Memorize a Poem for Poetry Month

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Affiliate Links Since it’s National Poetry Month, memorize a poem — and have your kids memorize one, too. It’s so rich to have amazing words, powerful thoughts, and metaphorical ideas hanging around our brains.

The Academy of American Poets created National Poetry Month in 1996 to celebrate and promote the achievement of American poets.

We can participate by memorizing a poem!

memorize a poem -- and have your kids memorize one, too! List of poetry ideas and the best anthologies.

Memorize a Poem in April

Kids love funny poems, don’t they?

One of my all time favorite funny poems as a child was Shel Silverstein’s Sarah Cynthia Sylviva Stout – probably because I memorized it for school. Another childhood favorite that wasn’t funny, just sentimental, was Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Swing.

As a teen, Emily Dickinson and e.e. cummings resonated with me. (What teen doesn’t think “I am nobody” isn’t describing her own life?)

Currently, I adore Naomi Shihab Nye and Mary Oliver.

I’ve created a list of poems that your kids can memorize — from silly to serious. See what interests you and your kids. (Remember that poems are meant to be read out loud.)

“I have always believed that poems beg to be read aloud, even if the reader is in a world all her own.” – J. Patrick Lewis

For more get kids excited about poetry ideas visit: Daily Poetry for Kids.

Poems Kids Can Memorize

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

The Dentist and the Crocodile by Roald Dahl

On a Flimmering Floom You Shall Ride by  Carl Sandburg

Catch a Little Rhyme by Eve Merriam

Sick by Shel Silverstein

The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carrol

The Swing by Robert  Louis Stevenson

Homework! Oh,  Homework! by Jack Prelutsky

O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

This is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams

Hope by Emily Dickinson

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Famous by Naomi Shihab Nye

Many of the poems I love are not available for free online. Look in these books of for more wonderful poetry selections:

Here's a Little Poem A Very First Book of Poetry
Here’s a Little Poem A Very First Book of Poetry 
edited by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, illustrated by Polly Dunbar
These 60+ poems are top-notch making this a must-own book for young children.

Poetry Speaks to Children
Poetry Speaks to Children (Book & CD) 
edited by Elise Paschen and Dominique Raccah, Illustrated by Judy Love and Paula Zinngrabe Wendland
What a fantastic selection of poems for kids; the cd makes it even better!

Firefly July Poems for Kids
Firefly July 
edited by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
GORGEOUS illustrations and compelling poems — these poems are beautiful and SHORT.

–> more poems and poetry books for kids

How to Memorize a Poem

Start by reading the first line or stanza. Try to say it again without looking. Practice until you get it memorized. Then, go on to the next line or stanza.

Record a Poem

If you want to share your poem with the world – you can.
Record a Poem

Record your favorite poem on Sound Cloud. Send it to your friends and family.

Let me know how memorizing a poem goes!
Follow Melissa Taylor @ImaginationSoup’s board Poetry on Pinterest.

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Daily Poetry for Kidspoetry for kids

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Picture Books That Teach Grammar, Figurative Language, and PunctuationPicture Books That Teach Grammar, Figurative Language, and Punctuation

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9 Responses

  1. The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear and Wynkin, Blynkin and Nod by Eugene W. Field are 2 my 6 year old has memorized and enjoys. We had been reading them for years so memorizing wasn’t a stretch.

  2. When I was in elementary school (grade 5 or 6, maybe..) I memorized “The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert Service. A bit creepy, but a great poem! 🙂

    1. I would love to hear the back story on how you picked that one! (and the reactions you got!!)

      1. I learned Sam McGee at a similar age. I think it was required reading in the Canadian curriculum back when we were kids.

      2. Strange choice, huh? 😉
        In elementary school we took a class field trip to a camp for a couple of days & nights. I remember that we had a group hike one evening, and one of the counsellors recited the poem, in the middle of the dark woods. We were sufficiently spooked (in a good way) that a bunch of us memorized the poem, and one friend recited it the next year during our Oral Language Festival. She sat in a rocking chair next to a fake fire to perform – it was great! We had also read the poem in school as well, as part of a Canadian poetry unit. We were all at the age where we were starting to read Christopher Pike books, so our parents didn’t think the poem was nearly as creepy as those! 😉

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    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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