'The Fruit of the Spirit is Love (Galatians 5:22)'

This lesson plan explores Marvin Thompson's 'The Fruit of the Spirit is Love (Galatians 5:22)', which won first prize in the National Poetry Competition 2020.

In this resource, produced by Teacher Trailblazer Noor Wafa, students are encouraged to think about how we form an identity, and what it means to belong, in the context of race and cultural heritage. The resource also explores intertextuality, the villanelle form, and iambic pentameter.

Content warning: please note that the poem featured in this resource deals with the theme of racism and contains imagery of lynching.

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mandala in pink, purple, and blue

How to Belong: 'Brown Girl'

This lesson plan explores Indigo Mudbhary's 'Brown Girl', a winning poem from the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020.

The activities can be used in a single session, or over a series of sessions.

In this resource, produced by Teacher Trailblazer Fran Pridham, students are encouraged to think about identity and belonging, including the issue of race. The resource also introduces students to poetry in prose as a form.

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starry sky

The Truth Exposed: 'Polaris'

This lesson plan explores Brigitta McKeever's ‘Polaris’, a winning poem from the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020.

The activities can be used in a single session, or over a series of sessions.

In this resource, produced by Teacher Trailblazer Stephanie Nobes, students are encouraged to think about the relationship between poetry and objects, the body, and the 'Evolution of Me'. They are also encouraged to analyse the poem with a close focus on features of language, and to write creatively using juxtaposition.

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bicycle with background of streetlights

Where talk is never cheap: 'Love Poem to Young Offenders Support Workers'

This lesson plan explores Libby Russell's ‘Love Poem to Young Offenders Support Workers’, a winning poem from the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020.

The activities can be used in a single session, or over a series of sessions.

In this resource, produced by Teacher Trailblazer Gareth Ellis, students are encouraged to think about why poets choose to write about love, how society values different types of knowledge, and the relationship between ‘here’ and ‘home’ in this poem. They are also encouraged to explore the sonnet form more widely.

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Poets for LGBT+ History Month and Always

A Level teacher and former Education Manager Nazmia Jamal offers over fifty suggestions of LGBT+ poets you could teach in February, which is LGBT+ History Month, and any time of the year. She shares questions for class discussion, writing prompts which are particularly inspired by the pandemic, and context for poems by Keith Jarrett, Mary Jean Chan, Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Emily Dickinson and more.

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Find more LGBT+ History Month resources here

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!

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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.

 

Hope on a Postcard

Inspired by Dr Martin Luther King’s visit to Newcastle University in 1967 to accept an honorary doctorate, poets John Challis and Sinéad Morrissey were invited to run poetry workshops in a male maximum security prison. They explored, with a group of self-selecting inmates, the three themes of King’s acceptance speech: poverty, racism and war. Techniques explored include writing a Golden Shovel, a ghazal, and experimenting with enjambement. We invite you to try these exercises yourself or as part of a school or other poetry group. 

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Read more about the prison workshops in Poetry News online.

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. 

Download the Christina Rossetti A Level Resource

Creating Voices

This lesson plan by Teacher Trailblazer Lyndsey Chand takes an in-depth look at Enshia Li’s ‘unwritten letter from my great-grandmother to my great-grandfather, 1930’, a winning poem in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2017. This resource contains activities for KS4/5 to take place over the course of several lessons and develops students’ skills and confidence when dealing with unseen poetry as well as writing their own poems about their own family history.

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For more activities around prose poems, see Enshia Li’s Young Poets Network challenge

Celebrations: a Foyle Young Poets resource

This lesson plan by Teacher Trailblazer Fran Pridham looks at Lucy Thynne's  ‘the parents anniversary', a winning poem in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2017.

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