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Elementary: Poetry


This guide is specifically designed to help instructors teach poetry to upper elementary school students in their classrooms. 

Catalog search suggestions:
Poetry juvenile
Poe* teach* juvenile
Poe* juvenile literature
Poetry Schools
Poe* juvenile DVD

Poetry Aloud Here!, by Sylvia Vardell, 2006. 218 pages. American Library Association.
While this book gives author and book suggestions, the real value is in the chapter “How Do You Present Poetry To Children?”  This essential book, gives great strategies of how to teach poetry in the classroom.  Examples include call-and response stanzas and how to incorporate movement in the poetry lesson.

Hip Hop Speaks to Children, Edited by Nikki Giovanni, 2008. 72 pages. Sourcebooks.
This poetry collection has a contemporary approach that 21st century kids can relate to.  The book includes gorgeous illustrations and an audio CD of the poems that are often read by the individual authors.

Haiku activities: Asian arts & crafts for creative kids, by Patricia Donegan, 2003. 64 pages. Tuttle Publishing. 
If you are about to teach the style of Haiku, this book is highly recommended.  Included are “nine easy activities {that} will help {your students} to write the first line, find good images, and understand the structure of Haiku.” Various Haiku activities are also included.

Poem-Making: Ways to begin writing poetry, by Myra Cohn Livingston, 1991. 162 pages. Charlotte Zolotow Book.
This book gives a general overview of how to write a poem.  Chapters include voices of poetry, sound and rhyme, and figures of speech.  This title is recommended to be used as a springboard to writing poems.

Pizza, Pigs and Poetry, by Jack Prelutsky, 2008.192 pages. Greenwillow Books.
This selection is geared toward the aspiring child poet.  This humorous book includes helpful tips, such as including realistic personal examples, vocabulary, and irony within the poetry work. Additionally poetic license is explained in accessible ways to teachers and students.

The Poetry Break, by Caroline Feller Bauer, 1995. 347 pages. H.W. Wilson. 
This surprisingly in-depth book has everything you need to know about how to incorporate poetry on a daily basis.  Example includes dramatic presentation and posting students poems on bulletin boards.  This title is a good resource for teachers, librarians and even parents.      


Elizabeth Tracton
Chatsworth Branch