I’ve been looking for poems that would work great at the beginning of the school year with middle schoolers and upper elementary kids, and here’s what I’ve found so far. Some are about starting back to school, and some are about perennial school topics. Some are funny, and some are serious. If you’re looking for poems to use during the first days back at school, check these out – some of them might just work perfectly for your class!
Funny School Poems
Sick, by Shel Silverstein
Little Peggy Ann has an endless list of funny excuses why she can’t go to school today – until she finds out that it is Saturday.
The Aliens Have Landed! by Ken Nesbitt
These aliens are creepy and disgusting, and yes, they’re working in your school as teachers!
My Teacher Sees Right Through Me, by Bruce Lansky
The school day can be difficult when your teacher is also your dad.
Serious Poems with Good Themes for the Beginning of the Year
Mother to Son, by Langston Hughes
It’s all about perseverance and not giving up.
We Real Cool, by Gwendolyn Brooks
Are they really “real cool”?
The Young Poets of Winnipeg, by Naomi Shihab Nye
To be creative, just think like a second grader.
Funny Poems with Classic Middle School Topics
Love Struck, by Amy S. Mullins
The girls are in love, but the boys aren’t liking it!
Gym Class, by Neal Levin
Read about the locker room in smelly detail.
Serious Poems with Classic Middle School Topics
Oranges, by Gary Soto
This one’s about a sweet moment with twelve year olds on a first date, and a thoughtful adult.
An Ode to My Locker, by ElKay, a teen author on the Teen Ink site
This is a teen’s tribute to school lockers, which he describes as the only thing in school that doesn’t judge him.
Do you have favorite poems to use with back to school activities in your classroom? If you do, I would love to read those as well. Leave a note in the comments below, and I’ll check them out.
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