Poetry recommendations for a 3rd grader
April 7, 2010 3:34 PM   Subscribe

What are some recommendations for poetry appropriate for a 3rd grade reading level? This can be either works by a single poet or anthologies.

I know this is a pretty subjective question. I'm trying to help out my girlfriend, who is a city librarian.
posted by rollbiz to Writing & Language (26 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Shel Silverstein!

My favorite from childhood!
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 3:37 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Lewis Carroll!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:41 PM on April 7, 2010

Dennis Lee.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 3:41 PM on April 7, 2010

Shel Silverstein
posted by greensalsa at 3:42 PM on April 7, 2010

Robert Graves' "Warning to Children"

(I still have to reread it for a reminder, every so often.)
posted by Some1 at 3:44 PM on April 7, 2010

Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses.
posted by Carol Anne at 3:46 PM on April 7, 2010

Shel Silverstein is the absolute best here. I'd also like to suggest Edward Lear's nonsense works. Kids at that age have heard some dry poetry and probably didn't like it and may be thinking poetry is not for them. Not so! ee cummings is also really accessible, especially if someone is reading it outloud. Any kid this time of year will grok what puddlewonderful means. I am old, but I liked this book of poems when I was a kid.
posted by jessamyn at 3:51 PM on April 7, 2010

Now We Are Six- A.A. Milne
posted by charmedimsure at 3:57 PM on April 7, 2010

Came in to say Shel Silverstein!
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:58 PM on April 7, 2010

Some of Rudyard Kipling's stuff would be great; there are a few collections of his out there that are specifically marketed for kids.

Some of Blake's stuff might not be bad, either.
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:05 PM on April 7, 2010

Do you mean appropriate for or written by?

I ask because I remember this book my Auntie used to read to me when I was a kid and she was a student teacher...

Wishes, Lies and Dreams: Teaching Children to Write Poetry, by Dennis Koch.

It has lots of poems by elementary school kids - I have never forgotten what a gem this book is, even after 35 years.
posted by goml at 4:20 PM on April 7, 2010

Nthing Silverstein and adding Jack Prelutsky.
posted by Duffington at 4:23 PM on April 7, 2010

I'm planning to read Life Doesn't Frighten Me by Maya Angelou to my third graders next week.

Hip Hop Speaks to Children with CD: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat is also a good one.

The Kingfisher Book of Funny Poems is checked out a lot in my library.

The Blood Hungry Spleen is also popular for kids. Of course they want to read the poem about Boy and Girl parts which sometimes results in the teacher taking the book away.

Can I also suggest Poem in your pocket day?

This is a great question! Now I'm trying to think of a way to incorporate more poetry into the library class this month.
posted by aetg at 4:33 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Piet Hein's Grooks

He is relatively unknown in the US but his obscurity is undeserved. They can be appreciated at the third grade level and will only get better with time.
posted by pseudonick at 4:40 PM on April 7, 2010

Another fun and thought-provoking ee cummings poem which might do: Maggie and Millie and Molly and May.
posted by frobozz at 5:13 PM on April 7, 2010

This is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 5:35 PM on April 7, 2010

T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
posted by drlith at 5:40 PM on April 7, 2010

I got Spike Milligan's Milliganimals, at about that age. And loved it. Also enjoyed Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes.
posted by metaphorical at 5:41 PM on April 7, 2010

Maybe Ogden Nash? He wrote a lot of short, light verse, though some of the poems have an older bent to them. (Perhaps not all suitable for kids.)
posted by Upton O'Good at 6:25 PM on April 7, 2010

OMG, DEFINITELY Piet Hein. I think I discovered him in about 3rd grade from an aunt's old copy. Still adore him.

Also Paul Revere's Ride ... very rhythmic and exciting.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:43 PM on April 7, 2010

Mary Ann Hoberman and X.J. Kennedy are hugely underrated poets — very clever, funny, never sentimental or condescending. Highly recommended for that age group. Any of their books will do, but this one is good for Hoberman and this one should do for Kennedy.

Kennedy's anthology Knock at a Star is just terrific as well. I also like the Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America, which reaches far back in time and goes to the modern day. I also hear great things about the British equivalent — the Opies knew their stuff.
posted by argybarg at 6:44 PM on April 7, 2010

Dennis Lee's great.
posted by Joad at 9:03 PM on April 7, 2010

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful suggestions!
posted by rollbiz at 5:53 AM on April 8, 2010

Oh, just thought of one more! Consider adding Randall Jarrell's The Bat-Poet (illus. by Sendak) to the mix. It's technically fiction, although there are poems in it, but it's great way to get kids thinking about what makes a poem resonant and what it means to be a poet.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:47 AM on April 8, 2010

Seconding Jack Prelutzky. We found him when he was featured in an episode of Arthur on PBS. We bought several of his books and my daughter really liked them. They are silly and fun.
posted by I am the Walrus at 8:07 AM on April 8, 2010

You can also try Sharon Creech's Love That Dog and Heartbeat. It has an interesting plot/storyline that third graders can relate to, and the form is poetry.
posted by pleasebekind at 10:21 AM on May 17, 2010

« Older Westchester foreclosure advice   |   is there any reason not to buy a new camera off of... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.