Reading Rockets offers a wealth of reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better. Our reading resources assist parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.
April is National Poetry Month, 30 days of celebrating the joy, expressiveness, and pure delight of poetry. Learn more about the National Poetry Month, get to know some of our most well-loved children's poets in our video interview series, browse the many online resources listed here, and visit your local library or bookstore to discover wonderful new books and anthologies.
Listen in as acclaimed children's writers like Marilyn Singer, Ashley Bryan, Jack Prelutsky, Mary Ann Hoberman, Nikki Grimes, and Janet Wong talk about reading poetry aloud and writing poetry.
Listen in as acclaimed children's writers explore the power and beauty of poetry. "There's always the 'Aha!' There's a catching of the breath that happens, and I hear it all the time from audiences when I read," says Nikki Grimes, author of It's Raining Laughter, 12 joyful poems about growing up.
Learning through poetry
Literature-based teaching in science: poetry walksNew! Read and discuss poetry with nature imagery with students. Take students on a poetry walk around the school, neighborhood, or community to observe and collect sensory images from direct experience with nature: the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of things outdoors. Students can take a poetry journal with them to write down words as they observe, listen, smell, and touch things outside the classroom.
Writing poetry: sijo, cinquain, haiku, and rhymes Valentine's Day — or National Poetry Month — is a great time to practice poetry writing skills and experiment with a new form. There are lots of different kinds of poetry forms, including rhyming poems, limericks, free verse, cinquain, haiku, and sijo.
Using poetry to teach reading Children are naturally drawn to humor, rhyme, and rhythm, and these are all found in poetry. Find out how to use poetry to motivate kids to read and as a tool to build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.
Nursery Rhymes: Not Just for Babies! There's a reason we learn nursery rhymes as young children. They help us develop an ear for our language. Rhyme and rhythm highlight the sounds and syllables in words. And understanding sounds and syllables helps kids learn to read!
Introducing and reading poetry with English language learners Poetry is so versatile, which makes it a great form to use in the ELL classroom. Poems can be used to introduce or practice new vocabulary, language structures, and rhyming devices. In addition, many ELLs come from cultural backgrounds rich with poetry and folktales.
Writing poetry with English language learners Writing poetry is a great exercise for English language learners. It gives them a chance to experiment with language and vocabulary, and to freely share their ideas without the confinement of perfect grammar or firm structures.
Using primary sources to create found poetry The Found Poetry Primary Source Set from the Library of Congress supports students in honing their reading and historical comprehension skills by creating poetry based upon informational text and images — on topics as diverse as Helen Keller, Walt Whitman, women’s suffrage, and the Harlem Renaissance. A Teacher's Guide is included.
Activities, lesson plans, and more Scholastic brings you a rich library of classroom resources, including an online poetry writing workshop with Jack Prelutsky, poetry contests, interviews with children's poets, booklists, poetry for preschoolers, and a place for kids to publish their verse online.
Online Poetry Classroom Discussion forums, critical essays about poetry, lesson plans, biographies of poets, more than 2,000 poems, and links to other useful resources.
African American poetry In partnership with James Madison University, Dr. Maya Angelou, and the Target Corporation, the Poetry Foundation has developed curriculum for teaching essential African American poetry to students of all ages.
Poetry at home "Learning to experience poetry does not require lectures or dissection." Children's literature blogger Susan Thomsen provides a helpful guide for how to get your kids reading and enjoying poetry.
Poetry for Children A blog about finding and sharing poetry with young people, from Sylvia Vardell — professor and author of Poetry Aloud Here and Poetry People.
Children's Poetry Archive Poetry doesn't just live in books — it lives in the sound of the words and the voice of the poet. When poets read aloud, they breathe life into the poems. The Children's Poetry Archive is a place where everyone can listen to poetry. Listen to Roald Dahl, Allan Ahlberg, Langston Hughes and other poets read their work.
National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. The core mission is simple: to celebrate poetry in all its forms and to bring more public visibility to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to the literature of poetry.
Poem in Your Pocket Day: April 26 The idea is simple: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with classmates, family, and friends on April 18, 2013. You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.
Bloggers in the kidlitosphere
are sharing poetry and poets in exciting new ways during National Poetry Month 2012.
30 Poets/30 Days The GottaBook hosts the annual 30 Poets/30 Days project. Each day in April, you'll find a brand new poem from top children's poets. Follow @30poets30days on Twitter!
The Miss Rumphius Effect The Miss Rumphius Effect blog features interviews with 36 poets (from Arnold Adoff to Jane Yolen), poetry writing prompts, and lots of great poetry book lists sorted by theme.
More online resources
How to make a "Poetree" Write a poem or find a favorite one, then hang your poem from a community tree or branches you've brought indoors. A great way to share poems and bring awareness to the beauty of poetry!
The Poetry Foundation Find a poem, ways to use poetry in the classroom and at home, learning about our poet laureates, podcasts, blogs, and much more.
River of Words A project that connects kids to their local environment and their imaginations through poetry and art.
Favorite Poem Project Dedicated to celebrating and documenting poetry's role in Americans' lives, here you can watch or listen to people read poems that they love.
Magnetic Poetry Kids can create virtual magnetic poems and read verse from their peers.
Poetry Idea Engine This interactive game lets kids write haikus, free verse, limericks, and more.
Shel Silverstein Visit this playful interactive website from the beloved poet. Games, puzzles, printables, e-cards, and ideas for parents and teachers.
Jack Prelutsky If you love Children's Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky and his inventive wordplay, you'll love this site.
Giggle Poetry A site just for kids: hundreds of poems to read and rate!