Zoom Poetry Club!

Poetry for Children ~ at home


Many moons ago, I used to hold a Poetry Club in the bookshop for children aged 7 – 10 years old. While pondering how best I could help with ‘home-schooling’ my four grand-children, I realised that the obvious thing for me to do was to establish a way of reading and enjoying poetry in the virtual world – hence the Zoom Poetry Club! The first one was such fun to do that I thought I could offer it not just to my grand-children but to any who might like it – so jump in, and enjoy yourselves!

Just a tip, I encourage the children to have blank paper and crayons/felt tips etc on the table while we are ‘zooming’, and I invite them to doodle during any of the longer poems ~ this seems to help them to listen!  Short poems I often read more than once.  I don’t ask the children to analyse the poems in any way at all – these sessions are all about the fun and pleasure of listening to the rhymes and rhythms, the musicality of the poems.

Poems we read

Wolf by Billy Collins, from Orange, Silver, Sausage edited by James Carter & Graham Denton, published by Walker Books.

Jim Who Ran away from his Nurse and was Eaten by A Lion by Hillaire Belloc, from The Dragon Book of Verse, edited by MIchael Harrison and Christopher Stuart-Clark

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll from Shout, Whisper & Sing, 101 Poems to Read Aloud, complied by Beverley Matthias, published by The Bodley Head.

The Tale of Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash from Shout, Whisper & Sing, 101 Poems to Read Aloud, complied by Beverley Matthias, published by The Bodley Head.

I had a Hippopotamus by Patrick Barrington from Shout, Whisper & Sing, 101 Poems to Read Aloud, complied by Beverley Matthias, published by The Bodley Head.

The Farm and the Zoo by Wilma from Clinkerdump by Wilma Horsburgh, published by Methuen.

On the Ning Nang Nong by Spike Milligan from I Like this Poem: A Classic Anthology to Treasure, edited by Kaye Webb, published by Puffin.

My Brother Bert from Meet my Folks by Ted Hughes, published by Faber & Faber


based on the Ted Hughes poem ~ My Brother Bert, from Meet my Folks. You can download the wordsearch.

Here are some of the activities that your children can do after the Zoom Poetry Club!


  • Have you ever been to a zoo or a farm? Can you make up a poem about your visit using these letters to make an acrostic poem:




  • Invent your own imaginary animal! Can you draw a picture of it and give it a name? 
  • Make a den for your imaginary animal.  Send us a photo!

Not all of the animals we’ve read about are imaginary!  Here are two of the real ones.

Can you find out where Pangolins live? What they eat? How big they are? What problems are they facing?

What else can you find out?


This dingo looks like a dog, doesn’t it?  What can you find out about it?

What other animals does ‘My Brother Bert’ talk about in the poem?  How many of them are real?

Can you find out more about where they live, what they eat?

Why not try drawing your impressions of the imaginary animals in this poem? 



In The Tale of Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash, we heard about a pirate … you can read a poem about a pirate by James Carter on the Poetry by Heart website where there are lots of fun poems you can look at.  

  • draw a map!
  • make a treasure chest (what will you put in it?)
  • make a cut-out pirate ship
  • make a sea poem
  • Why don’t you have a go at learning this poem off by heart!


Use the comments comments section below to share your ideas and show us what you’ve done!


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