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Poetry
 Poetry in Your Homeschool
 Resources for Teaching Poetry
 Poetry Books and Anthologies

Poetry in Your Homeschool Back to Top
A Poetry Unit for Preschoolers
This free unit study for preschoolers features poems found in Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends as a text for 10 poetry lessons. Each lesson refers to a poem (so it helps a lot to have access to that book), includes an activity suggestion, and instructions for a writing project (mostly poems). You can use all the lessons, or just a couple.
How (and Why) to Help Young Children Memorize Poetry
I Can Teach My Child
When your kids memorize poetry, you know they are learning vocabulary, spelling, reading skills, and grammar. All they know is that it’s fun. This article shares tips on ways to make memorizing poetry fun.
How I Teach a Large Family in a Relaxed, Classical Way: Language Arts
Tips for teaching language arts (writing, grammar, handwriting) in a large family.
Looking for Poetry Curriculum
Heather Sanders
This question and answer page offers suggestions for including poetry in your homeschool curriculum.
Poetry Out Loud
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with U.S. state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
Teaching Poetry: Subject by Subject
Sonya Shafer
Over-analysis and examination steals all the joy from the beautiful words from good poetry. Charlotte Mason’s approach is vastly different. Good poetry reaches the heart in a way few other words can. It’s amazing how deeply a well-crafted phrase from a thoughtful poem can shape our lives! As Charlotte said, “Poetry is a criticism of life; so it is, both a criticism and an inspiration; and most of us carry in our minds tags of verse which shape our conduct more than we know”. We are doing our children a great service when we nourish their minds and equip their hearts with good poetry. Here’s how.
The Charlotte Mason Approach to Poetry
Karen Andreola
What is the Charlotte Mason approach to the study of poetry? Our first step is to see that our children enjoy it. Much later they will probably take the second step for themselves, reading those poets whose work needs some preliminary study and background explanations in order to be appreciated.

Resources for Teaching Poetry Back to Top
  
Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School
Georgia Heard
Publisher: Heinemann
Published: 1999
Age: 5 to 13 years
Fans of the best-selling For the Good of the Earth and Sun will applaud this sequel by beloved author Georgia Heard--an inspiring and practical handbook that celebrates the natural power of poetry to teach the essential tools of all writing. Awakening the Heart explores how to cultivate the poet in every elementary and middle school student--through well-drawn examples, detailed exercises, creative projects, and down-to-earth classroom teachings. Along the way, we learn how to: create environments that encourage children to express their innate sense of wonder; introduce poetry that will engage them; and help children make the transition from reading and talking to writing. Best of all, Awakening the Heart is filled with luminous poems, by children, famous poets, and Heard herself.
  
Child's Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words That Have Moved Mountains, Won Battles, and Made Us Laugh and Cry
Michael Driscoll
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal
Published: 2003
Age: All ages
Poetry can be fun-especially when we can read it, hear it, and discover its many delights with the help of cartoon character Professor Driscoll, delightful illustrations, and the poetry read aloud on CD. This wide-ranging journey through the history and highlights of the world's poetry covers everything from epics and odes to nonsense verse and haikus, and is filled with examples of every style. The multimedia package encourages children to listen, read, and learn-and opens the door to a lifetime of appreciation of a rich literary tradition. It painlessly introduces kids (and parents, too) to the greatest poets in history, from Homer and Shakespeare to Robert Frost and Ogden Nash-and provides excellent examples of their work and commentary on what makes it so special. In short, this is a galloping tour through poetic history loaded with all of our most significant and beloved poems. In addition to charming illustrations on every lively page, A Child's Introduction to Poetry contains a full-length CD with wonderful renditions of the poems read by professional actors.
  
Climb Inside a Poem for Children Big Book of Poems
Georgia Heard
Publisher: Firsthand
Published: 2007
The poetry anthology, Climb Inside a Poem: Original Poems for Children, uses the writings of contemporary children's poets, whimsical illustrations, and an expansive big book format (14"x 18") to create a 36-page poetry playground. The children's poems crafted expressly for this collection are written by acclaimed children's authors.
  
Climb Inside a Poem: Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year
Georgia Heard
Publisher: FirstHand
Published: 2007
Age: 5 to 7 years
Children are natural poets. They speak poetry all day long. They say wonderful poetic gems that surprise and delight us and help us look at the world in a new way. In Climb Inside a Poem: Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year, Georgia Heard and Lester Laminack tap into this natural inclination and demonstrate how reading and writing poetry can also support and extend young children's language and literacy development. Through an anthology of original children's poems and related lessons, Georgia and Lester describe how to weave poetry into the fabric of a school day by reading a variety of poems for a variety of purposes. Building on these experiences, children then engage in a formal unit of study on writing poetry.

Climb Inside a Poem
has three components.
  • The poetry anthology, Climb Inside a Poem: Original Poems for Children, uses the writings of contemporary children's poets, whimsical illustrations, and an expansive big book format (14"x18") to create a 36-page poetry playground.
  • Lessons for Climb Inside a Poem provides a five-day sequence of lessons for each poem in the anthology. Through repeated readings and by accessing the poems from multiple perspectives, these lessons model how poetry can be used to support basic concepts in print, develop word awareness, expand reading and writing fluency, and help children write with feeling and voice.
  • Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year takes a broad view of poetry and considers how poems can be used to reinforce and extend a literacy curriculum. Organized into three separate sections, the minilessons in this guide offer tips for outfitting and organizing classrooms where poetry can flourish; highlight a variety of reading strategies that immerse children in the words and music of poetry; and present a complete unit of study for writing poetry.
  
For the Good of the Earth and Sun: Teaching Poetry
Georgia Heard
Publisher: Heinemann
Published: 1989
Age: 5 to 13 years
For the Good of the Earth and Sun is for teachers at all levels, especially for those teachers who feel anxious about introducing poetry to students. Georgia Heard offers a method of teaching poetry that respects the intelligence of students and teachers and that can build upon their basic originality. She explores poetry from the inside as it is: a powerful and necessary way of looking at the world, and one of mankind's most durable inventions. Her book provides detailed, organized information so that teachers themselves can begin to enjoy and feel knowledgeable about poetry, and, from there, pass those feelings on to their students. The author's text is supplemented by examples of students' work in original and draft form.
  
Kids' Poems (Grades 1)
Regie Routman
Publisher: Teaching Strategies
Published: 2000
Regie Routman shares her delightful selection of free verse poems written by first graders that will inspire your second graders to think, I can write poems like this too! Regie provides strategies for using kids' poems as models to guide children to write poems about things they know and care about: learning to skate, disliking asparagus, playing with a best friend, and more. She describes the way she invites children to study the model poem, beginning by asking kids, What do you notice? She shows how she demonstrates the poetry-writing process to children: thinking aloud and drafting poems about her own life, and then collaborating on a poem together before children write on their own. Includes 20 reproducible poems written and illustrated by first graders to share with kids. Perfect for classroom teachers and parents! For use with Grade 1.
  
Kids' Poems (Grades 2)
Regie Routman
Publisher: Teaching Strategies
Published: 2000
Regie Routman shares her delightful selection of free verse poems written by second graders that will inspire your second graders to think, I can write poems like this too! Regie provides strategies for using kids' poems as models to guide children to write poems about things they know and care about, including the trauma of eating peas, the pleasure of reading, the thrill of playing hockey. She describes the way she invites children to study the model poem, beginning by asking kids, What do you notice? She shows how she demonstrates the poetry-writing process to children: thinking aloud and drafting poems about her own life, and then inviting children to write on their own. Includes 20 reproducible poems written and illustrated by second graders to share with kids. Perfect for classroom teachers and parents! For use with Grade 2.
  
Kids' Poems (Grades 3-4)
Regie Routman
Publisher: Scholastic Teaching Resources
Published: 2000
Regie Routman shares her delightful selection of free verse poems written by third-and fourth graders that will inspire your third-and fourth graders to think, I can write poems like this too! Regie provides strategies for using kids' poems as models to guide children to write poems about things they know and care about, from eating french fries to secret places and family trips. She describes the way she invites children to study the model poem, beginning by asking kids, What do you notice? She shows how she demonstrates the poetry-writng process to children: thinking aloud and drafting poems about her own life, and then inviting children to write on their own. Includes 20 reproducible poems written and illustrated by third-and fourth graders to share with kids. Perfect for classroom teachers and parents! For use with Grades 3-4.
  
Kids' Poems (Grades K)
Regie Routman
Publisher: Teaching Strategies
Published: 2000
Regie Routman shares here delightful selection of free verse poems written by kindergartners that will inspire your students to think, I can write poems like this too! Regie provides strategies for using kids' poems as models to guide children to write poems about things they know and care about: eating popcorn, playing in June, wishing for a pet dog and more. She describes the way she invites children to study the model poem, beginning by asking kids, What do you notice? She shows how she demonstrates the poetry-writng process to children: thinking aloud and drafting poems about her own life, and then collaborating on a poem together before children write on their own. Includes 20 reproducible poems written and illustrated by kindergartners to share with kids. Perfect for classroom teachers and parents! For use with Grade K.
  
Lessons for Climb Inside a Poem; Original Poems for Children; Grades K-2
Georgia Heard
Publisher: First Hand Heinemann
Published: 2008
Provides a five-day sequence of lessons for each poem in the Climb Inside a Poem big book anthology.
  
Perrine's Sound & Sense: An Introduction to Poetry
Thomas R. Arp
Publisher: Thomson / Wadsworth
Published: 2006
Perrine's Sound and Sense is a fantastic book for studying poetry with your children. It is a great resource for high school students. It includes clear and thorough explanations of devices, forms, how to analyze poetry, and more, as well as a huge variety of poems, both classic and contemporary.
  
Read & Understand Poetry, Grades 4-5
Evan Moor
Publisher: Evan Moor Educational Publishers
Published: 2005
Read and Understand Poetry, Grades 45 contains 27 poem selections organized around these engaging themes: Family Album, Wacky Words, Verse in Motion, The Work of Our Hands, On the Railroad, Water & Waves, From the Pages of History, and Celebrate! Included are poems by such well-known poets as Edward Lear; Walt Whitman; Alfred, Lord Tennyson; and Pat Mora. The first follow-up activity emulates the format students are likely to encounter on standardized language arts tests. Item content covers: literal comprehension, sequence, word meaning, context clues & inferences, and main idea and details.
  
Read and Understand Poetry, Grades 2-3
Evan Moor
Publisher: Evan Moor Educational Publishers
Published: 2005
Read and Understand Poetry, Grades 23 contains 27 poem selections organized around these engaging themes: Beasts, Birds, & Bugs, Seasons & Celebrations, Stuff & Nonsense, Step Outside, Poems in Song, and A World of Sights & Sounds. Included are poems by such well-known poets as Christina Rossetti, Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Frost, and Pat Mora. The first follow-up activity emulates the format students are likely to encounter on standardized language arts tests. Item content covers: literal comprehension, sequence, word meaning, context clues & inferences, and main idea and details.
  
Read and Understand Poetry, Grades 3-4
Evan Moor
Publisher: Evan Moor Educational Publishers
Published: 2005
Read and Understand Poetry, Grades 34 contains 26 poem selections organized around these engaging themes: Through the Eyes of a Child, Natures Mysteries, Poetic Forms, North, South, East, West, Fanciful Fun, and Stories in Verse. Included are poems by such well-known poets as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Rachel Field, Lewis Carroll, and Pat Mora. The first follow-up activity emulates the format students are likely to encounter on standardized language arts tests. Item content covers: literal comprehension, sequence, word meaning, context clues & inferences, and main idea and details.
  
Read and Understand Poetry, Grades 5-6+
Evan Moor
Publisher: Evan Moor Educational Publishers
Published: 2005
Read and Understand Poetry, Grades 56+ contains 27 poem selections organized around these engaging themes: Generations & Legacies, Seasons of Life, Outside My Window, War & Peace, Mirth & Magic. Included are poems by such well-known poets as William Shakespeare, Vachel Lindsay, William Carlos Williams, and Javaka Steptoe. The first follow-up activity emulates the format students are likely to encounter on standardized language arts tests. Item content covers: literal comprehension, sequence, word meaning, context clues & inferences, and main idea and details.
  
The Harp and Laurel Wreath: Poetry and Dictation for the Classical Curriculum
Laura Berquist
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Published: 1999
Convinced that a critical part of education is to foster in our children a love of the beautiful and true, teacher and writer Laura Berquist presents this wide selection of poetry for every age level from grades one to twelve. Language development is significantly enriched by exposure to good poetry. This book is an important resource because it provides in one volume many poems that concern noble actions or ideas presented in beautiful patterns of sound.

This book contains all the poems recommended in Berquist's best-selling Designing Your Classical Curriculum. The extensive selection includes poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Robert Browning, William Shakespeare, G.K. Chesterton, William Butler Yeats, Robert Frost, and many others. There are three indices to help locate specific poems. This book also includes dictation selections that are useful tools in the development of the child's writing ability, as well as study questions and answers for each poem.

  
The Roar on the Other Side: A Guide for Student Poets
Suzanne Rhodes
Publisher: Canon Press
Published: 2000
For all its storied past and lofty reputation, poetry is really just the art of noticing, naming, and comparing the stuff of this world. Unlike the eye of modern science (which sees the world as a giant specimen for us to dissect), poetry fosters and nurtures life by finding wonder in the nooks and crannies of ordinary life. Suzanne Rhodes, a longtime poet and teacher, offers The Roar on the Other Side as an introductory guide for students (junior high and up). Clear and imaginative, this book makes poetry approachable. Focusing on the importance of sight and the necessity of practice, Rhodes easily communicates the joy of words to her readers and helps them see how good poetry binds all seemingly-contradictory things together. Students will emerge from this book with a good handle on the basics of writing poetry and a new appreciation for the awesome world wherein we live.
  
Understanding Literature and Life: Drama, Poetry and Narrative
Publisher: The Great Courses
Published: 2013

The major texts of Western culture are a gateway to wisdom that can widen your views on self and society in enduring ways. The extraordinary body of literature given us by writers from antiquity to the present day, as Professor Weinstein notes, "is potent stuff, serving not only as transcription of history but also as a verbal Pandora's box, capable of shedding light on those transactions which remain in the dark for many of us: love, death, fear, desire. We are talking about more than artful language; we are talking about the life of the past and the life of the world."

It is truly a monumental legacy. And now you can examine its most important works - whether drama, poetry, or narrative - in this series of 64 penetrating lectures that reveal astonishing common ground. You'll see how this award-winning teacher uses several different analytical perspectives, including Feminism, Marxism, Freudianism, Deconstruction, Postmodernism, and New Historicism, to give us fresh insight into persisting human themes like rites of passage; the "fit" or "misfit" between self and society; the creation of an identity; and the play, weight, and presence of the past in understanding our present.

You learn how drama makes visible the conflicts and wars of culture in ways other forms cannot manage. How poetry can go to the heart of human existence with a purity and power akin to surgery, bidding us to challenge and change the way we usually do business. And how narrative can tell life stories in ways that enable a possession of that life that is hardly imaginable any other way.



Poetry Books and Anthologies Back to Top
  
A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children
Caroline Kennedy
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Published: 2005
Caroline Kennedy has chosen a rich variety of Kennedy family favorite poems to include in this priceless collection. With thoughtful personal introductions written by Caroline herself, and beautiful new original artwork by award-winning artist, Jon J Muth, this collection is sure to become a family favorite for years to come.
  
A Treasury of Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allan Poe, Carl Sandberg, Walt Whitman
Publisher: Sterling Juvenile
Published: 2008
This volume combines the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Longfellow, Poe, Carl Sandberg and Walt Whitman with specially commissioned illustrations, a biography of each poet, definitions of the harder vocabulary and a literary commentary. Classic poems to introduce young readers to poetry.
  
Climb Inside a Poem: Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year
Georgia Heard
Publisher: FirstHand
Published: 2007
Age: 5 to 7 years
Children are natural poets. They speak poetry all day long. They say wonderful poetic gems that surprise and delight us and help us look at the world in a new way. In Climb Inside a Poem: Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year, Georgia Heard and Lester Laminack tap into this natural inclination and demonstrate how reading and writing poetry can also support and extend young children's language and literacy development. Through an anthology of original children's poems and related lessons, Georgia and Lester describe how to weave poetry into the fabric of a school day by reading a variety of poems for a variety of purposes. Building on these experiences, children then engage in a formal unit of study on writing poetry.

Climb Inside a Poem
has three components.
  • The poetry anthology, Climb Inside a Poem: Original Poems for Children, uses the writings of contemporary children's poets, whimsical illustrations, and an expansive big book format (14"x18") to create a 36-page poetry playground.
  • Lessons for Climb Inside a Poem provides a five-day sequence of lessons for each poem in the anthology. Through repeated readings and by accessing the poems from multiple perspectives, these lessons model how poetry can be used to support basic concepts in print, develop word awareness, expand reading and writing fluency, and help children write with feeling and voice.
  • Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year takes a broad view of poetry and considers how poems can be used to reinforce and extend a literacy curriculum. Organized into three separate sections, the minilessons in this guide offer tips for outfitting and organizing classrooms where poetry can flourish; highlight a variety of reading strategies that immerse children in the words and music of poetry; and present a complete unit of study for writing poetry.
  
Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems
Georgia Heard
Publisher: Square Fish
Published: 2011
Poems to inspire young readers. From Eileen Spinelli's many goodbyes to summer at the shore, to Avis Harley's catalog of ways to say hello across the globe, to a close look at the birds and animals outside Valiska Gregory's window in winter, Georgia Heard has collected list poems from contemporary poets. Each list is gathered with a poet's eye – carefully selected details beautifully presented – so that readers see the extraordinary in the ordinary. And so readers are encouraged to be writers. The simplicity of each poem and Georgia Heard's introduction will inspire young poets to write their own.
  
Favorite Poems Old and New: Selected for Boys and Girls
Publisher: Doubleday & Company Inc
Published: 1957
Over 700 classic and modern poems written by poets from William Shakespeare to J. R. R. Tolkien, Emily Dickinson to Langston Hughes, and covering a range of favorite topics—pets, playtime, family, nature, and nonsense—ensure that there’s a poem to please every child. A truly comprehensive collection that is the ideal way of introducing children to the joys of reading poetry.

Helen Ferris edited 17 books for young readers and was editor-in-chief of the Junior Literary Guild from 1929–1959.

Leonard Weisgard was one of the foremost illustrators in the children’s book field, with more than 200 books to his name.
  
One Thousand Beautiful Things, A Collection of Prose and Poetry
Marjorie Barrows
Publisher: Peoples Book Club
Published: 1947
One Thousand Beautiful Things, A Collection of Prose and Poetry, compiled by Marjorie Barrows, is a compilation of poetry and short works. The idea behind the compilation is that every entry has to be beautiful on its own.
  
Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost
Publisher: Sterling
Published: 2008
Manufacturer: Sterling
Part of the 'Poetry for Young People' series, this book features 25 poems that introduce Robert Frost to young people. With beautiful illustrations and explanations of each poem, this compilation makes Frost's poems inviting and accessible for young readers.
  
The Poets' Corner: The One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family
John Lithgow
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Published: 2007
This unique package provides a unique poetry experience from one of today's most beloved performers. John Lithgow has compiled an outstanding collection of memorable poems and has gathered his famous friends to read them. The wide variety of carefully selected poetry in this audiobook provides the perfect introduction to reel in those who are new to poetry, and for poetry lovers to experience beloved verses in a fresh, vivid way. Lithgow offers insightful and sometimes poignant commentary to accompany each poem. His essential criterion is that "each poem's light shines more brightly when read aloud". William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, and Dylan Thomas are just a few names among Lithgow's comprehensive list of poetry masters. Family members can take turns listening to these poems and enjoy how each comes to life through the spoken word in this engaging poetry collection.

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