Poetry: Literacy's Superfood (+Book List!)

    Just as certain fruits and veggies are packed with antioxidants, poetry is loaded with rich content, brain-stimulating vocabulary, and nourishing literary devices. Poetry invites close reading and careful analysis in a concise format. It’s a great choice to boost students’ literacy. Poetry picture books are particularly powerful because they provide an added layer of visual support. There are many wonderful poetry picture books available. When choosing ones to boost your students’ literacy, use the following criteria: 
    Are the pictures inviting? Do they support the poems? Will they help readers make predictions about the poems before reading and support comprehension/discussion after reading?

    Do the poems contain some words that will be unfamiliar to readers? Or familiar words that are used in new ways? Will readers be able to use context clues/illustrations to guess at the words’ meanings? 
    Do the line breaks allow readers to read information in “digestible chunks” that support fluency and aid comprehension? Do the line breaks provide an opportunity for teachers to show how ideas can be strung together into meaningful phrases and clauses? 
    Do the poems model a variety of common literary elements such as imagery, metaphor, simile, personification, onomatopoeia, and hyperbole? 
    Here are some poetry picture books that meet these criteria. Click on each image for a Goodreads review of the book.

About Michelle Schaub

Michelle Schaub is a language arts teacher and award-winning children's poet. She is the author of the picture book poetry collections Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market, (which won the 2018 Growing Good Kids Award and 2019 Northern Lights Book Award,) and Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections. She is also the author of two picture books in verse, the bedtime STEM book Dream Big, Little Scientists and Kindness is a Kite String: The Uplifting Power of Empathy. Her poems appear in several anthologies, including The Poetry Anthology for Celebrations and Great Morning! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud.  Michelle loves visiting schools and speaking at conferences on the power of poetry to boost literacy. Find out more at:  https://www.michelleschaub.com/


  1. Blueberries, green tea, and POETRY! Love this idea of poetry as a superfood. Thank you, Michelle, for including my work among these delicious titles. Congratulations on the new blog! xo

    1. And thank YOU for writing such lovely poems for children and letting me share them!

    2. I compare poetry to food too. I always say everyone can find a food they love and everyone can find a poem they love, no matter how picky they are. I love the idea of poetry as a superfood!


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