What Is 30 Painless Classroom Poems?
30 Painless Classroom Poems is a series of books that makes it easy for you, the elementary school teacher, media specialist, or reading specialist, to share poetry. Each book contains:
- a collection of 30 poems by award-winning poet Laura Purdie Salas (BookSpeak!, A Leaf Can Be…, and more)
- A Note from the Poet with each poem, sharing insight into Laura’s thinking/writing process
- classroom activity guide written by an experienced educator
- tips for classroom poetry reading and thoughts on why poetry is an important, practical part of your classroom
Maybe you already love poetry (yay!). Or maybe you fear or even actively dislike it and wonder What does this poem mean? How should I read it? How do we talk about it? What do I DO with it? How do I meet standards? When can I fit it into my already over-packed day? Either way, the 30 Painless Classroom Poems series will give you great poetry to easily use with your students!
Click on the title of each book in the text below to see more information on Amazon.
Great for classroom use! Includes 30 brief poems, classroom activities by Ed Spicer, Notes from the Poet, photos, and more.
Excerpt from the Tree Bark pair of poems:
Cells carry water and food up and down
Each season of growth leaves a ring as its mark
There’s lovely cool shade in its tall, leafy crown
but stark, creeping shadows once day falls to dark
A Note from the Poet: It’s so easy to write weak, boring verbs. I do it all the time. Then, I go back and try to make them stronger. The word “leaves” used to be “makes,” but I thought “leaves” was a little bit stronger, and I also like the fact that “leaves” can refer to the leaves on a tree. And the verb “falls” was originally “turns,” but I thought “falls” was more vivid.
Are you working on close reading skills? Making inferences? Or are you just looking for some fun, interactive poems? This collection is great for classroom use! Includes 30 brief poems, classroom activities by Marcie Flinchum Atkins, Notes from the Poet, photo clues, and more.
Alone, I drift down
With friends, I lift, high and swift
I make robins fly
A Note from the Poet: I love using internal rhyme, even when the poem isn’t a rhyming poem. ?Drift,? ?lift,? and ’swift? all rhyme, and I love the rhythm that ?lift? and ’swift? give that second line. It reminds me of the rhythm of wings flapping. And (and I didn’t even think of this until long after I wrote the poem) a swift is a type of bird. YES! I like these word choices that happen mysteriously, without my realizing it. If a reader happens to know that a swift is a kind of bird, great! But a reader can completely get the poem without knowing that, too.
Are you studying narrative voice, point of view, fairy tales, or poetry? This poetry collection includes 30 brief poems, classroom activities by Colby Sharp, Notes from the Poet, and more.
Item for sale: Walnut bed – For sale by: Thumbelina
My toes hang off
My walnut bed
My acorn cap
Won’t fit my head
My leafy belt’s
Begun to pinch
I’ve grown a whopping
A Note from the Poet:
When I was a kid, I loved making homes and clothes for tiny, imaginary creatures and fairies. A pea pod could be a canoe, a pencil was a giant spear, and a few shoeboxes turned into mansions. I had fun thinking about what Thumbelina would sleep in and wear.
Studying food chains, animal habits, animal adaptations, poetry, or more? This collection is great for classroom use! Includes 30 brief poems, classroom activities by Karen Ganon, Notes from the Poet, and more.
Crown-of-Thorns Sea Star: Worship the Sun
You call me voracious.
I say that’s baloney.
I’m a spine-covered sun
shining light where it’s stony.
I’ve spit out my stomach.
I’ve no time to quarrel.
Now leave me alone to
devour soft? CORAL!
Note: A Crown-of-Thorns sea star pulls its stomach out of its mouth and drapes over coral. Its digestive enzymes kill the living coral polyps and its stomach absorbs those tiny, soft animals.
A Note from the Poet: I love the word “voracious.” It means having a large appetite. Sadly, I have a voracious appetite for cupcakes!
Studying the regions and states of the United States? This poetry collection is great for classroom use! Includes 52 brief poems, classroom activities by Catherine Flynn, Notes from the Poet, and more.
Minnesota: The Birth of Old Man River
A lake creates a lazy stream
That flows through pines and slips away,
Then picks up barges, logs and steam,
Becomes a mighty waterway.
Walk on rocks across this sliver,
Cross the current, slow and mild.
It will grow to Old Man River
Though for now it’s still a child.
Note: The Mississippi River begins in Lake Itasca, MN. There, you can cross the narrow river by walking across some slippery rocks. There’s a little bridge now if you don’t want to risk falling in:>)
A Note from the Poet: The last 2 lines play on the nickname Old Man River. It’s small at first, like a child. But it grows, like a child grows. The river grows wider and faster as it flows to the Gulf of Mexico.
Are you studying haiku or natural science–or just encouraging your students to wonder about the natural world? This collection includes 30 haiku (15 pairs of questions and answers), classroom activities by Mary Lee Hahn, Notes from the Poet, and more.
Sample of 2 haiku, 1 question and 1 answer:
chases high-flying white clouds:
barkless, red, sky dog.
WHY DON’T WE FLOAT AWAY?
Earth asks us to stay,
invites us with gravity.
We can not say no.
Poetry Resources for Educators
Poetry Friday Anthologies: Amazing poetry anthologies for teachers from teacher educator Sylvia Vardell and poet Janet S. Wong
Poetry Lessons to Meet the Common Core State Standards: A wonderful professional book from Georgia Heard
Poetry for Children: “10 Ways that Poetry Makes Library Collections Betters.” Diversity, choice, curricular connections–so many great reasons to have poetry in your library!
TES: Why poetry is always right for primary: “It’s also the gift that keeps on giving. Many poems taught at primary school are revelatory slow-burners, dropping new ideas as children mature.”
Writer Unboxed: The Case for Poetry: “What if poems helped humans be more humane?”
Centre for Literary in Primary Education: Poetry in Primary Schools: What We Know Works
Today’s Little Ditty: Teacher Tips for Poetry
Today: “Boy with autism writes ‘I am odd, I am new’ in poem celebrating differences” THIS is the power of poetry.
Edutopia: “Four Reasons to Start Class With a Poem Each Day”
Journal of Children’s Literature: “The Synergy of Poetry and Content Areas: Reading Poetry Across the Curriculum”
Arts-Mic: “Science Shows Something Surprising About What Reading Poetry Does to Your Brain” Based on research completed at the University of Exeter
Literacy Today: Beyond the “New Norm”: The benefits of reading more than informational text
The Horn Book: “This Is Too Much!” Why Verse Novels Work for Reluctant Readers
Education World: Chat with Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt
Poetic Pursuits: Articles I wrote explaining many common poetic forms and techniques
Nancie Atwell: Hear her discuss the value of poetry
University of Cambridge: The Case for Children’s Poetry
Laura Purdie Salas: Writing the World for Kids
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater: The Poem Farm
Sylvia Vardell: Poetry for Children