Poetry Portfolios: Using Poetry to Teach Reading

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Lesson Introduction: 

Students learn to read and write when they have an active interest in what they are reading and writing about. This lesson supports students’ exploration of language skills as they read and dissect poetry. Through a weekly poem, students explore meaning, sentence structure, rhyming words, sight words, vocabulary, and print concepts. After studying the poem, students are given a copy of the poem to illustrate and share their understanding. All of the poems explored are then compiled into a poetry portfolio for students to take home and share with their families. To further connect home to school, a family poetry project is suggested.

Learning Objectives: 

In this lesson, students will have opportunities to:

  • Learn new vocabulary.
  • Recognize rhyming words.
  • Develop an understanding of print concepts.
  • Demonstrate reading comprehension through illustrations.
  • Make predictions based on prior knowledge.
  • Learn the elements of a sentence.
Materials and Resources: 

To teach this lesson, you will need:

  • computer with Internet access
  • “A Good Poem Will Give You Goose Bumps!” by Kenn Nesbitt
  • poetry books
  • chart paper
  • 8-½” x 11” paper for portfolios
  • markers, crayons, and pencils
  • pocket chart
  • pointers
  • sentence strips
  • highlighter tape or sticky notes
  • printouts 


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Poetry In Voice is a charitable organization that encourages Canadian students to fall in love with poetry through reading, writing, and recitation. All of our resources are available online for free. You may also use our resources if you reside outside of Canada.