We are Liquid Stars

This resource brings together poetry and science to explore the relationship between the human body and outer space. It focuses on the blood, and the idea that the chemicals in our body once came from stars. It includes discussion points and creative writing activities inspired by Celeste Herriotts' 'Blood', a winning poem from the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020.

Key Stages 2 & 3

Topics: human body, blood and the circulatory system, Earth and space

Literary features: voice (first and second person), personification, imagery, dynamic verbs

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We are the Sea

This resource brings together poetry and science to explore the relationship between humans and the sea. It focuses on whales, and includes discussion points and creative writing activities inspired by Isaac Graaf's 'The New Guy', a winning poem from the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2006.

Key Stages 1 & 2

Topics: whales, echolocation, humans and the sea, sealife

Literary features: point of view, comic voice

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Gemma Correll illustration of a cat in a sled led by a bigger cat

Look North More Often: a poetry pack for teachers inspired by the gift of the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree

Since 2009, The Poetry Society has run Look North More Often, a unique education project celebrating the gift of the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. The tree is given to the city of London from the city of Oslo every year since 1947, as thanks for Britain's support during the Second World War. Every year, we run workshops in primary schools which inspire a children's writer to craft a new poem celebrating the tree.

In 2012, we created an extensive pack of teaching resources for primary teachers, which we've recently updated. The pack offers a history of the tree and the project, and features Norwegian writers as well as Anglophone poets. Inside, you'll discover thoughtful and fun poetry writing exercises from such leading poets as Kevin Crossley-Holland, James Carter, Frances Presley, Hanne Bramness, Coral Rumble, Kit Wright and Philip Gross.

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Find out more about the project

Discover more teaching resources inspired by the tree

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.

 

Sharing the Gift of Hope at Christmas

Poet Clare Pollard guides you through a brand new festive poetry lesson on the theme of hope. Pupils will learn about personification, writing letters, metaphors and similes, all while gearing up to writing a hopeful poem inspired by Clare Pollard's 2019 Christmas Tree poem 'The Gift'. Perfect for KS1 and KS2!

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For added inspiration, don't forget to read Clare's poem 'The Gift', commissioned as part of The Poetry Society's annual Look North More Often programme

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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Drawing of reindeer in London

Hands around the Christmas Tree

Children's poet and storyteller A.F. Harrold explores the theme of friendship through poetry, focussing on the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, given by the city of Oslo as a symbol of thanks and friendship each year. You can use A.F. Harrold's two exercises and poem structure to create your own Christmas Tree poem and think about friendship at this festive time. This is a great Christmas activity for all settings, from schools and community groups to home.

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For added inspiration, read A.F. Harrold's own poem 'The Friendship Tree', commissioned as part of The Poetry Society's annual Look North More Often programme

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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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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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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