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Write Yourself an Escape Plan

Explore the National Poetry Day 2017 theme of 'Freedom' with this resource for Key Stages 1-2. After reading Brian Bilston's poem 'The Great Escape', create imaginative ways of escaping from particular places.

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Adventures in Writing

Helen Mort uses Romantic poetry as a springboard into exploring climate change and poetic landscapes, discussing images and key texts to build towards the final ‘challenge’: a self-portrait poem. 

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Picture this

John Glenday discusses how using images – prints, portraits, photographs, even objects – can be a wonderfully effective source of inspiration for writing poems. At a glance: art, creating characters, quick exercises. 

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Making poetry with my mother

This lesson plan by Teacher Trailblazer Kate Brackley looks at Letitia Chan’s ‘Making Glutinous Dumplings with My Mother’, a winning poem in theFoyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2016.

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‘Dulce et Decorum est’ and intertextuality in Wilfred Owen

Peter Olive & Xavier Murray-Pollock use Wilfred Owen’s ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ as a springboard for discussion about the role and implications of allusion in poetry, also involving a discussion of Roman poet Horace's Odes.

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Writing a monologue

Sue Dymoke's activity develops pupils writing of character following the reading of Carol Ann Duffy's poetry. At a glance: Carol Ann Duffy, monologues, creating characters, drama, performance.

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The Christmas Tree's Secret

Poet Julia Copus explores depicting Christmastime in poetry, focussing on the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree. You can use Julia's ideas to produce your very own poems in celebration of your Christmas trees, whether they are in your school, the local town centre or in your living room. 

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Postcard Poems

Explore the National Poetry Day 2016 theme of 'Messages' with this resource for primary schools. Using Diana Brodie's poem 'Gap Year Letter from a Five-Toed Sloth', create strange and wonderful postcards from imaginary characters and exotic locations. 

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Honour and belief: The Battle of Agincourt

Alf Wilkinson takes the lives of ordinary soldier as inspiration for an exploration the detail of a famous battle and the world it was fought in. This resource was created to accompany the Agincourt 600 Poetry Competition. At a glance: history, journeys, letter poems, voice.

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Power and representation: The Battle of Agincourt in Shakespeare's Henry V

Richard O'Brien explores one of the most famous retellings of this landmark battle. This resource has been created to accompany the Agincourt 600 Poetry Competition. At a glance: Shakespeare, Henry V, representation, voice.

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Poetry in History: The Battle of Agincourt

Steve Ely challenges young people to explore exactly how and why we commemorate conflict. This resourcewas created to accompany the Agincourt 600 Poetry Competition. At a glance: war poetry, memory, history

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The Battle of Agincourt: Dreaming history

John Lindley challenges young people to explore the history and legacy of an extraordinary conflict. It was created to accompany the Agincourt 600 Poetry Competition. At a glance: the Battle of Agincourt, imagery, sensory language, descriptive writing.

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Page Fright: Hollie McNish and Alfred, Lord Tennyson

This resource looks at the work of two poets, Hollie McNish and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It supports the filmed performances available at poetrysociety.org.uk/pagefright. Using modern spoken word to explore historical poems, Page Fright encourages students to explore and compare poems, then create their own responses.

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Page Fright: Dizraeli and Percy Bysshe Shelley

This Page Fright resource looks at the work of two poets: Dizraeli and Percy Bysshe Shelley. It is designed to support the filmed performances available at poetrysociety.org.uk/pagefright Using modern spoken word to explore historical poems, Page Fright encourages students to explore and compare their work, then create their own poetic responses.

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Yeats: An Irish Airman Foresees his Death

Jane Anderson explores a poem Yeats wrote in response to the death of a friend’s son during the First World War, as well as the poet's attitude to writing about war. At a glance: W.B. Yeats, war poetry, loss, literary heritage.

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Ways of looking

Teacher Trailblazer Ben Bransfield explores ways of writing unusual list poems, inspired by ‘6 Ways to Look at The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, a commended Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award winner 2015. At a glance: list poems, structure, metaphor.

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'The Big Push' - modern WWI poetry

Poet John Glenday explores his poem 'The Big Push' and guides through creating their own First World War poems. At a glance: First World War poetry, film, visual art, contemporary responses the conflict.

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How to bake a poet

Teacher Trailblazer Ben Bransfield explores Sophia Carney's poem ‘How to be a patriot’. Sophia is onee of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2015. At a glance: patriotism, politics, imagery, structure with your class.

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Nature and wellbeing in poetry

This resource provides the basis for an understanding of nature and wellbeing in poetry, and encourages pupils to use their senses to interpret the world around them. At a glance: nature poetry, sensory imagery, personification, metaphor, haiku. 

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W.B. Yeats - The Lake Isle of Innisfree

Jane Anderson explores one of W.B. Yeats best-loved poems, focussing on his use of sound and rhythm. At a glance: descriptive language, imagery, sound, performance.

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Page Fright: Benjamin Zephaniah and Dylan Thomas

This Page Fright resource looks at the work of two poets: Benjamin Zephaniah and Dylan Thomas. It supports the filmed performances available at poetrysociety.org.uk/pagefright. Using modern spoken word to explore historical poems, Page Fright encourages students to explore and compare poems, then create their own responses.

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Page Fright: Joelle Taylor and Wilfred Owen

This resource looks at the work of two poets, Joelle Taylor and Wilfred Owen. It is designed to support the filmed performances available at poetrysociety.org.uk/pagefright Using modern spoken word to explore historical poems, Page Fright encourages students to explore and compare their work, then create their own poetic responses.

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The Art of Translation: Making New Versions of Mexican Poems

Don Cellini introduces students to the process of translation, and shows them how to translate themselves using poems by Pedro Serrano. At a glance: translation, descriptive language, imagery, sound.

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Foyle Lesson Plan: Poetry, mythology and fairy tales

Katherine Whittington explores the reinvention of classic myths and legends in poetry using Foyle winner Isla Anderson's poem about Prometheus. At a glance: mythology, fairy tales, rhyme, structure, writing in another voice. 

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Foyle Lesson Plan: A Feast of Words

Using a poem from Sala Fadelallah, Ramnika Sharma explores found objects and lines to inspire poetry writing through group and pair work.  At a glance: poetic devices, unseen poem, speaking and listening, skills, descriptive language and cultural traditions.

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Writing a Christmas Tree Poem

Liz Lochhead inspires pupils to write a Christmas Tree poem, hanging the tree with real or imagined decorations which engage the senses. At a glance: friends and family, the senses, syllables.

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WWI Poetry and the Home Front (Secondary Level)

Using Marian Allen's First World War poem 'The Wind on the Downs', and Linda Hughes' new animation, we explore the poetry of those people left at home during the First World War.

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WWI Poetry and the Home Front (Primary Level)

Using Marian Allen's First World War poem 'The Wind on the Downs', and Linda Hughes' new animation, we explore the poetry of those people left at home during the First World War.

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National Poetry Day 2014 secondary resource

M is for… Mix it up.  This activity helps students think about the structure and order of a poem, and the different information that can be revealed by mixing it up.

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National Poetry Day 2014 primary resource

R is for… Reading out loud. Experiment with reading poems out loud in fun and different ways to help children build confidence reading poetry out loud.

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War poetry and WW2 poetry

This resource explores war poetry, Second World War poetry and longer poems, and includes an analysis of Timothy Corsellis' poem 'Dawn After the Raid'. This resource supports Young Poets Network's annual Timothy Corsellis Prize.

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Eccentricity and Sound - Edith Sitwell

Jane Anderson uses two poems by Edith Sitwell to offer ways into looking at her fascinating, innovative style, and gives suggestions for creative responses.  At a glance: reading, writing, literacy, confidence, sound.

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Clothes that escaped the Great War

Poet and teacher Patricia McCarthy takes us through her National Poetry Competition-winning poem 'Clothes that escaped the Great War'. This resource explores a modern poet's take on the First World War, analysing the poem, and leading to an opportunity for your students to write their own responses.

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Teaching the Reading of Poetry

Mandy Coe provides tips and ideas for how to enthuse your class about reading poetry.  At a glance: reading, writing, literacy, confidence, sound.

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Short Poems are Scary!

Using a poem by Carol Ann Duffy, David Harmer encourages students to create Nonsense Monsters with inanimate objects and shape them into poems.  At a glance: imagination, haiku and tankas, cinquains, kennings.

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Rhyme Time

Roger Stevens uses his own poem and one by Jan Dean to explain how to avoid 'Clunky Last Line Syndrome' when writing rhyming verses.  At a glance: alliteration, assonance, consonance, rhyme.

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My Family and Other Pests...

Using a poem by Jackie Kay, David Harmer encourages students to use stories about their friends and family as inspiration for their poems.  At a glance: people and families, contrasts, personal writing, haiku.

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Animal Menagerie

Roger Stevens encourages pupils to create animal poems using metaphors, similes, description, and alliteration to fill Mr. Magoo's Magical Zoo.  Part of our Poetry Train resource pack.

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Magical Powers

David Harmer uses his poem 'Where The Fairies Are' to look at how students can incorporate magical creatures into their poems.  Part of our Poetry Train resource pack. At a glance: rhyme, imagery, imagination, simile.

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Anyone Seen My Dragon?

Roger Stevens uses a James Carter poem to look at creating animal poetry with pupils.  At a glance: rhyme, writing a chorus, reading together, animal poems. Part of our Poetry Train resource pack.

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Poetry Train

David Harmer and Roger Stevens use a collection of activities, poems, and advice for teaching poetry in primary schools.  The two share proven approaches based on poems by Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay, David Harmer, and Roger Stevens.

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War Horse and WWI Poetry

A resource designed to support you in using the National Theatre’s production of War Horse as a way into poetry of the First World War. Including poems by Edward Thomas and Rupert Brooke. At a glance: war poetry, nature, rhythm, drama, comparing texts.

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Foyle Lesson Plan: Poems inspired by Art

Ashley Smith uses a poem by Dominic Hand to show students the relationship between a poem and a piece of art which inspired it. At a glance: art, description, narrative, perspective, imagery, the senses.

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Foyle Lesson Plan: Poetry as call to arms

Ashley Smith uses a feminist themed poem by Phoebe Stuckes to teach repetition, rhetoric, and 'call to arms' poems.  At a glance: feminism, imperative mood, repetition for effect, emotive language, literary tradition.

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Vanishing Acts: Poetry and Climate Change

This resource uses poetry to tackle the issues around climate change, and encourages students to bring personal and universal issues together in a way that is detailed and original.

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Poetry Review 103:2, Summer 2013, teachers' notes

Teachers' notes explore an issue of the Poetry Review and links between the contemporary poems and canonical texts. At a glance: translation; literary heritage, lexicography and imagery.

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Poetry Review 103:1, Spring 2013, teachers' notes

These teachers' notes explore the Spring 2013 edition of Poetry Review. At a glance: literary heritage; language, dialect and place, poetic forms, metaphor, personification and sound, identity.

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Travelling with Edward Lear

This resource uses the poetry of Edward Lear to explore themes such as word comprehension, nonsense poems, rhythm and rhyme in poetry, as well as geography, travel and displacement. At a glance: Rhythm, rhyme, imagery, language play, comprehension, geography.

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Rhythm and Pace in War Poetry

Using poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Wilfred Owen, Roshan Doug aims to familiarise students with the concepts of structure and movement in a poem. At a glance: rhythm, iamibic pentameter, war poetry, structure, syllables.

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Identity and Performance Poetry

The Poetry Society uses a poem by Samilah Naira to look at issues of identity and allows students to create their own performance pieces. At a glance: identity, society, rhyme, metaphor, performance.

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Evaporations - exploring water and poetry

The Poetry Society uses a film-poem by Alice Oswald and Chana Dubinski to explore different poetic devices through different states of water and encourages students to create water themed poems.  At a glance: water, personification, observation, the senses, the unfamiliar.

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Wide open: teaching grammar with poetry

Rachel Rooney uses her poem 'Wide Open' to support the teaching of grammar terminology and concepts. At a glance: grammar, using adverbs, punctuation,  group poems.

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Views of the sea

Malika Booker introduces activities to increase pupils' familiarity with poemsfrom other cultures, using the theme of water. At a glance: the sea, water, poems from other cultures, rhyme, onomatopoeia.

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The art of remembering by heart

Steve Tasane encourages learning poetry by heart as tool for building confidence, speaking and listenig skills, and enjoyment of poetry. At a glance: learning by heart, performance, quick exercise, sound, storytelling.

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How do poets use language

Joseph Coelho uses his poem to help students understand how detailed use of language can open up new meanings and impact the poem.  At a glance: literary heritage poets, comparing texts, comprehension, figurative texts, friends and family.

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How to make a poem

Coral Rumble guides students step by step how to write a poem for more reluctant writers.  At a glance: confidence, playing with language, literacy, structure, reluctant writers.

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Great title randomiser

Poet Philip Gross teaches students to explore creating poetry titles as a group.  At a glance: group poems, juxtaposition, using nouns, using adjectives, sound.

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Favourite things

Activities using Barry Turrell's poem 'Lauren' to support pupils in writing their own poems about their favourite things. At a glance: feelings and emotion, friends and family, playing with language, memory, patterns

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A journey through the senses

Pupils are encouraged to use their senses and develop an original approach to their writing.  At a glance: the senses, redrafting, language play, feelings and emotion, patterns.

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A conceit poem

Pupils can us Pat Leighton's poem to develop their writing by thinking more deeply about images.  At a glance: simile and metaphor, imgery, conceit poems, sound, group poems.

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Tiny

Mandy Coe uses her poem 'Tiny'  activity to encourage pupils to explore the idea of perspective in their writing. At a glance: the senses, structure, letter poems, experience, scale, perspective.

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The button jar

Roz Goddard offers writing activities to support pupils in creating characters and developing dialogues. At a glance: creating characters, monologues, dialogues, writing in another voice, drama.

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Postcards home

Paul Hyland uses postcards as way to fire pupils' imaginations about important places, special people and strong feelings. At a glance: letter poems, short poems, imagery, writing in another voice, poetry of place.

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Poetry passport

Pauline Stewart enables children to create poems that imagine themselves in another life.  At a glance: experience, identity, friends & family, memory, short poems.

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Messages from the heart

Chrissie Gittins uses her poem to explain to students the different between fantasy and lying in writing. At a glance: Ancient Egyptians, history, experience, list poems, redrafting.

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Making monsters

Using his own poem, Gavin Stewart helps pupils develop original monster characters. At a glance: creating characters, syllables, humorous verse, creating new words, simile and metaphor.

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Inspiring creativity

Anjum Malik's workshop uses music to turn writing into a physcial activity by helping students relax so their minds can create thoughts and ideas. At a glance: music, memory, drama, group poems, performance.

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Cat in the window

Poet Brian Morse uses his poem to help students write about place using a cat as the explorer. At a glance: poetry of place, using verbs, using adjectives, personification, list poems.

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Tackling climate change

Created in partnership with climate change organisation Cape Farewell Karen McCarthy Woolf uses Elizabeth Bishop's poem to help students think and write about what is important to them. At a glance: nature, loss, climate change, list poems, poetic forms.

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Poetry as eulogy

Ashley Smith uses a poem by Phoebe Boswall to inspire writing a poetic eulogy. At a glance: memory, the sense, friends and family, alliteration, literary heritage poets.

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Writing a personification list poem

This activity uses Flora de Falbe's poem 'Five things about the lake' and Sylvia Plath's 'Mirror' as stimulus for writing a list poem personifying an inanimate object. At a glance: personification, Sylvia Plath, comparing texts, prose poems, list poems.

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Poetry and the mind

In response to a Foyle winning poem by Matthew Broomfield, Ashley Smith explores a troubled mind written as an inner monologue. At a glance: mental health, music, experience, poetic forms.

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Bright Star by John Keats

Activities to support the teaching of John Keats' sonnet'Bright Star'.At a glance: John Keats, sonnets, feelings and emotion, love poetry, experience.

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Cosmic Disco

Using her own poem about the stars and the universe, Grace Nichols inspires students to write both creatively and scientifically. At a glance: science, Grace Nichols, dance, space, personification.

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The Jumblies

Activities to support the teaching of Edward Lear poetry, with a particular focus on 'The Jumblies'. At a glance: Edward Lear, celebrating difference, identity, humorous verse, group poems.

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Free writing

Dorothea Smartt uses her own poem to encourage students to write with fluency and without self-censoring. At a glance: free writing, experience, redrafting, iambic pentameter, confidence.

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Intensive writing

Peter Samson helps pupils practice observational writing by letting details speak for themselves.  At a glance: art, imagery, poetry of place, quick exercise, using adjectives.

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Weather the weather

Dave Reeves explores using personification to describe the weather. At a glance: using verbs, feelings and emotion, personification, simile and metaphor, nature.

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A way into metaphor

Pupils will work through several stages to develop imagery that will bring their poems to life. At a glance: using adjectives, simile and metaphor, nature imagery, conceit poems.

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Poetry from portraits

Cheryl Martin uses visual stimuli as the basis for writing poems. At a glance: art, writing in another voice, history, celebrating difference, the senses.

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Simile and metaphor

Stephen Knight uses a poem written by his class to teach simile and metaphor. At a glance: simile and metaphor, the sea, conceit poems, redrafting, nature.

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Split definitions

Mahendra Solanki helps pupils look at familiar objects in a new way. At a glance: confidence, reluctant writers, using adjectives, group poems, playing with language.

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Physical poetry

John Siddique introduces writing about physical memories using poems of his own and some by Ted Hughes. At a glance: the body, memory, dance, drama, Ted Hughes.

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Developing individual voice

An activity to help students write as a group and transition into writing individually. At a glance: simile and metaphor, structure, playing with language, riddles, group poems.

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Imaginary words

Eva Salzman helps students experiment with imaginary words used in poems such as Lewis Carroll's 'The Jabberwocky' to see how language changes and develops. At a glance: humorous verse, sound, alliteration, rhythm, rhyme.

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Telegrams

Mario Petrucci encourages writers to edit and redraft their work. At a glance: short poems, redrafting, riddles, the senses, reluctant writers.

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