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.
Poetry: Grades K-6
Celebrate poetry with these multicultural collections of poems from different cultures.
- Poems and Rhymes: Books for Young Children
- Poems for Everyone
- Asian Pacific American Voices
- American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage: Poetry, Plays, and Short Stories
Poetry: Grades 7-12
These collections reflect diverse voices and a wide range of topics for adolescent readers.
- Poetry for Teens
- Poems and Short Stories: American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage
- Poetry for Teens: Hispanic Heritage
- Poems by Pat Mora for Young Adults
Novels in verse
- Novels Tolds in Letters and Verse
- Novels in Verse: Hispanic Heritage
- Novels in Verse for Young Adults (AdLit.org)
- Diverse Novels in Verse for Poetry Month (School Library Journal)
Booklists from Reading Rockets and AdLit.org
Additional booklists and poetry resources are available on the National Poetry Month pages from our sister sites:
Video: The Poetry Friday Anthology
The Poetry Friday Anthology series, compiled and edited by poet Janet Wong and poetry instruction expert Dr. Sylvia Vardell, includes editions for elementary and middle school, as well as an edition focused on science. All poems are aligned to both the Common Core State Standards and the Texas TEKS standards. Each volume features a wide range of diverse poets and topics, including some bilingual poems, along with brief five-minute activities to accompany the poems called "Take Five" exercises. The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations features poems in English and Spanish by 115 poets for 150+ holidays and celebrations.
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
Poetry for Teens
Juan Felipe Herrera: Teaching Poetry
Be sure to take a look at the complete interviews with the featured poets: