Challenge: Kidcasts: Poetry Podcasts

The creativity and intimacy of audio can connect kids with poets, past and present, from across the globe. This podcasts include shows that use a range of audio methods to appeal to children’s ears, including a delightful Scottish host reading a musical poem; a how-to for writing haiku; an immersive biography of poet Dorothea MacKellar; an interview with poet and verse writer Elizabeth Acevedo; and a meditative show featuring the work of poet Amanda Gorman. Listen and earn points!

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Journey with Story, Celebrate Music with this Fun Poem - Storytelling Podcast for Kids - The Ceremonial Band, Ages 3-6

“The old King of Dorchester, he had a little orchestra...‘Tootle-too,’ said the flute,‘Deed-a-reedle,’ said the fiddle.” Children will delight in the onomatopoeia and repetition of James Reeves poem, read by Kathleen Pelley, who hosts this long-running, weekly podcast. Her Scottish accent will transport kids through time and place, as will her wonderful selections of poetry, fairy tales, and folktales.

Love Learning, Bite-sized Lessons: How to Write a Haiku Poem Ages 7-10

Love Learning was developed by teachers for teachers, and this episode on haikus is fantastic for implementing simple poetry in the classroom. It can be difficult to explain this Japanese poetic form to students, particularly young ones, but this short episode is easy to follow.

Poetry for Kids, The Story of Laurie, Ages 7-11

When you hear the word laureate, what other words come to mind? Kenn Nesbitt, Children’s Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015, answers this question in his own distinctive, hilarious, poetic way, while also explaining how poet laureates work to spread the joy of poetry. With poetry and figurative language lessons, Nesbitt’s episodes help kids build skills to write verse of their own, while promoting a diverse range of other children’s poets. He hosts multiple websites that include poetic tools, like rhyming dictionaries, and a great collection of lessons and activities for the library or classroom.

Buttons & Figs, “Poem Explosion” with Author Kyle Lukoff, Ages 7 to 11

Button & Figs, a wordplay podcast for kids, examines the mechanics of poetry. Here, poet and author Kyle Lukoff discusses his book Explosion at the Poetry Factory and how it explores the taxonomy of poetry with kid-friendly language. Host Pamela Rogers and kids offer a prompt to write, “good bad poem.”

Fierce Girls, Dorethea Mackellar - The Girl who Wrote Poems and Broke All the Rules Ages 8-12

Fierce Girls is a biography podcast featuring courageous women from Australia. Similar in concept to Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls this show shines with scripts and narration by kids. In this short episode, nine-year-old Amalia Mackellar shares the story of poet Dorothea Mackellar, and how this bold, independent-minded woman used secret codes and words to express herself, becoming a beloved poet not only in Australia but around the world.

But Why Live, Poetry Ages 8-12

In partnership with the Vermont Agency for Education, But Why created a special episode during the pandemic; kids called in with poetry questions, poems, and more. This stirring episode includes original recorded poetry from kids on a wide range of topics, including feelings related to the coronavirus. Poetry teacher Ted Scheu tackles questions about the poetic writing process, such as “What is a poem?” and “How do you know if you are writing a poem?” This episode also features spoken word poet, author, and teacher Rajnii Eddins, who joined the African-American Writers Alliance at age 11.

Book Club for Kids, Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo Ages 12 Up

Elizabeth Acevedo’s Poet X is a moving work, relatable to middle school and high school audiences. Middle school students from Charles Hart Middle School in Washington, DC, share what they identified with from this novel in verse; voice actress Monica Vigil from the Fina Mendoza Mysteries podcast reads an excerpt. Acevedo describes her inspiration for the novel, which comes from her experience as a teacher.

The Slowdown, At the Age of 18 - Ode to Girls of Color by Amanda Gorman Ages 14 Up

The Slowdown brings listeners five minutes of poetry every weekday, read by poet and host Tracy K. Smith. In this episode, Smith reads Amanda Gorman’s powerful coming-of-age poem, “At the Age of 18.” Before reading, Smith shared how poetry allows us to celebrate the beauty and worth of all people; and the ways that young poets are appealing to the conscience of our nation, waking us up with poems about restorative justice, equity, and hope. Smith’s meditative commentary and readings allow listeners to clearly hear each word, giving us time to think, imagine, and feel. The show for grownups, but also includes a 13-poem playlist for young ears, created last National Poetry Month.