Make Small Cut & Paste Poetry Books For First Graders

Make a book.

Poetry can be an effective way to teach new reading skills to first-graders. Not only do children of this age typically enjoy the rhythms and rhymes of simple poems, but showing children how words can be put together to make imaginative thoughts is a valuable lesson. Plan a cut and paste project to make small poetry books for first-graders. They will enjoy the process of reading and illustrating the poems.


1. Enter simple poems into the word processing program, such as:

“First grade, fun day

I hope I get to play

First grade, fun day

I bet I’ll get an A.”

Visit for more poems that would be suitable for first-graders.

Each poem should fit into a 4-by-4-inch space. This will require changing the font size so that it is large and easily read by the children. Try to gather four different poems for each book.

2. Print out each poem and cut the paper into 4-inch squares.

3. Cut four 4-by-8-inch rectangles from construction paper and five 4-by-4-inch plain white paper squares for each child.

4. Give each child four squares with printed poems, five white squares and four construction paper rectangles. Stack the rectangles and fold them in half lengthwise so that they resemble a book. Glue one white square to the cover of the book. Open to the first page of the book and glue a poem to the first page on the left. Glue a white square to the right-side page. Turn the page and glue a poem on the left page and another white square on the right page. Continue adding poems and white squares to fill up the pages.

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5. Close the book and staple the folded edge to secure the pages.

6. Encourage the first-graders to draw a picture on the cover of the book. Read each poem together and have the first-graders illustrate each poem on the plain white square adjacent to each poem to finish the book.