Bringing Poetry to the Classroom, Grades K-5
April Is National Poetry Month
A Light in the Attic
Students in grades K-2 listen to a selection of Shel Silverstein’s poems and complete a character map and describe the tone of the poems. (Site registration is required but free — and worth it.)
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema
Students in grades K-2 respond to a reading of Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain. (Site registration is required but free — and worth it.)
A Bear of a Poem: Composing and Performing Found Poetry
Students in grades K-2 select words and phrases to create a collective class poem that they then turn into a performance.
In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers
Students in grades 3-5 listen to poems from In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall and identify the common theme and write a response to one poem. (Site registration is required but free — and worth it.)
National Poetry Month Activities
Teachers share ideas for exploring and enjoying poetry in the K-8 classroom.
Students in grades K-12 choose poems to read and then write prose “responses” to the poems they read. Students keep a reading log and respond to elements of the poem in 75-100 words.
Poem in Your Pocket
Teachers and students in grades K-12 can celebrate National Poem In Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 24, 2014. Select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends.
Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month With The New York Times
A selection of activities for K-12 students.
National Poetry Month (Reading Rockets)
Learn more about well-loved children’s poets with video interviews, and discover new authors, books and anthologies for K-5.
Celebrate National Poetry Month (Scholastic)
Webcasts, lessons, poetry prompts from well-known poets help inspire your young poets, for K-12.
April is National Poetry Month! (ReadWriteThink)
K-12 lesson plans and activities.
Poetry (National Council of Teachers of English)
K-12 lessons and exercises, themed journals, and galleries of writing.
Find Poetry (Poets.org)
Browse poems in archive by title, first line, author last name or by occasion, for K-12.
Poems & Poets (Poetry Foundation)
A multi-approach search tool for poetry, for K-12.
Children’s Poetry (Poetry Foundation)
National Poetry Month: Celebrating World Poetry
Lessons and websites covering different poetic forms developed across time and around the world, for K-12.
- Brief video poems (grades K-3)
- All Videos (K-12)
- Children's Poet Laureate Presents: Video
Mary Ann Hoberman, children's poet laureate, reading from her own work, as well as from favorite collections of classic children's poetry, for grades K-5.
- National Poetry Month at the Library of Congress Webcast (52:20)
Washington, D.C., poets Richard McCann and Kenny Carroll and young readers from district elementary schools took part in a National Poetry Month celebration, for grades K-5.
Audio & Podcasts (Poetry Foundation)
Readings of poems and interviews with poets.
- Poetry Archive (K-12)
PDF posters from past National Poetry Months
last updated: March 17, 2015
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Join the NEA Foundation's National Poetry Month Challenge! Inspired by a Maryland high school student: how educators, students, and poetry-lovers can celebrate the love of poetry.