Poetry Books Your Students Will Love

Here are Poetry books that your kids will love! Grab them for your mentor text and read-aloud collection. Use them in your mini-lessons, small group activities, partner reading, and more! Your elementary students will absolutely adore these books full of poems!

It is so exciting when it is time to teach poetry! This genre is one that is enjoyable to teachers and students, alike. Plus, students will be challenged when they are reading and writing poetry! My first piece of advice for your poetry unit is the grab several great poetry books to use as read alouds and mentor texts. You will need loads of example poems in order to teach the elements and structure of this genre. These are a few of my favorite!

A Stick is an Excellent Thing

Poetry book for elementary students

This first poetry book is excellent because every kid can connect to it!  Even though activities and interests change with each generation, Marilyn Singer and LeUyen Pham have created poems and illustrations about activities that all kids love. These poems are about those childhood games that have survived time, from hopscotch to hide and seek. The poems are easy to understand and are perfect examples of word choice and structure. This book will be a great introduction to poetry in your classroom.

Link: A Stick Is An Excellent Thing

Poetry for Kids: Robert Frost

Poetry book for elementary students

Robert Frost’s poetry is the kind that will be read for a lifetime. The classic poems found in this collection are perfect examples for your poetry unit. Tales told of nature and surroundings, Robert Frost uses words to paint a picture of scenes in the mind. The works in this collection have been specially chosen for children ages 8 to 14 by author and historian Jay Parini. So, although some of Frost’s poetry may be too challenging for a child, these are all accessible. Dive in-depth with these poems, discovering rhyme, rhythm, word choice, figurative language, themes, and more!

Link: Poetry for Kids: Robert Frost

Book of Animal Poetry

Poetry book for elementary students

Next, we have a collection of animal poetry. Don’t let the cover fool you. This collection has been specially curated by Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis and includes works by Emily Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Frost, Rudyard Kipling, Jack Prelutsky, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and more. The poems are paired with beautiful animal photography and groups into sections by theme. Similarly, they are a great introduction to the poetry genre and have a mix of new and classic poems.
Link: Book of Animal Poetry


Poetry book for elementary students

On the other hand, this next book is not a collection of poetry. It is a story told as poems. A stray dog wanders through a neighborhood and finds himself on a family’s back porch. The mom takes the dog in and feeds him and bathes him. Then, he gets to meet her three kids who fall in love with him. He even gets the nod of approval from Dad! This fun and sweet story is told entirely in haiku! So, each page allows you to focus on that poetry type.
Link: Dogku

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Poetry book for elementary students

Well, we can’t have a children’s poetry book list without Shel Silverstein. Where the Sidewalk Ends is a collection of poetry that is unbelievably funny, but also, real and deep. From crocodiles who go to the dentist to a boy who turns into a tv set, these poems will have your kiddos laughing AND thinking deeply about theme and metaphor. I love Shel Silverstein’s use of figurative language. You will find examples of onomatopoeia, simile, alliteration, allegory and more! This poetry book deserves a spot on everyone’s bookshelf and in every teacher’s poetry unit!

Link: Where the Sidewalk Ends

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Poetry book for elementary students

Of course, we can fit Mister Rogers into our poetry unit! Poems are meant to be read aloud, so songs are poetry, too! This book has collected Mister Rogers songs and put them in a beautifully illustrated book. The great thing about this collection is that Mister Rogers always covers universal truths and delivers the message that children are loved just as they are. The poems range from topics of everyday life to big feelings, getting a new sibling to imaginiation! Themes of kindness, self-awareness, and self-esteem are present throughout the book, as well.
Link: A Day in the Neighborhood

Kids Pick the Funniest Poems

Poetry book for elementary students

Now, this last pick is for the kids. Conicidentally, each poem in the collection was chosen by kids! These poems are the silliest, funniest, laugh out loud poems kids could find. Because this collection is so entertaining, it will make your students fall in love with poetry, all while learning important elements of the genre.
Link: Kids Pick the Funniest Poems

Suggested Resources

If you’re looking for Poetry resources, check out the full Common Core unit for your grade level! They come with everything you need, from lesson plans to assessments. You will find graphic organizers, task cards, reading passages, and more!

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