Illustration of a small Christmas tree smiling in a forest

The Christmas Pine: The Tree Speaks Back!

In these activities for KS1 and KS2, children read Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson's new poem 'The Christmas Pine' and are invited to find out more about their favourite plant and write a dramatic monologue from its perspective. A great activity for the end of term, with links to science and learning about other cultures, this plan can be completed as a class, in groups or individually. Children can follow the poem frame or make up their own structure. It can be made to be very Christmassy - or not Christmassy at all!


For added inspiration, don't forget to read Julia's poem 'The Christmas Pine', commissioned as part of The Poetry Society's annual Look North More Often programme, and performed by three children from St Mary of the Angels Primary School here.

Illustrations by Marcus Walters.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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.