Are You Ready?


Are you ready? April is National Poetry Month, so why not try reading a poem each day?  We all love Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein. What about some new poets?  Here are some suggestions for great poetry selections:

Alexander, Kwame and Chris Colderley.  2017. Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.

Coombs, Kate.  2012. Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.

Florian, Douglas. 2012. UnBEElievables: honeybee poems and paintings. NY: Beach Lane Books.

Grimes, Nikki. 2017.  One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance. USA: Bloomsbury.

Harley, Avis. 2008. The Monarch’s Progress: Poems with Wings. Honesdale, PA: WordSong.

Heard, Georgia. 1998.  Awakening the Heart.  Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, K-6

Heard, Georgia and Lester Laminack. 2008. Reading and Writing Across the Year. Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann, K-2

Holbrook, Sara. 2003. By Definition. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.

Ludwig VanDerwater, Amy.  2013. Forest Has a Song: Poems. NY: Clarion Books.

Worth, Valerie.1996. All the Small Poems and Fourteen More.  NY: Farrar, Straus.

Vardell, Sylvia and Janet Wong. 2012. The Poetry Friday Anthology. NJ: Pomelo Books,

Wong, Janet. 2007. Twist: Yoga Poems. NY: Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Young, Judy.  2006. R is for Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet. Ann Arbor, MI: Sleeping Bear Press.

Try to pair two poems to make a mini-study of a concept, theme, structure, or perspective? In the space of a class period, it’s possible to employ multiple reading strategies your class has studied this year, just by putting two poems side by side and engaging your students’ curiosity. Consider comparing and contrasting “Dragonfly” by Constance Levy from Splash: Poems of Our Watery World and “The Dragonfly” from Insectlopedia  by Douglas Florian. The first is written in third person, and Florian’s poem is written in first person. Levy writes about the dragonfly as a giver of life, and Florian writes about the dragonfly as a taker of life. There’s so much more! If you send me an e-mail at, I will send these poems to you as an email attachment.

Happy Poetry Month, Slicers!

I am participating in #SOL17. Thanks to the twowritingteachers
blog team for creating and sustaining this wonderful community of slicers!


22 thoughts on “Are You Ready?

  1. I simply had to stop by for poetry book recommendations from Lynne (even though I also must get back to sleep since I’m subbing today). Some titles on your list pop out – I ordered my own copy this month of All the Small Poems and Fourteen More after loving library copies year after year. I met Water Sings blue when I hosted the Poetry Box several years ago. Awakening the Heart is an all-time favorite. You can never go wrong with Sylvia and Janet’s Poetry Friday Anthology – mine is the middle school version. I just picked up One Last Word from my hold shelf at the library (it’s next on my WTR list). And I keep hearing about Out of Wonder, so I’m ordering my copy from my local indie bookstore today! Oh I can’t wait for April!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Out of Wonder is amazing! I just shared it with my grad students last night – I’ve been reading a poem each session for the last two weeks now and sharing some poetry books as a way to start each class. I’m selling poetry and hope they’ll buy in! This group of teachers, I believe, already loves poetry. They are so smart and always up for a challenge! They inspire me!


  2. Most of our schools study poetry in April so I get to coach with poetry –it is so much fun. Last year I joined Poetry Friday for the month of April –you should do that!! It is all year, but you should try April — you are so great with poetry. I plan to fill my Little Free Library with poetry in April. Thank you for sharing so many resources.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I own about 75 poetry books or more and would love to share more titles with you. I will create a google doc and send to you over the weekend! Have fun with poetry in April. Is Poetry Friday something here on twowritingteachers or somewhere else? Your blog? LMK!


      • Poetry Friday is a meme like Slice of Life or It’s Monday What Are You Reading. It is a “weekly event” that happens each Friday. I different blogger hosts it each week and you link your poem to that site. You responder to other participants – same as Slice of Life. It is a great, active group –lots of Slicers do it too. I did it last April — if you check my blog posts from last April on my website you can see how it did it. Here is the link for Poetry Friday – Let me know if you want me to explain it via phone — I think it would be a great platform for your poetry work.


  3. Thanks for the great recommendations, Lynne. I’m helping coordinate poetry month at my PreK-3 school for the first time. So excited! Love the pairing of poetry idea. I would also recommend Janet and Sylvia’s new Here We Go: A Poetry Friday Power Book. It’s a tad old for my Ks, but I love the pairings and themes in it. Happy Poetry Month to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lynne, you will soon have to build a new house to store all of your books–you can call it “Lynne’s Library House.” Thank you for all the resources. I love to read poetry, but i don’t know if I’m up to the challenge of writing a poem a day in April. We’ll see.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this. Just in time as I get ready to head back after Spring Break. Poetry will be featured in my April plans for sure. I will also be working with an after school poetry group planning our choral poetry presentation for our district multicultural festival in May. Schools do all kinds of presentations- music, dance, etc. – we chose poetry!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love introducing new poets to teachers. They only seem to know Silverstein and Prelutsky. Florian is one of my favorites along with Valerie Worth. Love Joyce Sidman who pairs poetry and nonfiction. Great list!


  7. I am a bit obsessed with poetry! I checked the public library and I can get my hands on Kwame Alexander’s new book. I’m so excited for it to arrive. Poetry is such a nice break from our traditional reading. I’m also obsessed with books in verse. I feel it takes the thinking to a higher level. This resource list is fantastic. Some I have and I need to pull out for April. I’ll be on a hunt for the others. Also, I’ll be dropping you an email tomorrow for the poems you mentions. As always, thanks!


  8. Thanks Lynne. Certainly recognized many of the authors, although a number of the books are new to me, living as I do in far away Australia.. Douglas Florian is a favourite of mine though and I have quite a number of his books and Valerie Worth’s book is a classic. Thanks for sharing some of your poetic pearls.


  9. Thanks for the inspiration and the great list of resources here! I just added Out of Wonder to my Amazon cart. Can’t wait to take a closer look at poetry in April!


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