Magnetic Poetry is a Great Way for Students to Get Into the Spirit of National Poetry Month

Magnetic word kits can provide students with a great way to construct original poetry.

“Praise the spells and bless the charms,
I found April in my arms.
April golden, April cloudy,
Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;
April soft in flowered languor,
April cold with sudden anger,
Ever changing, ever true —
I love April, I love you.”

Ogden Nash, “Always Marry an April Girl”

Throughout April, NYC schools across the City are celebrating National Poetry Month, a month-long celebration of one of the most powerful genres of literature in existence. In honor of this national literary event, many City schools are providing poetry-themed assignments throughout the rest of the school year that help students understand and appreciate the classic medium.

In addition to National Poetry Month, New York City will be celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 26. Get in the spirit of National Poetry Month by carrying a poem in your pocket on April 26 to share with friends, family members, and colleagues. Whether your write your own poem or borrow one from your favorite poet, Poem in Your Pocket Day provides the perfect opportunity to showcase your lyrical and literary appreciation of the medium that the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Gwendolyn Brooks, once called, “life distilled.”

And for the Twitter-poets among us, the City’s Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is hosting their ninth annual #PoetweetNYC Twitter contest from April 16 – April 20. This year, DCA is welcoming submissions that deal with the environment and sustainability, so send them your greenest tweet by using the hashtag, #PoetweetNYC by April 20. Winners will be announced on Poem in York Pocket Day in Metro New York newspapers and the City’s social media channels, including our very own, @NYCSchools. For more information, visit DCA’s #PoetweetNYC webpage.

In the spirit of National Poetry Month, we’ve compiled the following list of poetry books for students of all ages. Consider checking out the works in the list below and let us know which ones are your favorites!

“To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes; to hear it is to see it with our ears.”
– Octavio Paz

Elementary Grades (K–5)

  • Family Poems for Every Day of the Week/ Poemas familiares para cada día de la semana by Francisco X. Alarcón, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez
  • I Am Loved: A Poetry Collection by Nikki Giovanni, illustrated by Ashley Bryan
  • I’m Just No Good At Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris, illustrated by Lane Smith
  • Love by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Loren Long
  • My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads by Hope Anita Smith
  • Out of Wonder by Kwame Alexander (former Book of the Month!)
  • A Place to Start a Family: Poems about Creatures that Build by David L. Harrison, illustrated by Giles Laroche
  • Read! Read! Read! by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke
  • Seeing Into Tomorrow: Haiku by Richard Wright by Nina Crews
  • Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Susan Hood
  • Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet by April Pulley Sayre
  • The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

Middle Grades (6–8)

  • Bravo! Poems About Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
  • Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko
  • Falling into the Dragon’s Mouth by Holly Thompson, illustrated by Matt Huynh
  • Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry
  • Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
  • Knockout by K.A. Holt
  • Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney, art by Brian Pinkney
  • Pieces of Georgia by Jen Bryant
  • Rebound by Kwame Alexander
  • Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles by Shari Green
  • Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ron Koertge
  • Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners by Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes

High School Grades (9–12)

  • Black Girl Magic: A Poem by Mahogany L. Browne, art by Jess X. Snow
    Bull by David Elliott
  • If: A Father’s Advice to His Son by Rudyard Kipling, photos by Charles R. Smith Jr.
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  • Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Shadra Strickland
  • Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lita Judge
  • One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Solo by Kwame Alexander


The Morning Bell

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of over 1.1 million students across 1,800+ schools

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