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Love Yourself

This lesson plan explores Cia Mangat’s ‘Love Poem to Myself’, a winning poem from the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019.

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

The activities stimulated by reading Cia’s poem should inspire students to think about themselves and look to a variety of love poems as a rich source for prompting poetry writing.

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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

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!

Download the resource and enter your students into the Young Poets Network challenge by 31 March 2019 to win poetry prizes.

illustration of two men sitting at a desk puzzling over a code

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.

Download the resource and find more code-breaking poetry workshops on Young Poets Network.

Read winning poems inspired by Bletchley Park written by young people here!

Illustrations by Alex Leigh Whitworth, courtesy of Bletchley Park Trust.

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

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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‘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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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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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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