Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Poetry Centers Book List

Hello Teachers,

I've been busy collecting some poems for kindergarten, first, and second grade students to read in Poetry Centers.  You may have some favorites too.  Share them with us!  I searched for poems that help kids understand the following:
  • Poets can use honest language to create strong images.
  • Poets can use interesting patterns on the page to create sound and rhythm.
  • Poets can write about big feelings they have and make their readers feel big feelings.
We sorted some of the poems into three simple categories so kids could read poems around topics first and then later they could perhaps sort them like writers, noticing some of the author's craft. 

Poems about Different Kinds of Animals:
Turtle by Charlie Reed
Cow by Valerie Worth
Goldfish by Valerie Worth
Fish by Mary Ann Hoberman
Cat in the Dark by John Agard
Cat Kisses by  Bobbie Katz

Poems about Nature:
March by Elizabeth Coatsworth
Pebbles by Valerie Worth
Sky by Grace Nichols
From My Window by Zaro Weil
Mermaid’s Lullaby by Jane Yolen
The Wind by Stanley Cook
Rainy Day by William Wise
Spring by Hugo Majer
Silence by Eve Merriam
SSSH by Betsy Hearne
Sunrise by Frank Asch
Autumn Leaves by Leland B. Jacobs
Go Wind by Lilian Moore
Until I Saw the Sea by Lilian Moore

Poems About Insects:
Fireflies by Zaro Weil
Clickbeetle by Mary Ann Hoberman
Ants Live Here by Lilian Moore
The Caterpillar by Christina Rossetti
Crickets by Valerie Worth
If You Catch a Butterfly by Lilian Moore
Hey Bug by Lilian Moore

Many of the poems above are favorites of children's author Georgia Heard and mentioned in her professional resources as well.  Her resources for supporting kids as the read poetry include Climb Inside a Poem and Awakening the Heart.  

You will also want to have a collection of poetry anthologies on hand in your classrooms.  Some Georgia's anthologies as well as other favorite anthologies are listed below. 

Stella Unleashed by Linda Ashman and Paul Meisel
Once I Ate a Pie by Patricia Maclachlan and Emily Maclachlan Charest
Creatures of Earth, Sea, and Sky by Georgia Heard
Animal Poems by Valerie Worth
All the Small Poems and Fourteen More by Valerie Worth
The Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite Poems by Mary Ann Hoberman
Climb Inside a Poem (Big Book) by Georgia Heard
Falling Down The Page: A Book of List Poems by Georgia Heard
Honey I Love and Other Love Poems by Eloise Greenfield

I have plans to put up more charts, video, and mentor text to support poetry reading and writing this month.  Looking forward to sharing more with all of you!



  1. In addition to your lists of mentor texts, my students and I love "Little Dog Poems" They are short and assessable for young children. Would love to know more about your poetry centers. Your site is great and really pushes my thinking. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the book recommendation Mary. I like to use lots of Georgia Heard's ideas for Poetry centers: sketch what you see when you read a poem, sing or recite a poem with feeling, and create gestures and movements to go along with poem. Happy to hear the voices of the blog readers. Thanks for posting a comment.