Even though April is officially Poetry Month, any time is a great time to add some poetry into the classroom! Poetry is great to use as a way for kids to practice reading fluency, as a read aloud, and as a springboard for their own poetry writing.
There are so many amazing poetry books that it’s hard to narrow them down to just a few favorites, but here are some I really love!
A tale in haiku
of one adorable dog.
Let’s find him a home.
In this book, told entirely in haiku, a stray dog wanders to the back porch of a family’s home, in the hopes of becoming the new family pet! I love using this book as an inspiration for haiku poems. Plus, the illustrations kids do for their own dogku poems are just too cute!
Concrete (or shape) poems are poems that convey the meaning of the poem using their shape. These poems are visually appealing and very doable as a beginning poetry form for children!
Bob Raczka also has another similar concrete poetry book called Lemonade: And Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word that’s a lot of fun.
3. Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer
This poetry book is so very unique! One story can be read forwards and a different story can be read by reading it again in reverse. If you like this book, the author has several others like Follow Follow and Echo Echo.
Jack Prelutsky is a classic poetry writer for kids and his poems never disappoint! This one is all about animals, but he has scads of books on other topics as well.
One thing I like to do is to gather a bunch of his books in baskets. Then I have kids in small groups of 3 – 4 grab a book, choose a poem, practice it, and present it to the class. No memorization required, but it’s a great way to celebrate and enjoy poetry, while working on reading fluency.
Shel Silverstein is another poet who has a long list of entertaining and thought-provoking books that kids love!
The Giving Tree is one that always makes me a bit teary, but the message is so meaningful, it’s one I read to my class year after year. It’s great for an ecology or Earth Day lesson about conservation and it also works well as a social-emotional book for respect, compassion, and unselfishness.
One of the things I really love to do is to integrate science and social studies into reading time. Since it’s so hard to fit everything into the year, it’s definitely a time-saver!
This book does a great job of presenting facts about space, from planets to stars and moon landings. Each poem also includes interesting scientific information.
7. Once I Laughed My Socks Off by Steve Attewell
Just the cover alone makes kids want to dive into this poetry book! Each poem in this book has engaging characters and themes that even reluctant readers might enjoy! For example, there’s Melvin the midnight snacker and socks that keep dancing around. Lots of fun in this book!
I had to include another one by Marilyn Singer, This one is just so much fun and quite different from her reverso poetry books.
This book has a collection of poems with beats that mimic dance styles, like the samba, the salsa, and the tango. One additional bonus is that the book comes with a CD of the author reading each poem accompanied by music!
If you like this one, be sure to check out a Full Moon Rising by the same author. It tells about moon celebrations from around the world.
This book is written in free-verse and tells the story of Jack, who is determined to hate poetry, but who learns to write poetry and maybe even enjoy it with the help of his teacher.
If you like this book, a great follow up read is Hate That Cat by the same author.
Here’s another great science tie-in! This book has 14 honeybee poems which are not only fun to read, but that are fact-filled. The poems explain the important role honeybees play in the ecosystem.
So, there’s my list of 10 plus poetry books that kids love, but I know there are so many others! Which one do you enjoy using with your students?
Also, if you’re looking for a time-saving poetry unit for 3rd – 5th graders, you might like this one I created called Elements of Poetry, Drama, and Prose.
It comes in BOTH print and DIGITAL and includes examples and directions to help you teach your students 9 different poetry types to create a flipbook that’s lots of fun! It also includes elements of poetry, drama, and prose, with passages for each.
Thanks so much for stopping by!