Middle School Poetry Resources and Free Mini Poetry Unit Study Guide

As I’ve been planning out our language arts for the remainder of the school year, I’ve realized that my middle schoolers haven’t done much in the way of poetry. In order to remedy that, I’ve created a mini unit study that will give them the opportunity the read and enjoy poetry as well as learn about some of the elements of poetry and create their own poetry.

I’m sharing the resources I’ve used here- websites and poetry books and anthologies. You can also pick up a free three-week lesson plan guide for using these resources to teach your own poetry mini unit study.

Middle School poetry unit study
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Poetry Website Resources

Scholastic has a Writing with Writers poetry site where you can find three interactive lessons and poetry writing activities from three children’s poets. You can find complete lesson plans to go along with the information on the site here.

You can find Jack Prelutsky’s site here with lots of great poems to read.

Read Write Think has a great lesson plan for teaching middle schoolers to read and analyze classical poetry.

This site has links to twenty-four “must-share” poems for middle and high school. Some of these have mature themes, so read through them first to determine which to share. There’s also a link on the page for twenty-five “must-share” poems for elementary school if you have younger kids along.

The Poetry Out Loud site is all about the performance of poetry. The site has a lesson plans section. The lesson plans don’t have grade levels, so you can look through them and see if any fit the age and ability of your middle schooler. You can also listen to performers reading selections of poetry.

Found poems can be a fun and visual way for kids to create poetry. Look at some examples of found poems here and then kids can create their own.

This site has some examples of unique concrete poems. Ken Nesbitt’s poetry site also has some great examples of concrete poems.

This site has all kinds of great information about poem structure, types of poetry, rhythm and rhyme, and more.

Notes from the Portable has free printables to help kids create different types of poems.

KidZone has a poetry page with examples of an activities for different types of poetry.

The Young Writers site has a wealth of information, including a poetry glossary that defines and gives examples of different types of poetry, activities and games for creative writing, lesson plans for teachers, and more.

This page on the Family Friendly Poems site gives definitions of and examples of a variety of types of poetry.

This Scholastic lesson plan teaches kids strategies for reading and analyzing poetry.

The interactive poetry game found here will help kids analyze poetry. The game takes kids through a poem, asking questions about literary devices- metaphors, similies, etc as well as about the interpretation of the poem.

Middle School poetry unit study

Poetry Books and Anthologies

Shel Silverstein is one of my favorite children’s poets. He has several anthologies as well as some stand-alone stories.

The Poetry for Young People anthologies are collections of poems from well-known poets that are specifically appropriate for upper elementary kids or older. There are books for poets such as Robert Frost, Edgar Allen Poe, Langston Hughes and more.

Jack Prelutsky is another poet that writes poetry specifically for children. He has collections for very young children as well as for the middle reader age. He has also authored children’s stories.

Read Aloud Poems for Young People: Readings from the World’s Best-Known Verses by Glorya Hale- This is a collection of poetry from well-known poets designed to be read aloud.

Child’s Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words That Have Moved Mountains, Won Battles, and Made Us Laugh and Cry by Michael Driscoll- This collection introduces kids to a variety of poetry types as well as a variety of well-known poets. It includes a CD that will allow you to listen to the poems read by professional actors and actresses.


Poetry Mini Unit Study Guide

Pick up your free Poetry Mini Unit Study Guide here. It’s a three week plan for using some of the resources here as a mini unit study to teach your middle schoolers about poetry. It includes activities that will allow kids to…

  • Learn how to read and analyze poetry
  • Find out about the parts of a poem and literary elements
  • Learn about different types of poetry
  • Create their own poetry

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