From Unit Plan: Teaching Slam Poetry

Use these recommended books to enhance your slam poetry unit and other poetry lessons in your classroom.

Hey You! C'mere: A Poetry Slam
by Elizabeth Swados

The author of the Tony-nominated Runaways has written 17 slangy, jangly poems in this irresistible read-aloud volume.

Classroom Tip: I use this story to introduce the unit at the beginning of the school year.

Opening a Door: Reading Poetry in the Middle School Classroom
by Paul B. Janeczko

"Reading a poem should not be like performing an autopsy, looking at a dead object and figuring out what killed it. Or worse, trying to figure out what it might have been like when it was alive. Good poems are alive…"

Classroom Tip: After reading this book, you'll immediately feel more confident the next time you teach a poetry lesson!

Teaching and Assessing Spelling
by Mary Jo Fresch and Aileen Wheaton

A practical approach that strikes the balance between whole-group and individualized instruction.

Classroom Tip: Teaching a consistent spelling program to 98 students a day is difficult, I'm hoping this book helps me with my spelling program.

Poetry Book Lists

Poetry for Grades 6–8

Middle-school students will be inspired by the words of famous poets like Naomi Shihab Nye, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, and Langston Hughes.

Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Awards

The national Lee Bennett Hopkins Award for Poetry is granted annually to an anthology of poetry or a single volume poem published for children by a living American poet or anthologist. These are winners and honorees.

Haiku Book List

From Jon J Muth's illustrated Hi, Koo! A Year of Seasons to Jack Prelutsky's amusing If Not for the Cat, these anthologies are sure to amuse and inspire students.