Poetry Journals for Kids

poetry journal

Since April is National Poetry Month, I decided it would be the perfect time to begin doing a poetry journal with Lucy. I’m so glad I did! She has absolutely loved doing this!

Young children, even those not yet reading independently, have so much to gain from interacting with poetry. Exposure to the sounds and rhythm of poetry help children build phonemic awareness skills. This genre of writing can also increase your child’s vocabulary and comprehension skills. 

poetry journal

We covered Lucy’s poetry journal with collage paper.

Back when I taught kindergarten and first grade, I would use poetry journals in the classroom. I would have the poem written on large chart paper, and we’d interact with the poem throughout the week. On Fridays, we would add the poem to each child’s poetry journal. Throughout the year we would do different activities in our journals~ illustrating the poem, writing a response to the poem, highlighting various aspects of language we working on, or even brining the poetry journal home to share with families. After adding poems each week to their journals,  the students were finally able to bring home their filled journals and now could add their own collection of poems to add to their home libraries!

poetry book label

Lucy made sure that I was added to the poetry journal as well!

I decided to modify this to work at home with Lucy. First, we worked together to decorate her poetry journal. We started with just a marbled composition notebook you can buy anywhere like Target or the drug store. We decided to use a piece of our collage paper to make a book cover. Then we added a label with the title of our poetry journal. (Later Lucy wrote in my name on the label as well. “This is for both of us to use together, Mom.”) In the classroom at the start of the year, I’d send home the composition books to be decorated at home and brought back to school. It was so fun seeing all the creative ways the students came up with to decorate their journals!

first poem

Lucy illustrated the first poem we glued in the journal.

Lucy and I selected a poem to put on our first page of the poetry journal. I typed it out in large font and printed it. I then showed her how to ‘bubble cut’ the poem out. (Just cutting around the poem without cutting the letters, as if the poem was in a bubble.) She then used a glue stick and glued it into her poetry journal. 

We read it together a few times and discussed what it made us think about. I asked if she’d like to illustrate it in her book. She was excited to do this! Off she went to draw pictures around her poem! 

Later in the day she wanted to add her own poem to the book. She told me the poem as I wrote it in her book for her. Then Theo illustrated it for her. (I love that she was excited to let her 22 month old brother work in her book as well!)

lucy's poem

Lucy narrated her own poem as I wrote it in the journal for her. Theo illustrated it below.

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Our plan is to continue adding to the poetry journal often and respond to the poetry in different ways. Lucy is excited to add poems she finds herself, like from this book we have at home,The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury.

I would love to invite you try make your own poetry notebook with your child. It’s such a wonderful way to help them grow as a reader!

I also wanted to share this site from Shel Silverstein. It has some great activities and printables for National Poetry Month. Have fun! 




  1. Oh – my – goodness! I see our next project will be making a poetry book. I absolutely love this. And hearing Lucy read her poem is priceless. Yeah!

  2. This is just fantastic! I’m pinning it to my notebooking and journaling board right now. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Your daughter is adorable! The video at the end is so sweet. I love that she wanted to put your name in the book as well. Looking forward to the day when I get to do activities like this.

    • Thanks so much, Sam! It’s been a wonderful activity to do together. And it makes me so happy that Theo has started joining in in his own way too!

  4. We should do this…the Little Engineer dictated a wonderful poem about meerkats last year!

  5. This is such a great idea – and I love that Lucy let her brother decorate her poem and wrote your name on the label. What a sweet girl!

  6. Love this, Chelsey! Lucy is so sweet and I love that she wanted your name on the cover too.

  7. This is a great idea. I think I will do this with all three of my children for school next year – ages 6, 9 and 11. My older daughter likes to draw so I think she would enjoy this activity too. I pinned it too.

  8. I am so happy to see an activity that really involves children in exploring poetry. We are going to try this.

  9. What a great idea!! I love the idea of exploring poetry with children. Thank you for sharing on Sharing Saturday!

  10. Oh this is such a lovely idea. I need to do more poetry with the girls!

    Just popping over to let you know I’ve featured you on The Sunday Showcase: http://www.herecomethegirlsblog.com/2013/04/27/the-sunday-showcase-book-based-activities.html


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