Article for Teachers and Students

Caroline Kennedy on Learning Poems by Heart

Poems and teaching resources from Kennedy's new anthology.

When you memorize a poem, it becomes a part of you forever. As Caroline Kennedy explains, “If we learn poems by heart, we will always have their wisdom to draw on, and we gain an understanding that no one can take away.” In Poems to Learn by Heart, Kennedy has chosen more than 100 poems that can speak to all of us.

We’ve collected some the poems from the book below, along with a guide that gives teachers everything they need to present and perform poems with their students and instill in them a lifelong love of poetry.

Guide
Teacher’s Guide to Poems to Learn by Heart [PDF]
Includes activities aligned to Common Core Standards for grades K-3, 4-6, and 7-12.

Selected Poems

Grades K-3
Don't Worry if your Job is Small” by Anonymous
Some Words Inside of Words” by Richard Wilbur

Grades 4-6
Invitation to Love” by Paul Laurence Dunbar
A Blessing” by James Wright

Grades 7-12
Theme for English B” by Langston Hughes
Bilingual/Bilingüe” by Rhina Espaillat
If—” by Rudyard Kipling
Ballad of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall

Article for Teachers and Students

Caroline Kennedy on Learning Poems by Heart

Poems and teaching resources from Kennedy's new anthology.

Other Information

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