Before placing a poem in
the poetry center, introduce the poem by reading it aloud to the
class. Discuss new vocabulary and build background knowledge.
Encourage children to share their connections to the poem.
can be read at any point during the school day (during morning
meetings, before lunch, after recess, during math, reading, science,
or social studies).
centers, students rotate to the poetry center, which is set up on
a large pocket chart. The poetry center contains task cards that
assist students in processing the selected poems or are based on a
skills that can be applied to the poem.
next to each task are pencils that indicate which tasks are to be
completed for the poetry center (tasks change depending on the poem).
Depending on the purpose of the poem or center, students may either
choose a selected task or are required to complete all tasks cards
Task Cards (PDF)
Where do children
store their poems?
child has their own poetry notebook (a standard 70-count spiral notebook or a
composition notebook). Poetry notebooks can be stored in the poetry
center or at the child's desk.
child receives a copy of the poem printed on a half sheet of paper. The child glues their poem into their poetry
notebook and then responds to the tasks on the opposite page.
is best to have the poem and task opposite of each other so that
students have access to the poem and do not have to flip back and
forth between pages in order to view the poem or complete the task (see
poem onto the left side of the paper
Complete task(s) on the right
side of the paper
Why are poems typed
on a half sheet of paper?
half-sheet of paper saves paper and space in the student's poetry
notebooks. When I find a poem, it is typed into a poetry template
using Microsoft Word. The template is set up using landscape
orientation so that there are two copies of the poem on the same page.
The poem is copied and then cut in half so that each child will
receive a half-sheet of paper containing the poem. This works really
well and the children seem to respond well to the size of the paper
(they think the poem is small).
Template (MS Word)
In addition to the task
cards, there are many wonderful activities that can be done using
Copy lines of a
favorite poem onto sentence strips. Place the sentence strips in
the poetry center and have students put the poem back together.
They can use the copy of the original poem from their poetry
notebook as a guide (place numbers on the back of each sentence strip
Students can use a
T-Chart to compare the subject of two similar poems. Example:
compare the similarities and/or differences of two poems about
fill-in-the-blank poems. Type up a poem and leave out adjectives
or other parts of speech. Students fill-in-the-missing words and
make their own hilarious poems.
Build fluency by
having students work together to recite a favorite poem to the
class or to another class within the school (kindergarten loves