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Poetry for Kids

I remember writing a poem in late elementary school and being giddy with excitement that it was going to be published! Unbeknownst to me, anyone could be "published" in this particular book for a small fee. My mom, bless her, paid the fee...and voila' 12 year old ego soared! Though I soon realized that my mom was the true hero, I have long held onto my love of poetry.

When we lived in Arizona, our family attended a co-op and I was given the opportunity to teach for a semester. Can you guess what I chose as my focus? Yep! Poetry. We started with Shel Silverstein and Robert Louis Stevenson, and then I threw in a little bit of Maya Angelou and Edward Lear and Judith Voirst. There are so many wonderful poets and poems to choose from...the hard part was picking and choosing what to recite and teach! I found the kids (tween-age) were very open and honest with their thoughts and feelings, and were more than willing to put their emotions on the page. Poetry is so freeing, and I realized that I had chosen something that could perhaps teach them a new way to express themselves. I enjoyed that semester so much, I thought I would share some of the things I learned along the way.

Types of Poetry

I've found that these are the types of poetry that resonate most with kids. There are so many different variations of each, and examples galore via the internet. Just do a quick search, find some good ones to read aloud, give your kids some paper and a pen and watch them astound you!








~Free Verse


This list is by no means all encompassing! These are just some that I have found are great for children.

~Shel Silverstein

~Emily Dickenson

~Robert Louis Stevenson

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

~Christina Rosetti

~Naomi Shihab Nye

~Edward Lear

~ Paul Fleischman

~Jacqueline Woodson

~Edgar Allen Poe (He's great for older kids, especially at Halloween! But be warned, some of his work is graphic and quite you might want to read it WITH them if you're nervous about the content.)

~ Maya Angelou (My personal favorite! Great for Jr High and High School aged kids.)


Again, this list isn't even the tip of the iceberg; however, you have to start somewhere and these are some of our favorites!!

~ Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (this is a fantastic book for late elementary kids)

~ Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman (This is a great one to read together b/c it is meant to be read aloud between two people.)

~ Wet Cement by Bob Raczka (Good for upper elementary)


Books and websites to help your children on their poetry journey!

~ Text Structures from Poetry, Grades 4-12 (Workbook type book that helps children understand, analyze and write their own poetry)

~ Teachers Pay Teachers (This website has a TON of great resources. Just search POETRY and whatever age group you'd like and you can find everything you're looking for and more!)

**If you purchase anything from Amazon using one of my links, I will receive a small compensation.**



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