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ELL Resources for

National Poetry Month

Even though poetry gets a lot of attention during National Poetry Month in April (as it should), it is fun to teach any time of year! Bring poetry to life for your English language learners with these classroom ideas and resources, recommended booklists, and video interviews with authors and poets about poetry!

Start with a Poem!

A Little Poem for Poetry Month
by Jack Prelutsky

I'm glad we have a Poetry Month,
But still, I wonder why
They chose a month with thirty days —
Were months in short supply?
I wish that they'd selected
A longer month, like May.
I'm certain I'd appreciate
That extra poetry day.

Of course, if they'd picked February,
I would be aghast,
For February's very short
And passes far too fast.
But April's not as short as that,
So I don't hesitate
To say I'm glad it's Poetry Month.
Hooray! Let's celebrate.

Poetry in the ELL Classroom

Introducing and Reading Poetry with English Language Learners

This article by Kristina Robertson offers some ideas on how to introduce poetry to ELLs and integrate it with reading instruction, as well as some ideas for reading poetry aloud in a way that will encourage oral language development.

Writing Poetry with English Language Learners

This article by Kristina Robertson presents an overview of beginning and more advanced poetry forms that can be used effectively in poetry writing lessons with ELLs. Kristina also suggests some ways to share your students' poetry.

Recommended Booklists

Poetry: Grades K-6

One Leaf Rides the Wind

Celebrate poetry with these multicultural collections of poems from different cultures.

Poetry: Grades 7-12

19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East

These collections reflect diverse voices and a wide range of topics for adolescent readers.

Booklists from Reading Rockets and AdLit.org

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Additional booklists and poetry resources are available on the National Poetry Month pages from our sister sites:

Videos: The Power of Poetry

Take a look at these different perspectives on reading and writing poetry from a wide variety of authors and poets!

Our poetry playlists are also available on our YouTube channel.

Authors on Poetry


Writing Poetry


Poetry for Teens


Complete interviews

Be sure to take a look at the complete interviews with the featured poets: