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Lesson Plan

Poetry Portfolios: Using Poetry to Teach Reading

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 15-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jennifer Reed

Arlington, Texas


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology






  • Computer with Internet access
  • Poetry books
  • Chart paper
  • 8- x 11 paper for portfolios
  • Markers, crayons, and pencils
  • Pocket chart
  • Pointers
  • Sentence strips
  • Highlighter tape or sticky notes

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My Poetry Portfolio cover sheet

Weekly Poem Rubric

Sample Letter to Parents

Skills Search task sheet

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1. Read "A Good Poem Will Give You Goosebumps!" by Kenn Nesbitt. This article provides background information explaining why poetry is good for children and important in the classroom. The author also suggests five ways to engage your students with poetry.

2. Compile the following materials into one place for easy access:
  • Choose a poem from a book, resource book, or the suggested website (CanTeach Songs & Poems). The poem should be 5 to 15 lines, and meet the requirements for the skills you want to teach. In this lesson, the poem "Firefly" by Meish Goldish is used as an example to focus on the long /i/ sound.

  • Write the same poem on a large piece of chart paper. For easy reading, alternate two different color markers for every other line.

  • Type or write the same poem on an 8" x 11" sheet of paper for the students' poetry portfolios. Make sure that there is enough room for students to illustrate the poem (i.e., half of the page for the poem, half of the page for illustrations). Make one copy of the poem for each student.

  • Write each line of the poem on a sentence strip. Cut the sentence strips into two or three pieces. Cut enough strips so that each student will have at least one strip.
3. Set up a "Poetry Corner" for storage of all of the materials used during the lesson (e.g., pointers, sentence strips, poetry books) and poems that your students study throughout the year. Allow students to visit this area and review previously learned poems by using the pointers and sentence strips to work on voice-to-print matching, sequencing, and poetic language.

4. Before beginning your poetry studies, have students illustrate the My Poetry Portfolio cover sheet. Share the poem on the handout and then ask students to illustrate the poem.

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