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Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market
In collaboration with the Watts Gallery and their exhibition Christina Rossetti: Vision and Verse we are exploring one of Christina Rossetti's most famous poems Goblin Market. This resource is designed for A Level students. Topics at a glance include sisterhood, consumerism, Marxism, feminism and literary critical theories. Written by Romanticism expert Dr Bethan Roberts with additional support from The Poetry Society and Watts Gallery.
What is a Golden Shovel? with Peter Kahn
Poet and educator Peter Kahn has been teaching his students to write Golden Shovels for years. This “21st century sonnet” was created by Terrance Hayes when he used each word in Gwendolyn Brooks’ iconic poem ‘We Real Cool’ as part of his own poem.
Peter guides you through this exciting new form and encourages your students to create poems inspired by Gwendolyn Brooks, other poets, songwriters, film-makers and more!
Breaking the code with Bletchley Park
Could your students be code-breakers? This lesson plan by Sian Hughes explores nursery rhymes, nonsense verse and codes through the lens of Bletchley Park and the work that went on there.
Read winning poems inspired by Bletchley Park written by young people here!
Illustrations by Alex Leigh Whitworth, courtesy of Bletchley Park Trust.
A Change in Circumstance
This lesson plan is on the theme of change and was written for National Poetry Day 2018 on Thursday 4 October. It looks at Imogen Catsaras’ ‘Dawn in Dartmouth’, a commended poem in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2017.
‘A poem is…’ with Disney Junior
Together with Disney Junior, the Poetry Society commissioned poet Coral Rumble to write a guide to help parents and carers enjoy poetry with under 7’s to accompany the Disney animated ‘A Poem is…’ series. ‘A Poem is…’ launched in summer 2012 and showcases poetry set to iconic moments from some of Disney’s classic animation films such as Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Pinocchio. Celebrities Matt Smith, David Walliams, Richard Briers CBE, Jessica Hynes and Michelle Dockery are among the all star cast who have teamed up to narrate the series.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pauline Stewart enables children to create poems that imagine themselves in another life. At a glance: experience, identity, friends & family, memory, short poems.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mario Petrucci encourages writers to edit and redraft their work. At a glance: short poems, redrafting, riddles, the senses, reluctant writers.