Blogger Paige Bentley-Flannery

Summer Poetry

Grab your popsicle sticks, ice cream scooper, and beach ball! It’s summer reading poetry time!

The Sisters Summer School students visit the library once a week during the summer. It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to discover new books, library resources, favorite places to read and participate in the summer reading program, “Libraries Rock!” The first week, we read summer poems, created a list poem about going to the lake and went swimming (make-believe).

Start your storytime or library program with a summer poem!

Favorite Summer Poems

Lake List Poem:
Talk about what it would be like to go to the lake.
What will you see at the lake?
What will you do at the lake?
What animals will you see in the water?
How do you swim in the lake?
What do you eat at the lake? Ice Cream!
On BIG pieces of yellow, green or blue butcher paper, write down each answer one word after the other going down the page to create a list poem.  Read the poem together.

Read the poem, “Swimming in the Lake” by Irene Latham aloud.

Swimming in the Lake
It starts with a whisper
on my ankle,
a tickle on my thigh –
I kick and shiver:
are there alligators nearby?
Something bubbles,
something pops.
I see a head –
my heart squeezes!

– and a pair of eyes.
my body freezes!
Get me out of here, quick!
What? It’s just a stick?
Not a snaketurtlepirhanasharkALLIGATOR
hunting me now
for a feast later?
I wish I knew what to believe …
It ends with me
climbing the ladder,
crying, No more!

I think I like the lake better
from the shore.
– Irene Latham copyright 2018

Read the poem again and have everyone act out each line. Ready? Form a HUGE circle – jump in the lake! Arms out – start swimming! “…on my ankle” – fingers TICKLE, KICK, SHIVER, alligator – hands out and CHOMP! Bubbles – make bubble noises, POP! – make a loud or quiet popping noise, point to your eyes, “my body freezes! “FREEZE!, Get me out of here – swim faster! “What?” – STOP, tread water, “snaketurltepirhanasharkALLIGATOR” – act out one of the animals, pretend to climb a ladder, JUMP out of the lake and onto the shore! Read the poem one more time – faster!

Craft time! Items: Construction paper, scissors, pencils and glue sticks.  Have each child draw and cut out two favorite lake objects.  A frog? S’mores? Glue them on a copy of the poem to take home and read aloud with their family.

A huge thank you to Irene Latham for permission to share her poem on the ALSC Blog.  We loved making lake noises with “Swimming in the Lake.”

Are you ready to go swimming? Explore the full list of favorite summer poetry books here.


This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competency: III. Programming Skills.

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