Ariel Sacks wrote a great post a couple of years ago in which she offered some great tips to immerse children in poetry. This is my adaptation of her suggestions:
1. Giving poetry space in the curriculum to poetry don't just use it as an add-on to other things
2. Offer a variety of reading, speaking and listening experiences with poetry that don't require analysis and dissection.
3. Create an anthology for students - a packet of poems as wide-ranging and diverse as possible (rhyming and non-rhyming, contemporary and ancient poems, easy poems easily comprehended, curious & mystifying, classics & unknown, some written by students.
4. Sometimes create an anthology around a particular theme or image (ecology, justice, humanity...).
5. Provide time to read the poetry collection with no strings attached.
6. Allow students to read poems they like aloud to the class.
7. Try some choral reading. Perhaps have the class pick one of the poems for choral reading.
8. Experiment with poetry - tone and volume, mood, expression, method of presentation...
9. Perhaps have everyone memorize a few poems. Perhaps a poem that they will know for life!
For some great ideas on poetry and access to great book lists visit the Centre for Excellence in Primary Education (CLPE) which has an annual award for poetry written for children.
I wrote a post on notable poetry books a few years ago that you might still find useful (HERE).
Here is a short sample of some good recent poetry books and anthologies that might be helpful. They are suggested simply to offer an insight into the variety of poetry books available. I would love to hear of your favourites.
Poems to Perform, Julia Donaldson (editor), illustrated by Clare Melinsky (Macmillan)
The Dragon with a Big Nose, by Kathy Henderson (Frances Lincoln)
Bookside Down, by Joanne Limburg (Salt Publishing)
Wayland. The Tale of the Smith from the Far North, by Tony Mitton, illustrated by John Lawrence (David Fickling Books)
Cosmic Disco, by Grace Nichols, illustrated by Alice Wright (Frances Lincoln)