Poetry Resources

This page is a collection of links to sites that feature poetry, and poetry activities for kids. I am hoping it will be a useful resource for teachers to find ways to bring the love of poetry to their classrooms. Since this is a Work-In-Progress, stop by every now and then to see what’s new.

Check Out My Blog Series-A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt

Use the posts in the series to inspire collaboration with a family member or if you’re a teacher a classroom collaboration would a good project for students. Or use the art as a starting point to inspire your own poetry. Find links to the posts HERE.

Encouragement Passed Along by Anna, a Young Poet

A youth services librarian and educator contacted me expressing her thanks for this resource page. She is running a fun writing workshop for 12-15 year olds and told me that one of her youngest poets, Anna, wanted to pass along an incredible resource that she and her mother had found. Anna is RIGHT! This blog post by Ben LaFalce is an incredible resource and I’m happy to add it to this list. Check it out HERE. Many thanks to Anna!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty

You just won’t believe all the poetry goodness that you’ll find on Today’s Little Ditty. Michelle highlights poets, offers challenges, and invites guest poets to share their wisdom with her blog readers. Michelle’s blog is a friendly place with a homey feel where all who visit can read poetry, learn about poetry, and practice writing poetry if they so choose. Click HERE to visit.

No Water River (Renée LaTulippe)

Renée LaTulippe has created a treasure for poetry lovers and learners at No Water River.

She and Lee Bennett Hopkins have worked together and created a series with brief, personal looks at all the recipients of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. The SPOTLIGHT ON NCTE POETS is “in progress”. This series is such a special treat and shouldn’t be missed. Click HERE for a look.

You can find an extensive video library of poets reading their own work. After viewing a video, if you want to read an interview with the featured poet, or see the poem in print, type the poet’s name into the handy search box located at the top of Renée’s Home page.

Click on Renee’s Resource Tab to find:

No Water River features published and unpublished authors. There are extension activities to go with each poem. Here are some examples:
Romeo and Juliet Abridged by Renée
A Poem by Erik of This Kid Reviews Books
The Catnap: a poem for two voices by Renée and Maria
Max Mostly Moves on by Penny Klostermann (me)

I’ve only scratched the surface. Renee’s site has plenty more to offer. She has a navigation tab called BLOG POST INDEX with a drop-down of all the major post categories. Be sure to check it out.

Poetry4kids.com with Children’s Poet Laureate, Kenn Nesbitt

Kenn Nesbitt’s  site features plenty of funny poetry for kids. He has a list on his sidebar to help navigate his site. This site is sure to be a hit with students. Kenn is the current Children’s Poet Laureate.

The Poetry Friday Anthologies

Sylvia Vardell and  Janet Wong created two poetry anthologies that provide fun and easy guidelines for teaching and sharing poetry while addressing the TEKS and Common Core Standards. Janet Wong said in her interview at No Water River, “We decided that the most important thing was to provide a clear and consistent framework that was easy to follow and could be squeezed into a teacher’s busy day.” And provide it they did with two anthologies. The first is geared to grades K-5, and the second is for grades 6-8.

Renée LaTulippe at No Water River gives an excellent overview of both anthologies with examples from the books. Her posts, also, feature poets from the anthologies reading their poems.

HERE is the overview for  the K-5 anthology.
HERE is Part 1 of the 6-8 overview. HERE is Part 2. Fourth Grade teacher, Mary Skelly calls the Poetry Friday Anthology a breath of fresh air. See her interview in Part 1 and see her students’ work in Part 2.
HERE is a detailed explanation of how to use Take Five with the Poetry Friday Anthology poems.
Have a look HERE to find other Poetry Friday Anthologies.

Poetry Friday Anthology Blog will give you a taste of the poems used each week and the activites to go along with the poem for that week.
When purchasing these books, make sure you choose the version that suits your needs (either TEKS or Common Core Standards).

The Poem Farm (Amy Ludwig VanDerwater)

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has created an incredible resource for poetry. You can find her poems categorized by topic and by technique. Amy posts her poems often and discusses her process. Another thing you will probably find useful on Amy’s site is her Poetry Peeks. Here is her description of Poetry Peeks: This page is an index to The Poem Farm poetry peeks into classrooms and studios around the United States.  From celebration ideas to poems through the year, these links are full of richness.  To read each peek, please click on the title, and once you reach the post, simply scroll down past my poem to the words of teachers and writers and students.  I recommend reading these posts as inspirations for your own classroom and sharing the student poems as mentors for your students.  Her posts are an excellent resource for teachers. In fact, exploring Amy’s website would offer material for teaching poetry for an entire school year and beyond.

A few examples from The Poem Farm:
Snowman-To-Be (Mask or Persona Poem)
If I Were An Octopus (Invented Word Poem)
Finding Answers (A Poem For Two Voices)
Greatings (A Homophone Poem)

Writing the World for Kids (Laura Purdie Salas)

On Thursdays, Laura challenges readers to write a poem in 15 words or less. She has  a photo prompt, and an example of her own to get things going. HERE is an example of a Thursday post. And if you click HERE you will find many more 15 words or less prompts. This is a wonderful way to start writing your own short poetry. Check the comments on each post for contributions from readers. This would be a great activity for students.

A Year of Reading (Mary Lee Hahn)

Mary Lee Hahn blogs at A Year of Reading. In April 2013, she wrote a poem a day using Creative Commons for inspiration. I am linking to the April 1st post. Her project is explained HERE. At the bottom click on post tag, COMMONUNCOMMON2013, to find posts for each day of the month. This would make a great class project. Not only would students write poetry inspired by media, teachers could incorporate discussion of fair use.

Poetry Performance-Spoken Word

Spoken Word Poetry Performance by 6th graders

Poetry Performance Tips with Renée LaTulippe.

Help With Meter and Rhythm

Dori Chaconas has a resource page on her website about writing stories in rhyme. It is immensely helpful. Click HERE and start learning.

Need to find rhyming words?

Rhyme Desk is a very handy online tool. Just read their tagline to learn what all you can do on their site: RHYMES, SYNONYMS AND OTHER CREATIVE WRITING IDEAS FOR POETS AND SONGWRITERS

The 0h-so-useful RhymeZone is always open in my browser. It is a grand tool!

Miscellaneous Websites and Links to Poetry/Writing Resources and Activities

Thanks to young writer, Shelby, for sharing this resource. Whether writing poetry or another form, the glossary found HERE should come in handy.

Janet Wong’s Poetry Suitcase should be a part of every classroom. Go HERE to find out how to create your own poetry suitcase.

 Click HERE to check out the sidebar of Sylvia Vardell’s blog, Poetry For Children. The resources are plentiful and amazing. She has the winners of all the major poetry awards with digital teaching toolboxes for each of them.

HERE are tips for writing Haiku by Bob Raczka, poet and author of Guyku, A Year of Haiku for Boys.

Giggle Poetry, found HERE, has many poems and activities.

The Teacher’s Guide website has a nice selection of Poetry Lesson Plans and Activities HERE.

Read, Write Think (search for poetry-there are many lessons)
Interactive Tool for Writing an Acrostic Poem
Interactive Tool for Writing a Diamante Poem
Interactive Tool for Writing a Theme Poem

Create Spine Poems
Stack your books into a spine poem
photo (8)

Poetry Detectives: Use magnifying glasses to hunt for rhyming words, alliteration, etc.

Celebrate A Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 18th.

HERE is an interactive online magnetic poetry Kit. Or make your own magnetic poetry set. HERE are directions.


Recommended poetry by Horn Books-The recommended books were all published within the last several years and reviewed by The Horn Book Magazine. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. HERE is a link to their list.

Need help finding the perfect poem for a holiday celebration or a science unit? A funny riddle poem or a bilingual poetry book? Try Sylvia Vardell’s The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists. It is a comprehensive resource for teachers, librarians, and parents packed with poetry bibliographies and research-based strategies for selecting and sharing poetry with young people (ages 0-18).  The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists contains 155 different lists featuring 1500 poetry books for children and teens—in a variety of categories including poetry awards, seasonal poetry, poetry across the curriculum, multicultural poetry, the poetry-friendly environment, poetry performance, guiding discussion, and teaching poetry writing. You’ll find recommended lists of poetry books tied to calendar events throughout the year, poetry that targets the needs of students acquiring English as a new language, poetry to help children through worries, adjustments or difficult times, 20 lists of poetry to support the study of science, social studies, and language arts, lists organized by different poetic forms, question prompts to guide meaningful discussions, preparation and presentation pointers, display ideas, poetry quotes, lesson plan tips, poet birthdays, and a poetry scavenger hunt and treasure hunt for kids—all tools to help jumpstart a poetry program and keep it energized and fresh all year long.