Woo Hoo! One of my favorite times of year is finally here! April is National Poetry Month. I enjoy poetry, especially poetry for children, and I  believe that it is important for our children to read, listen to, and write poetry.

  • Reading poetry aloud can help students become better public speakers.
  • Writing poetry can help students express themselves in way not available to them in classic story writing.
  • Listening to the poetry of others can help students learn empathy.

Elementary (K-3)

The Green Mother Goose: Saving the World One Rhyme at a Time by  Jan Peck and David Davis

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This collection of reimagined nursery rhymes is a true two-fer! Perfect for poetry month and Earth Day. 

Guyku by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Peter H Reynolds

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Let’s hear it for the boys! Do you need a book of poems just for boys? I wasn’t sure until I read this book of poems, but yes you do. These funny haikus are sure to help get your little boy interested in poetry.

Firefly July A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul B Janeczko and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

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Melissa Sweet is one of my favorite illustrators, and these short poems will keep kids’ interest while introducing them to some poetry classics.

Intermediate Grades(4-5)

Locomotion by Jaqueline Woodson

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A novel in verse (one of my all time favorite forms of poetry), this is the story of 11-year-old Lonnie Collins. He has been separated from his sister after his parents death, and his working his way to being reunited with her. Woodson tells a truly moving story while expertly weaving  several varieties of poetry into her novel including: haiku, sonnets and rhyming poetry.

This Is Just to Say :Poems of Apology and Forgiveness  by Joyce Sidman

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From the author’s imagination, these are poems of apology written by students to one another. Some are funny, some are more serious, but ids will love all of these poems, as they are very typical of what fourth or fifth graders experience on a daily basis.

Middle School (6-8)

Romantically Disturbed: Love Poems to Rip Your Heart Out by Ben Winters and illustrated by Adam F. Watkins

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The name says it all! Warning these are disturbing, but funny. I smiled the whole way through and I think most teenagers will too!

Poetry for Young People: Maya Angelou Edited by Edwin Graves Wilson, PhD.

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A richly illustrated anthology for children of Maya Angelou’s work. This anthology includes some of Angelou’s most well loved poems including: Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, Still I Rise, and Harlem Hopscotch. Each poem is given a short introduction and unfamiliar words are defined. So many of our middle school students chose Angelou’s work for recitation during our poetry slam. The rhythm and cadence of Maya Angelou’s poetry is easily picked up on by children.