70 Must-Share Poems for Your Elementary Classroom

New finds and old favorites!

Poetry is the gateway to getting even your most word-resistant students to fall in love with words. There is something for everyone when it comes to poetry. Bring on your rule breakers, your structure lovers, and your aspiring rappers! Starting poetry in the elementary classroom should be a no-brainer, but it can be tough to find poems for elementary school. We pulled together these poems to get every student saying “Hey, I like that!”

Our Favorite Poems for Elementary School

1. Rock ‘n’ Roll Band by Shel Silverstein

“We’d play and we’d sing and wear spangly things.”

2. On Turning Ten by Billy Collins

“The whole idea of it makes me feel …”

3. First Girls in Little League Baseball by J. Patrick Lewis

First Girls in Little League Baseball by J. Patrick Lewis.

“The year was 1974.”

4. Dreams by Langston Hughes

“Life is a broken-winged bird.”

5. Falling Asleep in Class by Kenn Nesbitt


“I fell asleep in class today …”

6. Nine Mice by Jack Prelutsky

“The signs were right, the ice was thin …”

7. Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee

“If I don’t get some, I think I’m gonna die.”

8. Dear Basketball by Kobe Bryant

“I ran up and down every court …”

9. The King’s Breakfast by A.A. Milne

“Could we have some butter for …”

10. Winter Poem by Nikki Giovanni

“once a snowflake fell …”


11. Brown Girl, Brown Girl by Leslé Honoré

“i wish you abundance.”

12. Mrs Moon by Robert McGough

Mrs Moon by Robert McGough.

“with a ball of fading light …”

13. About the Teeth of Sharks by John Ciardi

“One row above, one row beneath.”

14. Rabbit by Mary Ann Hoberman

“Little bit of beet.”

15. The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur

“Did you hear about the rose that grew …”

16. Risk by Anais Nin

“And then the day came …”

17. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

“I am born on a Tuesday at the University Hospital …”

18. April Rain Song by Langston Hughes

“Let the rain kiss you.”

19. Honey, I Love by Eloise Greenfield

“I love a lot of things.”

20. Please Mrs Butler by Allan Ahlberg

“Go and sit in the sink.”

21. Snail by Langston Hughes

Snail by Langston Hughes.

“Dreaming you go.”

22. Tan to Tamarind by Malathi Michelle Iyengar

“Tea leaves and cardamom.”

23. Laundry Hugging by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

“I always hug my underwear as soon as it is dry.”

24. The Corn-Stalk Fiddle by Paul Laurence Dunbar

“When the corn’s all cut and the bright stalks shine …”

25. Since Hanna Moved Away by Judith Viorst

“The tires on my bike are flat.”

26. Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle

“On an island of music …”

27. My Chinatown by Kam Mak

“Back home in Hong Kong …”

28. Friends by Abbie Farwell Brown

“How good to lie a little while …”

29. The Tyger by William Blake

“Tyger Tyger, burning bright …”

30. Knoxville, Tennessee by Nikki Giovanni

“I always like summer best …”


31. maggie and milly and molly and may by e.e. cummings

maggie and milly and molly and may by e.e. cummings.

“milly befriended a stranded star …”

32. How To Paint a Donkey by Naomi Shahib Nye

“She said the head was too large …”

33. The Purple Cow by Gelett Burgess

“I never hope to see one …”

34. Bronzeville Boys and Girls by Gwendolyn Brooks

“A tiny tea party is happening today …”

35. The Dream of Shoji by Kimiko Hahn

“How to say milk? How to say sand, snow, sow …”

36. Poor Old Lady by Anonymous

“Poor old lady, she swallowed a fly.”

37. After the Winter by Claude McKay

After the Winter by Claude McKay.

“Some day, when trees have shed their leaves …”

38. Rathers by Mary Hunter Austin

“I know very well what I’d rather be …”

39. Homework! Oh, Homework! by Jack Prelutsky

“I wish I could wash you away in the sink …”

40. Notes on the Peanut by June Jordan

“Hi there. My name is George Washington Carver.”

41. Sick by Shel Silverstein

“My mouth is wet, my throat is dry …”

42. A Full Moon Is Rising by Marilyn Singer

“In the night sky, nothing is more magical …”

43. Unexpected Holiday by Alma Flor Ada

“It seemed a day like any other …”

44. The Quarrel by Maxine Kumin

“Said a lightning bug to a firefly …”

45. Jaguar by Francisco X. Alarcón

“I’m now almost extinct in this park …”

46. The Parakeets by Alberto Blanco

“They talk all day …”

47. Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Listen, my children, and you shall hear …”

48. The Rainbow by Christina Rossetti

“Boats sail on the rivers …”

49. Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne

“When I was One, I had just begun.”

50. To Catch a Fish by Eloise Greenfield

“It takes more than a wish …”

51. The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt

“‘Will you walk into my parlor …'”

52. Dino Thought by Jane Yolen

Dino Thought by Jane Yolen.

“The skies are clear of pterodact …”

53. Wallet Size by Nikki Grimes

“Yes! I am rounder than most …”

54. The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee by N. Scott Momaday

“I am a feather on the bright sky …”

55. Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

“’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves …”

56. The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson

“How do you like to go up in a swing …”

57. Mother Doesn’t Want a Dog by Judith Viorst

“Mother says they smell …”

58. Trees by Joyce Kilmer

“I think that I shall never see …”

59. Autumn by Alexander Posey

“In the dreamy silence …”

60. Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Invictus by William Ernest Henley.

“Out of the night that covers me …”

61. Marshlands by Emily Pauline Johnson

“A thin wet sky, that yellows at the rim …”

62. Amelia’s First Ski Run by Nora Marks Dauenhauer

“Raven girl, balancing on space …”

63. I, Too by Langston Hughes

“I am the darker brother.”

64. This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams

“I have eaten …”

65. Coquí by Carmen Bernier-Grand

“One tiny tree frog …”

66. The Dentist and the Crocodile by Roald Dahl

“The crocodile, with cunning smile, sat in the dentist’s chair.”

67. A Riddle by Christina Rossetti

“There is one that has a head without an eye …”

68. Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou

“Shadows on the wall …”

69. Cat by Marilyn Singer

Cat by Marilyn Singer.

“I prefer warm fur …”

70. Recess! Oh Recess! by Darren Sardelli

“We love you! You rule!”

There are so many other poems you can find in books of poetry. Many are not available on the internet, but poetry books will be much loved in the classroom.

What are your favorite poems for elementary school? Come share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group  on Facebook.

Plus, if you liked these poems for elementary school, check out our must-share poems for middle school and high school

Here are some of our favorite poems for elementary school to teach and inspire your students. Use them in your classroom!