Kindergarten Shared Reading Poetry

Hey there! I wanted to share something I put in my lesson plans almost EVERY week. Introducing… SHARED READING POETRY!!! In my kindergarten classroom our shared reading time is not only enjoyable and engaging but produces substantial growth in my little readers.

Check out the Youtube video where I explain more in depth how I use Shared Reading in my classroom. 

When I worked in the public school system, I received extensive training in Shared Reading and I can honestly say, it was love at first sight. Not only did I see how many teaching opportunities were available within this teaching model, but I was also struck by how much the students enjoyed and eagerly engaged with it. 

For those who are not familiar with Shared Reading, it is a model of instruction where students read enlarged text together. The text is moderately complex and above where they could read on their own. The text chosen could be in the form of a big book, a song, a poem, or a projected book on a screen. The point is, it’s an enlarged text where everyone can clearly see the words, and the text is read or sung together as a class.  

In the public school, I had access to lots of amazing big books (and companion little books) but when I made the transition to teaching at a private school, I didn’t have as much access to those types of resources. So, I got creative and leaned more heavily upon poetry and songs (along with projecting books from Reading A-Z, but that’s for another time). 

Here’s how I implement Shared Reading poetry. On a pocket chart I display the enlarged poem. I like to print out the poem and cut the sentences into strips so they fit nicely into my pocket chart but you could also write on sentence strips. I also like to add a few colorful pictures to help support comprehension and make it more attractive to the learner.  

We use the same poem throughout the week and I focus on different teaching points each day. At the beginning of the kindergarten year, my focus is mostly on Early Literacy Behaviors along with letters and sounds and sight words.

Here is a sample lesson from one of my Shared Reading products called “Who Stole the Cookies”…

The first day I introduce the poem by reading or singing the poem to them. Then I ask them to join in with me. Finally, I say “I’m going to get quitter and you are going to get louder.” We read it a few times until they are pretty much doing it independently. I also find it helpful to add hand motions or movement to the song or poem as your singing or reading it. 

We also do various “detective” activities where I introduce a Sight Word that I want them to find in the poem. I will write the word on a mini white board and hold it up. I will say “This is the word ‘the.’ Say ‘the.’ Raise your hand if you see the word ‘the’ in our poem,” and then I call the student up to the pocket chart to highlight the word. The same can be done with letters and sounds in the poem. 

Quick tip below on how to make your own highlighter tape…

On the second or third day, the students glue a half sheet poem into their poetry journals. We go on a word hunt using the colors of the rainbow. The first sight word we look for, we highlight in a red crayon. The next word we highlight in orange and so on until we are done looking for words. I also have the students reread with a buddy, attempt to ‘make it match,’ pointing to the words as they sing/read the poem together.

Last, the students receive a mini companion book of the poem. They can keep these in their book baggie to read during independent reading time or take home and read to their parents. These books can also be used to do some word work highlighting if you so choose. 

Don’t be surprised if you hear the children humming or singing their poems throughout the day. They love the songs so much that they will often sing them over and over again with each other. 

Try it! You will find that kids love poetry!

For more information on how I use our poetry journals, subscribe and stay tuned for a future post as I plan to elaborate more on this topic.

For ready made shared reading resources, visit my store to check out the poems I already have available at Mrs. Young’s Teaching Corner or click on pictures below.



Mrs. Young


Doing little things with great love! 

  • Hey there! I wanted to share something I put in my lesson plans almost EVERY week. Introducing… SHARED READING POETRY!!! In my kindergarten classroom our shared reading time is not only enjoyable and engaging but produces substantial growth in my little readers. Check out the Youtube video where......

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