Poetry is such an influential piece of literacy in the classroom. It may seem superficial, but the patterns in the text and the rhyme schemes lend way to tremendous literary growth in students. Let’s look at how poetry is a great way to set students up for success when it comes to literacy skills. Here are seven ways to teach poetry in the classroom this school year.
How to Teach Poetry in Your Classroom
When it comes to literacy success, it’s all about making things fun for the kids. Using exciting activities to teach poetry will keep kids on task and help improve their reading fluency and knowledge of poetry.
Take a look at these seven engaging ideas to teach poetry in the classroom this school year. They will build on your classroom’s literacy routine as you navigate new texts together.
Read Poetry Aloud as a Whole Group
One way to show students how fun poetry can be is to read poems aloud regularly. Read from a popular poetry book such as Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein or Poetry for Kids by Robert Frost.
These books contain poems to read throughout the year. Start at the beginning and read one a day. Have a group discussion about what the kids notice with each poem. Ask them what they visualize. They will become more intuitive daily as they read these famous and funny poems.
Read about 8 of my Favorite Poetry Books and see if it sparks some inspiration for you.
A poem of the week is also a great way to get students engaged and learning when it comes to poetry. Students practice reading the weekly poem and dissect the poems to find vocabulary words, sight words, rhyming words, and more. They are great for building reading fluency.
Share Poetry Books in Baskets or Bins
Many teachers organize their classroom library by genre and type of book. When putting your library together, include a poetry section for students.
This section may include books with rhyming words, poetry books with themes such as nature or animals, or funny poems you know your students will like.
As students learn to love poetry, you will find them gravitating toward this library section more and more. Fill it with all types of poems. It’s a great teaching strategy to immerse students in poetry instruction by providing them with new vocabulary and short poems.
Create a Fun Poetry Station for Students
Create a display of different types of poems for students. You may include acrostic poems, limericks, and various rhyme schemes to inspire students while they write their poems. Using a pocket chart or board with movable pieces, you can change the poems regularly to give students new inspiration.
If you use devices in your classroom, include QR codes or an old iPod where students can listen to poetry as they work. You would be surprised at how effective listening to poetry can be. Their creative writing will flourish as they write about their own experiences.
Poetry mats are another great resource to include in literacy centers. They encourage students to read and analyze poems independently, and the mats allow them to find essential vocabulary and rhyming words and practice their reading and writing skills.
Invite Students to Look for Poetry Everywhere They Go
Students are shocked at all the places they can find poetry. Remind students that poetry is everywhere, but they have to be looking. Show them examples of billboards, advertisements, and street signs that include poetry on them.
Often, poetry is in the most obvious places; we must look around. Invite students to share any poems they find throughout the week to show them how widespread poetry truly is.
Teach Poetry During Share Circles
Invite students to share their favorite poems from the week with the class. These poems could be something they wrote themselves or a poem they discovered the week before.
One recommendation is to ask that students submit their poems ahead of time. This gives you time to approve their poems before they read them out loud, and it also gives them time to practice reading their poem before their turn comes.
Take Poetry on Your Field Trips
As you travel with your students for yearly field trips, ask them to pay attention to what they see, hear, smell, taste, and touch on those trips. Later, when you’re back in the classroom, ask them to remember those senses and their experiences to create a poem about their journey.
This applies not only to field trips to the zoo, aquarium, or pumpkin patch but also to outdoor time at recess or a walk home from the bus stop. Encourage students to pay attention to nature and the things around them daily to see how poetry can infuse every part of their lives.
Incorporate Poetry Activities Each Week
After studying different types of poetry, encourage students to write their poetry using fun poetry lessons.
- Bio Poems that Kids Will Love – Students are asked to write a poem about themselves using fill-in-the-blank responses. This simple way to start poetry in the classroom leads to more in-depth rhyme schemes later.
- Shape Poetry – Kids write about things that are a specific color, and they then write their poems in the shape of one of these things.
- Poetry Writing Activities – Use this resource to help students learn how to write poetry and try their hand at rhyming and different types of poems.
- You’ll find essential poetry materials for elementary students in the Poetry Mega Bundle. These resources will foster a love of reading and writing when it comes to poetry in the classroom. Plus, they make creating lesson plans easier!
I hope you enjoy these valuable ways to use poetry in the classroom and find fun ways to add them to your daily routines, activities, and centers.
Try this FREE Poetry Mat Sample to Teach Poetry
Use the Free Poetry Mat Sample to build reading fluency in your classroom. They are perfect for small groups or independent centers in the primary education classroom.
Poetry Mega Bundle
Try the Poetry Mega Bundle by Proud to be Primary. This resource will save you planning time, and kids will enjoy the fun and unique poems. Everything you need to teach poetry is included, so there’s no extra planning needed!
It includes 65 poems of the week, poetry mats for independent practice, poetry writing resources, and tons more.
More Poetry Ideas/Activities
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FREE Poetry Email Series
Sign up for the poetry email series filled with tips to get you started, strategies for success, and tons of FREE poems and poetry writing tutorials you can access right away. Everything you need to have fun and build reading skills with poetry!
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