save poetry.
Nothing will bring in National Poetry Month in April better than March Poetry Madness!
For more, check out my own poetry at