Over the summer vacation, encourage your students to stay engaged with and excited about poetry through the following take-home activities.

These activities are based on our collection of Poems for Kids and Poetry for Teens, lists of poems curated by subject and theme for elementary, middle, and high school students. The poems in the Poems for Kids lists range in tone and complexity, but all are appropriate for young readers; the Poetry for Teens lists are more suitable for high school students, and we recommend teachers review these poems before assigning them. (For elementary school students, we especially recommend Animals and Poems Kids Like.) You can also create your own selections of poems for your students to read by making an online anthology.

Invite your students to explore our Poems for Kids or Poems for Teens, depending on their grade and reading level, or assign a specific selection (such as Nature, Summer, and Sports). Then, have them complete one or all of the following activities over the summer.

  1. Choose your 10 favorite poems from the provided lists. Then, make an online anthology of these poems to share with your teacher and classmates. Include a short paragraph about why you chose these particular poems.
  2. Choose a poem from these lists to memorize. When school resumes in the fall, recite your poem to the teacher or in front of the class.
  3. Explore the lists of poems and choose the subject that is most exciting to you (Social Justice, for instance, or Friendship). Using your memories and your imagination, think about the unique perspective you can bring to this subject. Then, write your own poem, using the five senses as a guide (sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch).
  4. After reading through several of the lists, think about the poems you liked best. What do they have in common? What words or phrases jumped out at you? What styles of writing kept you most engaged?  Then, write a short, personal essay about what you’ve learned about yourself as a reader.