Tips, Titles and Tools for Poetry

A Weekly Collection of Instructional Resources

March 26, 2015

This week's newsletter is devoted to sharing resources related to poetry, as National Poetry Month begins on Wednesday. I hope you find some tips, titles, and tools that you would like to use in your classroom. Hopefully, you can find ways to embed poetry naturally in your literacy workshops, morning warm-ups, close reading, or content area studies. Poetry should not feel like one more thing! Let me know if you would like to work together to integrate poetry in your classroom. Happy Reading!


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Poetry Mentor Texts in Writing Workshop

If you are interested in integrating poetry in your writing workshop or with your students' writer's notebooks, you should check out Poetry Mentor Texts! Valerie recently used many of the lessons in this professional book with her students during their daily writer's notebook time. Below you will see some images from the poems they created! Poetry Mentor Texts includes many sample poems and mentor text recommendations that you can use to get your students interested in crafting their own poems. See me if you would like to borrow this resource!

Sample Poems from Valerie's Class

Poetry Links and Resources

This link from edutopia includes 12 artful strategies to engage students with poetry. (You will find the list halfway down the page.) Many of these ideas would be fun, quick and easy to use!

For those of you are are tech-saavy, here are 9 Mobile Apps for Poetry Month! Many of the apps listed are free, easy to use and can be downloaded on your iPads. These tools might be a great way to have students use their tech tools in a purposeful way while exploring poetry!

Reading Rockets has a number of excellent resources and recommendations for National Poetry Month.

I know that many of you love the website Writing-Fix. Check out this link for their poetry resources!

FREE Poetry E-Book from Stenhouse!

Stenhouse Publishing is offering a free e-book for National Poetry Month! This 284 page download (please don't print all of it!) includes sample chapters from 14 different professional books, including Poetry Mentor Texts! There are chapters on topics ranging from literacy stations to poetry podcasts. This resource is available through April. Check it out!

Where is poetry in our curriculum?

Although we don't have learning goals related specifically to the reading of poetry, the learning goals in Use of Language can be easily connected to this genre.

Level 2: Understands how descriptive words and phrases provide meaning.

Level 3: Understands the use of synonyms and antonyms to add meaning to text.

Level 4: Understands how the use of homophones and homographs impact the meaning of text.

Level 5: (Figurative Language) Understands the use of simile, metaphor, idioms and proverbs add meaning to text.

The literature learning goals for inferring and theme can also connect to your reading of poetry. You can also integrate learning targets related to conventions (adjectives, verbs, adverbs) or the traits of writing (word choice, voice, sentence fluency) in your poetry instruction.

Close Reading with Poetry

Close reading with poetry involves digging deeper into structure and word choice.

  • You can ask students to read the poem closely with a lens for figurative language, parts of speech or word choice.
  • As a class, you can lift lines from a variety of poems and collect them around your classroom on sentence strips.
  • Students enjoy the opportunity to sketch or paint the images they visualize when reading a poem.
  • Close reading is an excellent opportunity to discuss the theme or author's message in the poem.
  • Can poems be used to inform, persuade, or entertain? Examine the author's purpose in writing the poem.
  • Use your close reading poems as an opportunity for students to create their own poems by adapting the words or structure of the author's poem. The book Love That Dog would be a great selection for close reading! I have a sample booklet of the mentor poems included in this text. Let me know if you would like to check it out!

Poetry is a valuable instructional resource!

Poetry Mentor Texts

I have a basket of poetry books on my shelf in Bri's room. Feel free to stop by to borrow any books for writing mentor texts or read alouds! Here are a few of my favorites!

Great Poetry Read Alouds

All book summaries are from We also have a wonderful collection of poetry anthologies in the library, if you are looking to make poetry more available in your classroom!
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I thought this was a neat image to share with you students about growth mindset!

Shelly Moody

Instructional Coach

Williams Elementary School