We are Cell Tissue

This resource brings together poetry and science to explore the topic of cell tissue, and specifically epithelium. It includes discussion points and creative writing activities inspired by Kitty Joyce's 'Epithelium', a winning poem in the Young Poets Network Human Cell Atlas Challenge 2021, in partnership with the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts (NCLA) and One Cell At A Time, part of the Human Cell Atlas..

Key Stages 4 & 5

Topics: epithelium, cells and their functions, Surrealism

Literary features: word association, similes and metaphors, enjambment

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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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Oil painting of John Keats on Hampstead Heath listening with a background of trees.

A thing of beauty: Rachel Piercey on Keats's life and works

As part of a season of activity celebrating 200 years of John Keats's legacy, poet Rachel Piercey explores the life and works of Keats through some of the paintings and objects in the collection of Keats House, London. This resource is aimed at KS4 and KS5.

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Find out more about Keats200

Image: Keats Listening to the Nightingale on Hampstead Heath by Joseph Severn. Oil painting, 1849. Image courtesy of Keats House, City of London, K/PZ/05/015.

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

Tell & See: National Poetry Day 2020 visionary poetry resource

Explore 'Diamonds' by Evelyn Byrne, a commended poem in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019 with the help of shiny fish, and celebrate this year's National Poetry Day, with the theme of Vision. Download

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.

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

Photo of a 1980s style cinema

The Power of Memory and Association

Teacher Trailblazer Gagandeep Chaggar guides you through teaching 'God in 80s Movies', a Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2018 winning poem by Em Power set in 80s films. Includes: close reading, writing your own film-inspired poem, and a note from the poet herself. Download

national poetry day 2019 logo

6 Ways to Look at The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Discover this new KS3-4 teaching resource on the 2019 National Poetry Day theme of 'truth', written by Michael Donkor, a teacher, author and former Foyle Young Poet.

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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