Book Spine Poetry

A ripper poetry activity that will really set your students’ minds whirring!

Game Type: Literacy

Recommended Ages: 8+

Number Of Players: Whole class

Equipment Required: Pencil and paper

Where To Play: Indoor (Ideally the library)

Duration: 30 minutes


Less a game and more an interesting literacy activity, the objective of Book Spine Poetry is to use the words on book spines to create unique and original poetry.

How To Play

Step One: Each student chooses at least three books to use to create their book spine poetry.

Step Two: Students can use any words on the spines of the books they have chosen to create their poems. This includes the book title, author and publisher. Encourage your students to use at least one word from their chosen books in each line of their poems Hint: Remind your students that a poem does not necessarily need to rhyme as this can hinder creativity in budding poets.

Step Three: It is critical that students have an opportunity to share their work at the end of the activity. Form a circle on the floor and ask your students to read their poems aloud. Encourage students to close their eyes while others read and visualise the poem.

Step Four: To extend more able students, encourage them to include all their words. Consider mixed ability pairing for less able students.


Here is an example of a book spine poem I modelled for my students. I chose the following three book spines:

  • The tiger who came to tea – Judith Kerr – Picture Lions
  • The cat in the hat – Dr Seuss – Beginner Books
  • The world of animals – Bay Books


Judith’s books fluttered open

All around her cats and other animals danced

Dr Seuss kept an eye out for any animals with sore feet

He led them down to the bay to soak their tired toes

Judith sipped her tea and smiled as the world turned


Print This Game!



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