April is National Poetry Month, which makes it the ideal time to bring poetry into your classroom—especially if you haven’t already been doing so! Poetry has always been part of HMH’s offerings, and we are home to many poets whose subject matter aligns closely with subjects taught in schools.
Children's Poetry Books
You can celebrate poetry during April—and year round—with the collection of poetry books for kids and teenagers below.
Science and Nature
Most children are curious about the natural world, and so poetry about bugs, birds, seasons, and elements can be a good choice for younger classrooms. Joyce Sidman received the award for excellence in poetry from the National Council of Teachers of English in 2013 for her body of work, and many of her books for Pre-K to Grade 4 celebrate scientific inquiry and knowledge without losing the thrill of poetry and language. In Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors, the poems explain how some animals have survived on this planet for millions and millions of years while 99 percent of other species that have ever lived have become extinct. And not only have beetles, geckos, and sharks survived—they can be found almost everywhere around the globe. In other words, they are ubiquitous.
In Round, Sidman writes of all the things you can see in nature that are round—sunflowers, planets, and eggs, to name a few—and she encourages readers to go out and observe and find more. Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold explores how the natural world copes with frost and snow and other elements of a cold climate. She has other books about the seasons, night creatures, and several additional topics. Sidman won the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal last year for her nonfiction book The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science (Grades 5–7), and her poetry shows the same love of observation of the natural world.