Sunday, April 12, 2015

DigiLit Sunday: Five Poetry Stops You'll Want to Share with Students

Shared Reading
Shared reading has evolved with the introduction of technology to our classrooms.  A big book is no longer the only way to gather students to read a text together.  Now it is possible to project small books to make the print large enough for others to see, or to project a piece of writing from the internet to read together.

As a primary teacher, I find shared reading to be one way to help bring students to a text they might otherwise be unable to read.  By making it familiar, it is possible for young readers to be able to read the text independently later.  Additionally, shared reading helps build reading vocabulary, improve fluency, and brings joy to reading.  It allows students to think deeply and discuss their reading together.

What better genre than poetry for shared reading with its rhythm, occasional rhyme, and wondrous word choices?  Poetry is perfect for these shared reading opportunities.  Reading poems together and then having them available for students to reread helps to increase the volume and complexity of reading students can accomplish independently.

There are many sites available to find poetry for students.  Since it is National Poetry Month, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.

Websites for Shared Poetry Reading
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater:  The Poem Farm  If you don't know Amy's website, go there right now.  You'll be amazed.  Get a cup of coffee because you'll want to spend some time meandering around The Poem Farm.  Amy has so many poems that could be used for shared reading.  During April, she's featuring her Sing That Poem! project.  If you go to her Find a Poem tab, you can search by technique or topic for a poem to share.  In addition to the variety of poems she shares, there is often a SoundCloud link that would allow readers to listen to her read the poem.  She also shares the thinking and craft decisions behind much of her poetry, making her site useful for many focus lessons in writer's workshop.

Laura Purdie Salas:  Writing the World for Kids  For National Poetry Month, Laura is sharing a quick tip for teachers or others sharing poetry, and then a poem to read each day of the month.  Browse around for a bit to discover other poetry and interesting poetry information.

Irene Latham:  Live Your Poem  For National Poetry Month, Irene is featuring her ARTSPEAK series where she is writing about images found in the online collection from the National Gallery of Art.  Additionally, Irene shares many poems across the year and other important poetry information.  You can listen to her read her poems on SoundCloud as well, if you click SoundCloud in her sidebar.

Poetry Minute Poetry Minute is a site organized by Kenn Nesbitt.  This site is full of tiny treasures.  You can search for poetry by author or by category.  Kid-friendly, this site will provide a variety of poetry for shared reading with students.

Giggle Poetry  Looking for poems to share with your students, stop by Giggle Poetry which features Poetry Class (my favorite link as there is a bit of information about the type of poem, a little writing advice, and then some examples), Poetry Fun, Poetry Theatre, and Word Games.

Please share your favorite poetry sites for shared reading with students in the comments below.

As part of a continuous collaboration among educators interested in digital learningMargaret Simon hosts a weekly Digital Learning round-up on her blog:  DigiLit Sunday.  Stop by Reflections on the Teche (today's link-up) to read, discover, and link.  


  1. Great choices and would love to add Sylvia Vardell's Poetry for Children blog ( on something like 7000 posts now. You'll find a great DEAR Day poem and video at her site today!

  2. All good ideas, Cathy. It's a joy to share poems from these sites, and Sylvia's too. My older students read the posts, too. When I was coaching in classrooms, a primary teacher & I found short poems that she could share several times a week. She found that when students wrote in their journals, after a few months of so many poems, students began to say they too wanted write a poem. Just the sharing opened up new ideas for their writing, even those who still weren't readers.

  3. I'm so glad you mentioned my two favorite sites for my students, The Poem Farm and Writing the World for Kids. Last week we tried to Sing That Poem with Amy VW, and she shared our soundclouds on her site. What a way to make your students famous! Can we add to your Pinterest page? No Water River with Renee LaTullippe is a must.

  4. Thank you so much for the roundup. We have a crazy April with Spring Break and a three day field trip we are just heading back to regular classroom activities tomorrow! Can't wait to share these sites.

  5. I love The Poem Farm, Cathy and Latham's Artspeak project will be a perfect site for my high school students to explore as we've been using art to help us see poetry and write analysis. I appreciate your words about shared reading too. Even in high school, it's important to gather minds --readers--around a shared text for a good together explore.