Verse! is a curriculum of 38 lessons plans for four to six year-old students. It was developed to give teachers the tools they need to tap into a child’s innate love of language and to elicit the poems that naturally spring in children’s minds. The 38 core lessons were researched and written by Canadian poet Gillian Jerome and reviewed by early education specialists from the University of Arizona’s renowned Language, Reading, and Culture Program.

The lessons provide a platform for English language learners of all ages, and while this curriculum was written for four to six year-olds, the lessons have been successfully adapted for older elementary, middle school, and even adult students. Verse! provides additional resources, including creative movement activities, a bibliography of recommended poetry books for children’s libraries, and an appendix to cross-reference each lesson with Language Arts Standards set by the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association.

Here's what people are saying about Verse!

“Incorporating VERSE! into Head Start and Family Literacy classes has revealed the power of cognitive thinking through imagination and broadened the view of joy as an important element of learning.”
-Teresa Acevedo, Director of Children’s Services at Child Parent Centers, Tucson

“We’re having great fun with this curriculum. We find poetry everywhere—in our classroom, in the work around us, and in ourselves! It’s been phenomenal seeing children learn about the beauty of words at such a young age.”
-Debbie Sanford, Teacher, Sunnyside Head Start, Tucson

Lesson Plans from Verse!

Author: Gillian Jerome
Lesson Focus:
Literary Models: Langston Hughes, Dennis Lee, Juan Felipe Herrera, Shel Silverstein
Author: Gillian Jerome
Lesson Focus:
Literary Models: William Stafford, Robert Louis Stevenson, Myra Cohn Livingston
Author: Gillian Jerome
Lesson Focus: Nonsense
Literary Models: Jack Prelutsky, Pauline Clark, Theodore Roethke, Dennis Lee, Ogden Nash
Arizona Board of Regents