14 Aug Top Ten Poetry Books About School with Poetry Prompts
Don’t wait until April (National Poetry Month) to introduce poetry! Start the school year off with reading and writing poems about school. Here is a selection of my Top Ten Poetry Books About School and some poetry prompts to accompany them. Happy beginning of the school year!
School People by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Step into a school, a building full of heart and soul, waiting for students and staff to bring life to its halls. This collection of fifteen poems curated by the late poet Lee Bennett Hopkins celebrates the grown-ups children meet during their school day.
Poetry Prompt: Invite students in your class to create poems that highlight the often unnoticed heroes of your school, such as the bus driver or the thoughtful custodian, using words that paint clear pictures. Collect these poems and present them as heartfelt gifts to the dedicated staff who make your school a caring community.Shop
GREAT MORNING! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud by Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong
Say “Good Morning!” with GREAT MORNING! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud, a collection of 75 poems with quick intros and interesting facts for a full school year of morning announcements.
Poetry Prompt: Encourage your students to compose brief poems inspired by school themes such as kindness and community using GREAT MORNING! Poems for School Leaders as inspiration. They can read aloud their own poems during morning announcements, fostering a sense of unity and spreading poetry across the school.Shop
School Supplies by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Enjoy poems that celebrate classroom essentials like paper clips, notebooks, and rulers. With lively illustrations, this book will infuse the poetic in the supplies students use every day in school.
Poetry Prompt: Invite students to write poems inspired by their favorite school supplies! Use the poems from the book as inspiration. After they create their poems, encourage them to publish their work around the classroom, placing them near the corresponding school supplies. This poetry project will show how poetry can be found in the everyday.Shop
Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems by Kristine O’Connell George
Entering middle school is a mix of new adventures and challenges. With Kristine O’Connell George’s award-winning poems, students can read poems about the special moments and challenges of middle school.
Poetry Prompt: Capture the essence of the first year in middle school through poetry! Encourage your students to write short poems that reflect their most memorable experiences and challenges they face as a new middle school student using Kristine O’Connell George’s poems as inspiration.Shop
Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes
In this Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book, Nikki Grimes explores through a novel-in-verse how a supportive teacher can be the key to unlocking a dreamer’s imaginative power through creative writing.
Read-Aloud Prompt: Words with Wings is an excellent choice for a read-aloud session at the beginning of the school year, encouraging upper elementary and middle school students to articulate their emotions and thoughts using language, similar to the character in the verse novel. This book can also be effectively integrated with a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program, offering an opportunity for students to engage with themes of self-expression and personal growth.Shop
Poems from Homeroom: A Writer’s Place to Start by Kathi Appelt
Poet and educator, Kathi Appelt, has written a captivating anthology of poems tailored for young adult readers. Divided into two sections, the first containing poems about fictional adolescent characters and what they long for, the second exploring how the poems were written and how readers can begin poems of their own.
Poetry Prompt: After students read the poems in Poems from Homeroom, invite them to use the list of writing ideas in the book to create their own poems.Shop
The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan
This novel-in-verse is written from the perspective of a fictional class of fifth-graders during a transformative school year. Families change and new friendships form as the kids grow up and move on in this whimsical novel-in-verse about finding your voice and making sure others hear it.
Poetry Prompt: Invite students to write their own poems, introducing themselves at the beginning of the school year using the poems in this book as inspiration.Shop
For every student who’s ever worried about spending a lifetime in the third grade and for every teacher who’s faced a class where nobody remembered to bring milk money, these thirty-eight poems by Kalli Dakos capture the excitement, challenge, heartbreak, and wonder of life in elementary school.Shop
When the Teacher Isn’t Looking: And Other Funny School Poems by Kenn Nesbitt
Kenn Nesbitt’s collection of whimsical poems playfully tackles a variety of school-related subjects that will elicit both laughter and engagement from students.
Poetry Prompt: For moments that call for a cheerful pause, I’ve selected two poetry books guaranteed to bring smiles to children’s faces. When a poetry break is in order, teachers can share a playful poem from these collections. Later, students can collaborate on crafting a group poem inspired by one of the topics in the books or work with a partner to create a humorous school-related poem of their own.Shop
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
Although not a poetry book per se, this poetic picture book by Jacqueline Woodson, uses beautiful language and imagery to show that when we share our stories, we feel less alone and often find others with whom we can connect.
Poetry Prompt: Invite students to write a poem celebrating their special qualities, drawing inspiration from Jacqueline Woodson’s book for vivid details and imagery. Then compile the poems into a class anthology that shows how each student is unique.
And if I may, I’ll share two of my own books in this school themed blog.Shop
Falling Down the Page by Georgia Heard
A collection of easy-to-read and accessible list poems by contemporary children’s poets many with a school oriented themes.
Poetry Prompt: A list poem is one of the easiest poems for children to write. Start the school year by reading some of the school related list poems and create a shared poem with the class or invite students to write their own independent list poems.Shop
Climb Inside a Poem by Georgia Heard
Through an anthology of original children’s poems and related lessons, Lester Laminack and I describe how to weave poetry into the fabric of every school day Building on these experiences, children then engage in a formal unit of study on writing poetry. The book has three components
· A poetry anthology, Climb Inside a Poem: Original Poems for Children, includes poems by contemporary children’s poets and whimsical illustrations all in an expansive big book format.
· Lessons for Climb Inside a Poem provides a five-day sequence of lessons for each poem in the anthology.
· Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year is organized into three separate sections: writing minilessons; reading strategies; and a complete unit of study for writing poetry.
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