Helpful Books

We’ve put together a selection of poetry books useful for junior school children to develop their thirst for and understanding of poetry. If you have any books you suggest we add to this collection, please get in touch.

Sharing Poems by Bob Bibby and Sue Priest

Published by NATE (, this book is a learning resource full of poems and activities. The poems are drawn from a wide range of contemporary and traditional sources and the structure is intended to provide teachers with three sets of poems and related materials for each term in Year 3 to Year 6. It links closely with the text level requirements for poetry in the National Literacy Strategy at Key Stage 2 and is equally suited to use in Primary 3-7 classes in Scotland. In particular it contains writing, reading, speaking and listening activities on sense, and shape, concrete poems, performance poetry, word puzzles and humorous poetry, school poems, poems about feelings, haiku, cinquains, epitaphs, kennings, limericks and riddles. Sharing Poems also comes on CD and cassette and can be photocopied.

Exploring Poetry 5 -8, by Jan Balaam and Brian Merrick

This book has grown out of two years’ shared work in the author’s classroom and includes many poems including detailed suggestions on how to use them and a includes a comprehensive book list.

Exploring Poetry 8-13, by Brian Merrick

This book further develops ideas from the previous book.

Poetry for the Early Years, by Angela Buckle

This comprises eight poetry posters providing a visual starting point for the class. They are accompanied by a guide for teachers which covers the main teaching points, activities are provided for each poem and copies of the poems which can be duplicated for pupils.

Rap It Up, by James Carter

Published by Questions Publishing Company (2000). This is designed for use within the Literacy Hour at KS2, in Primary 3-7 in Scotland. The book consists of an anthology of rap poems, together with advice for teachers on reading, writing and performing raps, activity sheets and suggestions for workshops. Rap poems by a variety of authors are included. The raps represent a range of voices, tones and subject areas. They will provide teachers with many opportunities to use poems as models, to explore the form and content of rap poetry and to develop pupils’ performance and accompaniment skills.

Mini Beasties, by Michael Rosen

Published by Firefly Books. This is a witty anthology of poems from around the world, combined with illustration which brings the ‘beasties’, to life.

We Animals would like a word with you, by John Agard

Published by Random House Children’s Books. Again, similar to the above combining poetry and illustration.

Exploring Scottish Seashores, by John Baxter and Fhiona Galloway

Environmental awareness for children.

‘Blue Sky, Green Grass’ by Gerry Cambridge and P6 at Lawthorn Primary School

A day at Lawthorn Primary.

Scottish Landscapes, by Alan and Moira McKirdy

Environmental awareness for children.

Nothing But Heather! by Gerry Cambridge

Nature poetry combined with the author’s own photographs.