Here are some suggestions of beloved poems that my children have memorized (or will soon memorize!) since we began homeschooling nearly a decade ago. Our practice is to read one work aloud once or twice each day, concentrating on one selection a month. Some longer selections are practiced up to two months. We do these selections in addition to our Scripture and Catechism memory work.

Preschool Children (about 3-6 yrs.)


  • 1, 23, 51, 63, 100, 133, 139, 150


  • Try, Try Again, Hickson
  • Halfway Down, Milne
  • My Gift, Rosetti
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful, Alexander
  • How Doth, Carroll
  • The Caterpillar, Rosetti
  • Work, Stodard
  • Mr. Nobody
  • The Goops, Burgess
  • How Many, How Much, Shel Silverstein
  • Wynken, Blinken, and Nod,
  • Afternoon on a Hill, Millay
  • Any Nursery Rhyme


  • Books of the Old Testament
  • Books of the New Testament
  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • The Apostle’s Creed

Primary Children (about 7-10 yrs.)

 Selections from the Bible

  • Psalms: 34, 127, 128
  • A Time for Everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11)
  • Ten Commandments in context (Exodus 20:1-17)
  • Many Mansions (John 14:1-6)
  • The Word Became Flesh (John 1:1-5, 11-14)
  • The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
  • Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4-9)
  • Wait on the Lord (Isaiah 40:28-31)
  • The Christmas Account (Luke 2) 

Fun and Rhyming Poems

  • The Jabberwocky, Lewis Carrol
  • A Visit from St. Nicholas, Moore
  • Sea Fever, Masefield
  • The Height of the Ridiculous, Holmes
  • A Tragic Story, Thackeray
  • The Spider and the Fly, Howitt
  • Father William, Southey
  • Matilda, Belloc
  • Ozymandias, Shelley
  • I Wandered Lonely, Wordsworth
  • Foreign Lands, Stevenson


  • The Beatitudes and Selections from The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)
  • Sermon to the Birds, Assisi
  • I Have a Dream, MLK
  • Gettysburg Address, Lincoln
  • The American Presidents
  • Kings and Queens of England (Poem: England’s Sovereigns in Verse)
  • Nicene Creed


  • The Star-Spangled Banner, Key
  • Hiawatha, Longfellow
  • Pocahontas, Thackery
  • Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, Heman
  • Excerpts from The Declaration of Independence
  • A New Colossus, Lazarus
  • O, Captain! Whitman
  • Paul Bunyan, Silverstein
  • March to Bannockburn, Burns

Middle School Children (about 11-14 yrs.)

Chapters from the Bible

  • Psalms: 8, 103, 130
  • The Creation (Genesis 1)
  • The Greatest Commandment (Deuteronomy 6)
  • Love Never Fails (1 Corinthians 13)
  • All Things Work Together (Romans 8:28-39)
  • Walk In Newness of Life (Romans 6:1-11)
  • Do Not Worry (Matthew 6:25-34)


  • Casey at the Bat, Thayer
  • The Old Oaken Bucket, Woodworth (and As Revised by the Board of Health!)
  • An Overworked Elocutionist, Wells (Great after you’ve already memorized many selections!)
  • When the Frost is on the Punkin, Riley
  • The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet, Carryl
  • The Village Blacksmith, Longfellow (and others)
  • The Bells, Poe
  • Excerpts from The Courtship of Miles Standish, Longfellow
  • Solitude, Wilcox
  • The Lady of Shalott, Tennyson
  • The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, Marlowe and The Nymph’s Reply, Raleigh
  • Excerpts from On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity, Milton
  • How Do I Love Thee, Browning
  • Khubla Khan, Coleridge


  • Queen Elizabeth’s Speech to the Troops at Tilbury
  • Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death (The War Inevitable), Patrick Henry
  • The Athanasian Creed
  • Selections from St. Augustine
  • Excerpt from Luther’s Speech at the Diet of Worms
  • Entirety of Amazing Grace, Newton
  • The Bill of Rights
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, Macbeth
  • To Be, or Not to Be, Hamlet
  • All the World’s a Stage, As You Like It
  • Sonnet 18, Shakespeare
  • Anthony’s Soliloquy from Julius Caesar (“Friends, Romans, Countrymen...”) 


  • The Burial of Moses, Alexander
  • Belshazzar’s Feast, Kirk (or many other versions)
  • The Destruction of Sennacherib, Lord Byron
  • Cleopatra Dying, Collier
  • Sherwood, Noyes or Lady of Shallot, Tennyson
  • Excerpts from Song of Roland
  • The Charge of the Light Brigade, Tennyson
  • Columbus, Miller
  • The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, Longfellow
  • George Washington, Benet
  • Independence Bell, Anonymous
  • The Oregon Trail, Guiterman
  • Annabel Lee, Poe
  • I Hear America Singing, Whitman


Mrs. Marie K. MacPherson, vice president of Into Your Hands LLC, lives in Casper, Wyoming, with her husband Ryan and their children, whom she homeschools. She is a certified Classical Lutheran Educator (Consortium for Classical Lutheran Educators), author of Meditations on the Vocation of Motherhood (Old Testament vol., 2018; New Testament vol., 2023), and editor of Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies from Moms of Four or More (2016).

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