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Using Poems and Songs for Shared Reading

Benefits of (2)I am certain by now that many people know the benefits of shared reading, especially with our youngest learners. I can reach so many skills during a shared reading lesson that are imperative as students are learning to read. My favorite material to use for shared reading is poetry (often presented as songs). Why do I move away from those “big books” you ask? (I assume you were wondering.) Well, I will tell you…

Easy to fit it in each day

I don’t know about you, but the days haven’t really gotten longer, but we certainly find ourselves with more to teach each year. Even if we have no new material, we have new styles and methods that all take up so much time (and we will NEVER shorten recess)!
Poems and songs are short and sweet making them perfect for a 5 minute lesson if that is all I have!


Get this poem for free!

Short and simple for young learners

Most poems are short and sweet, making learning them a breeze! Students can focus on fluency and matching spoken to printed word much quicker this way! Adding a simple tune also drastically increases a student’s ability to remember the text. My kindergarten students get to feel success right away!

Easy to link to themes and topics

Back to the “time” issue, it really helps when we have the ability to integrate. I may not be able to find a big book simple enough for shared reading that is also about the life cycle of a butterfly, but I can find a song! We can get all the benefits of shared reading and fit in vocabulary practice too!

Useful for highlighting phonics skills

There are a wide vIMG_0668 (1)ariety of poems and songs available and many phonics goals are easily met using them. Last year, my students learned and reviewed rhyming often using our shared reading time. We also were able to focus on syllables, sight words, decoding, and more! My students could engage with some of these skills on their own at the poetry center each week. They reviewed a poem, illustrated it, and found sight words we had focused on that week!

Fun and engaging

Poems and songs are fun and engaging for young students. We were often adding music and movement to our day during our shared reading and I would hear them singing the songs throughout the day. We easily shared them with home using Seesaw so parents could join in on the fun! Poetry center ran itself all year (with some minor printing and cutting from me) and students were engaged in artistic activities and had a great keepsake to bring home!

Poems and songs can help with all your shared reading needs! Worried you can’t find the poems you need? I can help you out there! Here are some free poems/songs that I created for my class:

Poetry Covers all year

If your enjoy these I have a set with enough for more than a year, all the shared reading lessons created, and so much more! Enjoy!

bundle cover small



One thought on “Using Poems and Songs for Shared Reading

  1. Hello,

    I’m working on an article for Scholastic Teacher magazine. In each issue, Teacher compiles lesson ideas on specific topics to share with teachers. (Readers total about 100,000 K-8 teachers in print and many more online.)

    I’m currently working on ideas for Shared Reading for grades K-1. I came across your favorite color graph and would love to include this activity. It’s so creative!

    I’m emailing to ask your permission for me to summarize the lesson and quote from your blog post. I’m on a tight deadline and, as such, would appreciate your response by Monday, October 23.

    Please also send along the following information for me to include:
    Full name (as you’d like to see it published):
    Grade you teach:
    School where you teach and city/state:
    Would you like for me to include your blog’s name (and link to it in the online version of the article)?
    Anything you’d like to add about the activity/fun observations:
    A photo of the activity w/a photo credit:

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Milagros Montalvo


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