Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Top Ten Poetry Centers

Hi friends!

I'm sure you all know that April is National Poetry Month. I want to share with you my favorite fun poetry center ideas that you might want to add to your April library centers.

1) I love Mrs. Lodge's super easy poetry center! Look at all that colorful student poetry! Follow the link to see how she did it.

2) Copy some short poems, put out pencils and colors and let students draw a picture of what they see in their imagination when they read the poem (mental images--a reading strategy!) They can glue the poem to the page and take it with them, if you make enough copies. Or make a big mural on butcher paper.

3) Copy some shape poems from a book like Doodle Dandies. Let students write their own shape poems on individual pages or butcher paper.

4) Copy poems that rhyme, put out the smelly highlighters, and let students highlight the rhyming words. (According to the Scentos website, Walmart and Michael's carry the Scentos scented highlighters. I must find these!)

5) Put the parts of a wonderful poem on sentence strips, and have students put them in order in a pocket chart.

6) Magnetic poetry--you can buy a kit at the store, or make your own with this free download.

7) Display great poetry books with the whisper phone and let students read the poems quietly to themselves. Or display the poetry books with stuffed animals for students to read the poems to. Or create special "Poetry Glasses" (decorate dollar store sunglasses in some special way) for students to read poems with.

8) April 18, 2013 is Poem in Your Pocket Day. Let students copy short poems onto special (fancy) paper to carry with them, or to use as a bookmark.

9) Set up a Poetry Listening Center. Have you ever heard Jack Prelutsky read his own poems? Hilarious! Your students will love them and gain a new appreciation for poetry.

10) Display examples of acrostic poetry. Encourage students to write their own name down the side of the page, then fill in each line, describing themselves.

Do you have more poetry center ideas? Please share them in the comments!


  1. The Michaels on 281 had them back around Christmas. Dunno if they still do or not. Haven't been in there since ... it was around my appendectomy time. Before or after, don't remember. Got a little Valentine's mailbox we used for bookmarks for the month.
    Maybe discarded books and found poetry? A little too abstract for the younger kids but the older ones like it (drat ... can't find my pin) ... http://pinterest.com/pin/75576099969299879/
    http://pinterest.com/pin/109282728430378833/ (if you can get to YouTube)
    http://pinterest.com/pin/281615782921355675/ (interesting ... if I had any more bottles ...)

    1. Thanks for sharing those pins, Angie! I've gotta find those smelly highlighters!

  2. I use Jack Prelutsky's Scranimals and Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant in April with the second and third graders in my library. The teachers and I introduce the books and the poetry format in a collaborative lesson and then they extend the poetry writing and illustration later on.

    I have a printable linked here:


    1. Ms. Au Lait,
      Thanks for sharing your free printable. It reminds me of Mad Libs, but with poetry. What fun!
      I pinned it to my poetry Pinterest board so I can use it in the future!

  3. I love the ideas! thanks! Today my second graders had fun reading and listening to Hip Hop Speaks to Children. We read it a couple of times. The first time we read it as plain as could be and thought about what it was telling us - and then we thought about where we could put in some rhythm, and then we listened to it. When we listened to it the kids had three choices: sit still and enjoy, dance, or draw what they felt or visualized on our big "Poetry Makes me Feel.." mural. It was super fun!

    1. I can't believe I don't have this book. It sounds great!
      Thank you for sharing your super ideas!

  4. Not exactly a center, but I set up one of my bulletin boards as a large "magnetic poetry" board. I made a list of about 75 words that I then printed, cut out, and laminated. After laminating, I put velcro on the back of each word. For the bulletin board, I got a large piece of black felt to use for the background so that the velcro on the words would stick to it. It was a hit with the kids!