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Top 10 Resources on Poetry

Poetry is full of joy, expressiveness, and the pure delight of language. Explore how to introduce poetry to young readers, the value of nursery rhymes in learning about language, writing poetry in the classroom, great poetry books for sharing, and interviews with beloved children's poets. Visit our National Poetry Month section for more resources. As poet Carl Sandburg said, remember that with poetry you're stuffing "a backpack of invisible keepsakes."

  1. Using Poetry to Teach Reading
    Part of teaching reading is motivating the children to practice, practice, practice. Find out how to use children's poetry to encourage kids to read.
  2. Poems at Home
    Sharing poetry with kids is a great way to highlight language. Poems include humor, interesting words, tongue twisters, alliteration, and opportunities for choral reading among other important literacy concepts. This article provides guidelines for a family poetry jam — a great way to promote literacy and togetherness in your own home.
  3. A Poetic Spring
    It seems fitting that April is National Poetry Month. Poetry helps readers and listeners see things in a fresh way during a season when things undergo a renewal. In this booklist, you'll find poetry about families, nature, and the unexpected to read with children of all ages.
  4. Literature-Based Teaching in Science: Poetry Walks
    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.
  5. Poetry for All Ages
    Celebrate poetry with this lyrical selection of readings. You'll find Mother Goose, alphabet poems in Spanish and English, an ode to Harlem — even a rhyming dog. The playful language in all of these recommended books for kids ages 0-9 makes for great read-aloud fun.
  6. Nursery Rhymes: Not Just for Babies!
    Nursery rhymes are important for young children because they help develop an ear for our language. Both rhyme and rhythm help kids hear the sounds and syllables in words, which helps kids learn to read! Here are some activities and recommended poetry books to aid your child's developing poetry, rhyming, and rhythm skills.
  7. Writing Poetry With English Language Learners
    This article discusses strategies for writing poetry with ELLs, presents an overview of poetry forms that can be used effectively in writing lessons, and suggests some ideas for ways to share student poetry.
  8. Video Interview with Jack Prelutsky
    Jack Prelutsky writes wonderfully wacky poems that children find irresistible. In this exclusive video interview with Reading Rockets, Jack Prelutsky explains why he used to equate reading poetry with eating liver and considered writing poetry a hazard to his health.
  9. Shel Silverstein
    Shel Silverstein was a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist, and songwriter. He is best known for his beloved and iconic books of prose and poetry for young readers, including the award-winning books The Giving Tree,Where the Sidewalk Ends, and A Light in the Attic.
  10. Valentine's Day Poetry
    Valentine's Day is a day to show family and friends how much you love and appreciate them. Here at Reading Rockets, we also see Valentine's Day as a perfect opportunity to practice creative writing skills — and take a fresh look at poetry, figurative language, and word play.

See all Poetry Month resources >

Reading Rockets (2013)


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"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." — Frederick Douglass