Kindergarten poetry activities for the WIN!
We simply love our daily poetry time each year. Each week, we focused on one poem. We read it daily, and it is a fun way to build fluency!
Using poetry is a great way to involve the whole class through shared reading lesson plans. You can adapt this five-day fluency plan to your own poems. Below, you will see an original poem from my set of weekly poems. As the weeks go by, students start to develop their favorite poems, and they want to revisit them again and again.
Why should we add music and reading together?
Brain research shows that multiple areas in the brain are activated when students see print, hear music, and move. This leads to more engaged learning and JOY!!! We want students to love shared reading, so adding songs means we say goodbye to boring! WOOT!
What activities can you do with a poem?
Elementary students can learn so much through poetry. Rhythm and rhyme, concepts about print, and comprehension skills. Additionally, students will work on building their reading fluency. Let me walk you through how our poetry unit works as part of our fluency plan and show you how much fun poetry can be.
Kindergarten Poetry Activities: Monday’s Poetry Work
On Mondays, students are introduced to a new poem. First, I read it, and I sing the tune. Then I invite my students to join in. We decide the actions that should accompany our poem. We take time to practice singing the poem a few times together. Then we add the poem to our poetry notebook. Some teachers like to use a folder, but since we will be doing other activities each day, I find a notebook works best.
Typically, the poem is printed and added to sentence strips. We use a pocket chart to display the poem, and the entire class participates.
Since this is one of our back-to-school poems, we are keeping it simple. At the beginning of the year, we focus on routines. Students are asked to come up to this simple poem and highlight a target letter. On this day, the young students were looking for the letter t. Several students participate until the entire poem has been screened for the focus skill. As the year progresses, we may look for sight words, rhyming words, or words that are decodable.
Meanwhile, while students take turns at the pocket chart, the rest of the class adds the book to their poetry notebook. They illustrate the poem and follow along with the work that is happening of front of the class. In this example, students will circle each”t.”
Kindergarten Poetry Activities: Tuesday’s Poetry Work
On Tuesday, we sing the poems a few more times and continued to look closely at the text. This time we are looking for capital letters. We will revisit this skill with many different poems, but this is just an introduction. Once again, as the students are working at the pocket chart, the students are working in their own poetry notebooks. We want each student to be active in their own learning… No beauty shop… No shoe repairman.
Kindergarten Poetry Activities: Wednesday’s Poetry Work
Once again, we read and “act out” our poem. Usually, by Wednesday, the students are getting pretty independent and the kindergarten teacher can begin to pull back some of the support. Perhaps, singing a little more softly and inviting the young children to carry the heavy load!
At a pocket chart, we will do some type of sorting activity. It can be a concept sort, a phonemic awareness skill, or a phonics skill. Students will also follow along in their poetry interactive notebooks. Once this activity is completed, it can become one of our literacy centers. Extra practice is the best way to make learning more permanent.
Kindergarten Poetry Activities: Thursday’s Poetry Work
I bet you know what comes next. We sing and act out the poem again. Each of my poetry resources comes with two sorting activities each week. At this point in the week, students really know this poem. We also sing it during transition times. Repeated practice is also an easy way to build oral language.
Kindergarten Poetry Activities: Friday’s Poetry Work
Fluency Friday is when do a little fluency demonstration. It can take a few different routes.
- Put on a show: We sometimes grab an unexpecting staff member on Friday mornings and sing our song. The music teacher always appreciated this activity. The school secretary at a busy elementary school? Not so much!
- Add illustrations to our emergent reader. Usually, this book has clipart images, but you can cover the images before you put it through the copy machine. Then ask your students to illustrate each page LOVE it!
- Chatterpix – Sometimes, I ask my students to recite the poem with Chatterpix (a free app). These look complicated, but they are SO easy to make! The best part of using Chatterpix is downloading the video and sending it to parents or, perhaps, a family member. Can you imagine having a keepsake like this? Here is an example of Chatterpix. This particular poem comes from the February collection.
Do I need to use a pocket chart for poetry?
I like to use the pocket chart so students can see it throughout the day. But from time to time (when I was short on prep time), I liked to slide the poem under the document camera or display it on the Smartboard. We can still look closely at the poem, and each student still works in their individual poetry journal.
What should I do with the poems at the end of the week?
I always kept a poetry binder so students could revisit a fun poem they particularly liked. We have recorded the music for these poems, and they make a great listening center activity. Students can scan the QR code found in the poetry book and sign along.
Additionally, students can reconstruct poems as part of an early finisher activity. You can read more about early finishers by clicking:
Poetry Planning Made Easy
I have done all of the planning for you! Each set of printed poems comes with:
- A five-day fluency plan so you can keep these poetry activities going all year.
- A variety of poems that are a lot of fun
- An emergent reader for each poem.
- A version for the students’ poetry notebook
- A single-page version of the poem for the document camera
- Sentence strip version for a pocket chart with interactive pieces.
- Two sorts with response pages that you can use during your poetry time or place them in your student centers.
If you want the interactive poetry notebooks, I have those for you as well. These are easy to implement… just print and copy!
- Your students’ level of engagement will soar with these interactive notebook pages.
- Students will respond directly in their notebooks while building their fluency, phonemic awareness, phonics, and word knowledge.
Add more fun poetry activities through videos! Each poem in this collection includes:
- MP3 track for each song with vocals
- MP3 track for each song karaoke version
- MP4 Video file for download
- MP4 Video streaming link
- Video Jukebox organizational page
- Song Book Class Book with Editable Cover Page
- Lyrics in color and black and white printable (with and without QR codes)
- Lyrics with and without QR codes for videos
- SEESAW Preloaded and Google Classroom Ready Files
I have two sets of poems:
- Poetry and Poems Shared Reading and Fluency Printables, Songs, Music, Videos 1 (perfect for kindergarten)
- Poetry and Poems Shared Reading and Fluency Printables, Songs, Music, Videos 2 (perfect for first grade or kindergarten)
Read more on how I use poetry in classroom
- Nursery Rhyme Lesson Plans For Kindergarten (Free Download Too!)
FREE Video File
You can grab a free video by entering your information below.
Love love love tying in music! (Especially when I cannot carry a tune.) Thanks for the freebie song… looking forward to seeing what you two put together. Great poetry ideas for the week!
This is such an engaging way to learn poetry! My Master's Thesis was based on how music along with poetry increases literacy development among ELL students! So exciting!
I wasn't able to download the song, but I think this is a great idea! I use the monthly poems and sometimes I have difficulty putting a poem to the correct tune. This would be a great resource.
Hi Deedee, sorry this is off topic on your post for today, but I am trying to put together my Math Tool Kits and I am struggling with what to include in these kits. Is it possible for you to make a list of all the resources that you include in the kit. I have read the post and understand how you organize them but would love to see everything that is included. Thank you so much!
I put all of the workmats, ten frames, 100's chart, and math talk cards from our Guiding Kinders math units.
LOVE LOVE the music!! I have no music ability in my blood and I sadly admit sometimes I can not get the poem to music.. sad I know! 🙂
Ha! Sometimes I had to send one of my students over to another classroom to help the other teachers. THEN there were times when I would just stare into space and my students had to rescue me!
I am thinking these would be an awesome independent station to go to!
What is that red clear colored paper you use to highlight the letters and words in your poems? I love that idea and would love to use that in my classroom with the poems bundle!
I found my teacher mentor! You are amazing! Could you email/share your time and day you do the poem work? Is it part of your literacy rotation? I am confused as you have so many ideas that I want to achieve for my little learners!
Thank you for sharing your talent!
Thank you so much! I have a whole blog post that lays out my day. See if this helps:
The Best kindergarten schedule
Hi, what colored transparencies do you use on your pocket charts?
They are actually just poly page dividers that you get at Walmart… super cheap. Then I cut them up.
I could not find the Time for School poem 🙁
The Time for School Poem is in this file:
You will find it in the August/September set of files. The free file is the apple poem that is linked at the bottom of the blog post. I hope that helps!