Interactive Poetry Notebooks are perfect for teaching fluency, sight words, phonics, and my favorite… COMPREHENSION! That’s right. Comprehension. I’ll show you how in a bit. But first, let’s set up the poetry notebook.

Setting up a poetry notebook with your kiddos is super simple!

The first thing you need to do is gather up either spiral notebooks or composition books for students to add their interactive poetry notebook pieces. Students can decorate their poetry notebook covers.

FREE Interactive Poetry Notebook is perfect for teaching phonics, sight words, and comprehension.

If you are working with kindergarten or first grade students, I don’t recommend using a table of contents, but if you think your students can handle it, go for it!

For second graders and older, the first few pages should include a table of contents. Go ahead and use two or three designated pages for the table of contents. Include the title of the poem and the page it is glued to. Your students will need to number off the pages in their notebook so they will easily be able to flip to a certain poem and also so you the table of contents will work correctly.

Now, you may be wondering if you should use nursery rhymes with third graders, fourth graders, fifth graders… YES! You will mainly focus on comprehension, but there are so many ways to use nursery rhymes with older students. They secretly LOVE them!

The free nursery rhyme poems included in this freebie include two poems to a page to save printer ink and paper. You simply cut the sheet in half before passing them out to your students. They are the perfect size for the poetry notebooks.

FREE Interactive Poetry Notebook is perfect for teaching phonics, sight words, and comprehension.

Simply, your students will follow this sequence each time they get a new poem for their notebooks:

  • Students will practice comprehension skills by drawing an illustration that represents what is mainly happening in the nursery rhyme poem.
  • After coloring their illustration, students will cut out the poem, and then glue it into their poetry notebooks. If you have students color after they glue it in, it can get messy.
  • Students will glue the poem to the left side of their notebook. Leave the right side free. Students will respond to the poem in writing on the opposite page.

You can teach just about EVERY literacy skill by using poetry notebooks with your kiddos. Below are some ideas for teaching fluency, sight words, phonics, and comprehension.

Ideas for teaching fluency:

  • Read the poem aloud and have students follow along
  • Echo read after the teacher
  • Read the poem to a partner
  • Repeated readings
  • Have students read and record the nursery rhyme, then play it back

Ideas for practicing sight words:

  • Look for sight words and circle them
  • Highlight sight words in certain colors
  • Underline words from the classroom word wall

Ideas for practicing phonics:

  • Underline rhyming words
  • Use the rhyming words to discuss word families
  • Make a list of additional words that rhyme
  • Make a list of words that have… the short a sound, blends, compound words, etc. from the poem

FREE Interactive Poetry Notebook is perfect for teaching phonics, sight words, and comprehension.

Ideas for practicing comprehension:

  • Students will draw a picture in the box under the poem. Ask students to draw a picture of what they are VISUALIZING in the poem.
  • Focus on main idea as students draw a picture of what the poem is mainly about.
  • After glueing the poem on the page to the left, have students respond to the poem on the right side of the poetry notebook.

By using poetry response prompts, you can practice just about ANY COMPREHENSION skill or strategy. From making connections to author’s purpose, you can teach whatever comprehension skill you have in your lesson plans.

Ideas for poetry response prompts:

  • Write about your favorite part of the poem.
  • What connections did you make to the poem?
  • What did the poem make you think about?
  • How did the poem make you feel?
  • Why do you think the author wrote this poem?
  • What did you learn from this poem?
  • Write a new ending to the poem.
  • Write about something that surprised you in this poem.
  • Write a letter to one of the characters from the poem.
  • Explain the setting of the poem.
  • Did you like the poem? Why or why not?
  • What words did you find interesting in this poem? Why?
  • What didn’t you understand about the poem?

Doing one poem a week and “going deep” has been successful in my classroom. I suggest doing one of the fluency ideas everyday along with one or two of the other ideas (sight words, phonics, comprehension).

Make a simple schedule of the activities you plan to do each day of the week and repeat the activities weekly. It will make it easier to plan and your students will know what to expect.

FREE Interactive Poetry Notebook is perfect for teaching phonics, sight words, and comprehension. FREE Interactive Poetry Notebook is perfect for teaching phonics, sight words, and comprehension.

This FREEBIE includes a weekly planner and a skill planning sheet.

Grab your FREE Nursery Rhyme Poetry Notebook resource.

FREE Poetry Notebook Resource with Nursery Rhymes for teaching phonics, fluency, sight words, and comprehension -

My full-product interactive poetry resource includes the following nursery rhymes:

1. Humpty Dumpty

2. Hey Diddle Diddle

3. Hickory Dickory Dock

4. Little Miss Muffet

5. Jack and Jill

6. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

7. Baa Baa Black Sheep

8. Mary Had a Little Lamb

9. Row, Row, Row Your Boat

10. The Itsy Bitsy Spider

11. A Carrot in a Garden

12. A Star

13. A Dillar A Dollar

14. Bees

15. Betty Blue

16. Cobbler Cobbler Mend My Shoe

17. Bat Bat Come Under My Hat

18. Bye Baby Bunting

19. Coffee and Tea

20. Cry Baby Cry

21. Five Little Pigs

22. Davy Davy Dumpling

23. Good Night Sleep Tight

24. Handy Pandy

25. It’s Raining It’s Pouring

26. I Scream You Scream

27. If All the World Were Paper

28. Jack Be Nimble

29. Ladybug

30. Mares Eat Oats

31. My Beard

32. My Little Maid

33. Oh Said the Worm

34. Pairs Or Pears

35. Old Man With a Nose

36. Pat A Cake

37. Peter Piper

38. Peas Porridge Hot

39. Silly Sally

40. Peter Popper

41. Sippity Sup

42. Purple Cow

43. Rain Rain Go Away

44. Star Light Star Bright

45. Swan Swam Over the Sea

46. The Boy In The Barn

47. The Clock

48. Somebody

49. The Donkey

50. The Flying Pig

51. Snowflakes

52. The Little Girl With a Curl

53. The Lost Shoe

54. The Seasons

55. The Little Bird

56. The Stove

57. Zoom Zoom

LOVE the free poetry notebook resource and want MORE? Check out my full-product Nursery Rhyme Poetry Notebook.

Best wishes!


3 Comments on FREE Poetry Notebook Will Change Your Teaching Life

  1. Karen O'Neill
    February 20, 2017 at 5:08 pm (10 months ago)

    Jen thank you SO much for the awesome resource but especially for the play-by-play!!! I have been wanting to use a poetry journal/notebook!!! Can I contact you for advice once I put it in place? You are the best!!!

    • Jen
      February 22, 2017 at 11:39 am (10 months ago)

      Hi Karen! I am so happy the poetry notebook is a good fit for you! Please feel free to contact me. I am super excited for you to begin this new adventure. Have a wonderful day!

  2. 1
    February 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm (10 months ago)

    hi!,I really like your writing so a lot! share we communicate extra about your article on AOL?
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