The Best Poetry Books For Teachers

Written by Dan

Last updated

Are you a teacher needing examples of poetry that you can share with your students? It’s vital to equip yourself with the right resources, as this is essential for your success when teaching language arts.

To help you, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite poetry books that teachers can use as excellent educational material. Whether you’re looking for something classic or cutting-edge, these titles offer plenty of insight into verse and its power to unleash emotion.

Plus, they will provide your students with stimulating and thought-provoking reading!

So if you want to expand your classroom library or find some inspiring works to supplement discussions about meter and syntax, read on!

Related: For more, check out our article on Poems About The Moon  here.

Top 5 Things Poetry Rhyming Schemes

Poetry Books

  1. The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises From Poets Who Teach by Robin Behn : This book is a collection of more than ninety writing exercises designed to inspire creativity and understanding of poetry. It’s a fantastic resource for teachers looking to enhance their poetry teaching skills.
  2. Spellbound: The Art of Teaching Poetry: This book offers many creative ways to introduce and teach poetry. It provides a wide range of poems suitable for all ages and an array of innovative teaching strategies.
  3. Rhythm and Resistance: Teaching Poetry for Social Justice: This book uses poetry as a tool for teaching language, reading, social justice, and resistance. It’s an excellent resource for teachers who want to incorporate social justice issues in their teaching.
  4. Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu: This book offers profound wisdom and spiritual insights, expressed through poetic language. It could be used as a resource to teach students about philosophical poetry.
  5. Poetry for Teachers: By a Teacher by Brian Taylor: Written by a teacher, this book contains a variety of poems that express the joys, challenges, and experiences of being a teacher. It can provide valuable insights and inspiration for teachers.
  6. Poems Are Teachers by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater: This practical book is designed for every classroom teacher. It provides lesson explorations, making it a great resource for teachers wanting to incorporate poetry into their lessons.
  7. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: This bestselling collection features poetry and prose about survival, love, loss, and femininity. It’s a powerful exploration of different experiences in life.
  8. And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou is an inspiring collection from the legendary Maya Angelou. It’s filled with powerful poems that explore topics like love, loss, and the resilience of the human spirit.
  9. The Chaos of Longing by K.Y. Robinson is a brutally honest exploration of desire, heartbreak and the power of longing. It’s a raw and poignant collection that could spark deep discussions in a classroom setting.
  10. Love Her Wild by Atticus Poetry: This collection captures the adventure, excitement, and beauty of falling in love. It’s written by a mysterious Instagram-famous poet known only as Atticus.
  11. I’m Always So Serious by Karisma Price is a debut poetry collection exploring identity, race, and what it means to create art in our current social and political climate.
  12. Soft Science by Franny Choi: This book explores identity, particularly the complexities of being a queer, Asian American woman in today’s society.
  13. The Wilderness by Sandra Lim: This is a collection of poems that explore the self, the female body, and the natural world.
  14. I wrote this for you by Iain S. Thomas: This is a beautifully raw and poignant collection of poetry and photography about the realities of everyday life.
  15. Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet: A bestseller, this book explores love, loss, relationships, and sex in a unique and transformative way.
  16. And Yet by Kate Baer: This collection is a powerful exploration of womanhood, motherhood, and the challenges of modern life.
  17. Plainwater by Anne Carson: This is a mix of poetry, essays, and storytelling that offers an insightful look into the human heart.
  18. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman: An iconic collection of poems that celebrate the human body, the natural world, democracy, and personal freedom.
  19. The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer: These epic poems are among the earliest and most important works of Western literature, exploring themes of war, honour, and revenge.

Please note that availability and prices might vary. Always check if the books are available for your region before purchasing.

How To Use Poetry Books In Your Teaching

Poetry can be a powerful tool in teaching, helping students to explore language, express emotions, and understand complex concepts. Here are some ways you can use poetry books in your teaching:

1. Read Aloud Sessions: Start by reading poems aloud to your class. This helps students get familiar with the rhythm, rhyme, and flow of poetry. Choose a variety of poems to expose your students to different styles and themes.

2. Discussion and Analysis: After reading a poem, initiate a discussion. Ask students about their interpretation of the poem, the themes they identified, and the emotions it evoked. This encourages critical thinking and improves comprehension skills.

3. Vocabulary Building: Poetry is rich in vocabulary and can be used to introduce new words and phrases. Have students identify unfamiliar words, look up their meanings, and use them in sentences.

4. Writing Exercises: Encourage students to write their own poems. This can be an individual or group activity. Provide prompts or themes to guide them. Writing poetry enhances creativity and allows students to express themselves.

5. Cross-curricular Connections: Poetry can be linked with other subjects like history, science, and social studies. For example, a poem about nature can be used in a science lesson about ecosystems, or a historical poem can supplement a history lesson.

6. Poetry Recitation: Organise a poetry recitation where students memorize and perform poems. This not only boosts confidence but also improves memory and public speaking skills.

7. Poetry Books as Textbooks: Use poetry books as textbooks for literature classes. Analyze different poems in depth, discussing poetic devices, structure, and themes.

8. Comparing Poems: Teach students to compare and contrast poems. Select two poems with similar themes but different styles and have students discuss the differences and similarities.

9. Poetry Journals: Have students maintain a poetry journal where they can write their own poems, thoughts about the poems they’ve read, and new words they’ve learned.

10. Incorporating Technology: Use technology to teach poetry. Some numerous apps and websites offer interactive poetry resources.

Remember, the goal is not just to teach students about poetry, but to help them appreciate the beauty and power of poetic expression.

The power of poetry lies in its ability to stir emotions, provoke thought, and at the same time, teach valuable language skills. The books we’ve recommended offer a rich diversity of voices, styles, and themes, serving as an excellent resource for teachers and students alike.

They will help you bring your language arts teaching to life and inspire your students to explore the world of poetry further. Remember, the key to successful teaching is engaging material, and these poetry books are just the ticket.

So, expand your classroom library today and watch your students discover poetry’s joy and beauty!

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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