100 Essential Poems for Junior and Middle Grade Children to Learn
Children and Poems to Learn
Good poetry can change lives for the better. It can help with literacy, life and learning. Here are 100 quality poems selected for use in the classroom and at home. Subjects range from relationships to animals, from conflict to the environment.
The following poems are for slightly older children and aren't suitable for those under seven years old.
As children grow, more complex poems can be learnt and enjoyed for their word patterns and meanings. A poem can be a catalyst for discussion and debate. Learning a poem by heart when young can stay with you right through adulthood.
Here are 100 of the best poems for children to enjoy.
As a father of two boys I know how rewarding it can be to read poetry in the home. There's something magical about connecting with your children through poetry.
Choosing the right kind of poem for children can be a challenge. That's why I've compiled a comprehensive number of excellent poems for you to work with. There are short poems that rhyme, longer poems with deeper meaning and there are also fun poems.
Children generally have shorter attention spans than adults so be selective in your choice. Most importantly, make sure you give the kids a regular dose of poetry to keep the rhythm and words alive in their souls.
These poems are suitable for children aged from 7-15, that is, from junior through to middle and junior high.
1-8 Poems for Younger Children
If I Were in Charge of the World by Judith Viorst is a poem about control, unlike The Aliens Have Landed by Ken Nesbitt which is all about not being in control. Meanwhile Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face by Jack Prelutsky speaks for itself whilst Changing Everything by Jane Hirshfield takes things to extremes.
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is witty and charming but Please Mrs Butler by Allan Ahlberg is mildly alarming. Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley will make you laugh a little unlike The Quarrel by Maxine Kumin which might make you think before you act.
Nonsense and Mystery
12. On the Ning Nang Nong Spike Milligan
13. Jabberwocky Lewis Carroll
14. There Was An Old Man With A Beard Edward Lear
15. Fable by Joan Aiken
16. anyone lived in a pretty how town e.e.cummings
17. Wynken,Blynken and Nod by Eugene Field
18. Backward Bill by Shel Silverstein
19. A Pizza the Size of the Sun by Jack Prelutsky
20. A Dream within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe
21. Macavity the Mystery Cat by T.S.Eliot
22. The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear
23. Something Told the Wild Geese by Rachel Field
24. The Tyger by William Blake
25. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
26. The Eagle by Alfred Lord Tennyson
27. The Duck by Ogden Nash
28. Bee! I'm Expecting You! by Emily Dickinson
29. Eletelephony by Laura Richards
30. The Magpies by Denis Glover
31. The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop
32. That Sure is My Little Dog by Eleanor Lehman
33. Mooses by Ted Hughes
34. The Geese by Jorie Graham
35. The Bat by Theodore Roethke
36. The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins
37. Ode to the Hummingbird by Pablo Neruda
38. Kangaroo by D.H.Lawrence
39. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens
Poems about Life
Middle Grade and Higher
48. Mirror by Sylvia Plath
49. I Am Waiting by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
50. Let Evening Come by Jane Kenyon
51. Fundamentalism by Naomi Shihab Nye
52. Snow by David Berman
53. Deer Hit by Jon Loomis
54. Abandoned Farmhouse by Ted Kooser
55. Speak Up by Janet S. Wong
56. Seeing the World by Steven Herrick
57. Junkyards by Julian Lee Rayford
58. At the Bomb Testing Site by William Stafford
Poems to make you Think
Conflict and War
72. When Daddy Fell Into the Pond by Alfred Noyes
73. I'm Nobody! Who Are You? by Emily Dickinson
74. Another Reason Why I don't Keep a Gun in the House by Billy Collins
75. maggy and milly and molly and may by e.e.cummings
76. How I Learned to Sweep by Julia Alvarez
77. Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
78. Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost
79. Mine by Lilian Moore
80. One Art by Elizabeth Bishop
81. Mother to Son by Langston Hughes
82. We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks
83. Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
84. O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman
85. Mother Doesn't Want a Dog by Judith Viorst
86. This is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams
87. Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden
88. Saint Animal by Chase Twichell
© 2015 Andrew Spacey