We LOVE poetry in our class – reading it, writing it, rearranging it, and reciting it!
It’s a great tool for early literacy for so many reasons:
- Poetry can be thematic, informational, and funny. The funnier it is, the more my students like to stand up and recite it to the class for a good laugh!
- Passages can be short so as to not overwhelm early readers.
- Poetry encourages repeated reading; the rhythm makes it fun to chant aloud together and the memorization builds mastery and confidence!
- Poetry draws attention to rhyme, which is key for phonological awareness. The rhyme makes mastering vocabulary much easier; I often see students whispering the poem on the class pocket charts just to practice by themselves.
- Poetry can be used for close reading! Short passages can contain a lot of opportunities to read for information.
- Poems are fantastic for teaching descriptive language and spelling patterns.
I often use poetry that is seasonal so that it always fits in to our curriculum and topics of study. If possible, I integrate our study with other subject areas because I believe this is how students learn best.
Poetry is so versatile.
Can we cover close reading? Paired read alouds? Sequencing? Class chanting? Printing? Puzzles and Codes? YES to all of those!
Here are a few specific activities that my poetry units include:
Pocket Chart and Personal Poetry Binders
I always have the text of the poem on pocket charts for manipulation of words, ordering sentences, and a constant visual reference for students while they work. Students also have their own copy in their poetry binders as well; some students have trouble focusing when looking across the room and do much better with the poem right in front of them.
After manipulating the words on the pocket chart, students also have a chance to manipulate their own smaller copies. My students love to cut and glue, so I always include printables where they can use their context clues to find missing words or sequence the lines, using the pocket chart as reference if needed.
Printing Practice (for printing or tracing)
I often use my poems as printing practice. I include both tracing and printing options so everyone can succeed. This reinforces the vocabulary of the poem, and allows for extra practice reading.
Since poetry can be perfect for both fiction and non-fiction, it’s also perfect for close examination. We do many different kinds of close reading with poems, from answering text questions, comprehension, identifying rhyming words, or even other phonics tasks, such as finding words with blends and digraphs.
Puzzles and Codes
My students love to solve riddles and codes, so I usually include printables with phonics codes to reinforce their knowledge of letter sounds and combinations. In this example, I’ve used Phonics Codes to write the poem, so students must use their letter sounds knowledge to crack the code and rewrite the poem.
Poem of the week is a great way to integrate regular poetry time into your busy week. If you don’t have any extra time, just add the printables to your writing centers choices – simple!
If you’d like to see the whole year bundle that I use with my students, you can click HERE or on the images below.
Each of the seasonal sets include printable pocket chart versions of each poem – just print and lets students cut them out and arrange them in your pocket charts using the reference poems.
The full year bundle contains 36 weeks of poetry work, with themes like:
New School Year
St. Patricks Day
Another class favorite is integrating poetry into ART!
This set is not part of the full year bundle because it is a bit different.
How is it different?
Each of the poems give directions for students to draw!
Students must carefully read to follow the directions in the poem, but everyone’s picture will be a little bit different and unique!
If you’d like to try this out with your class, there is a FREE sample poem in the preview. Just click below to see it.
Click HERE to grab a free poem that integrates poetry with directed drawing. Just download the preview file for this set – your FREE directed drawing poem in on the last page of the preview!
The directions are embedded into the poem!