The Fourth King: A Tree's Journey

Inspired by Sinéad Morrissey's new poem 'The Fourth King', across two lessons KS2 pupils will learn about the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree and use personification, assonance and alliteration to speak from the perspective of an object or plant, imagining the journey it has been on. With opportunities to discuss big life changes, migration, journeys, recycling and the environment, children will be guided to write their own dramatic monologues after Sinéad Morrissey.

Download

For added inspiration, watch an interview with Sinéad where she reads the poem and talks about the inspiration behind it; watch it brought to life by three children from St Saviour's Church of England Primary School; and if you can, visit the tree in Trafalgar Square until 6 January!

Illustrations by Marcus Walters.

National Poetry Day 7 October 2021

National Poetry Day 2021: We Have A Choice

Celebrate National Poetry Day 2021 on 7 October by exploring Foyle Young Poet Theodora Shillito’s ‘The Story of Squiddly Diddly’, a poem about marine conservation and recycling, commended in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020. This resource encourages KS2-3 students to think about how the choices we make affect the environment.

Download

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.

Download

Find out more about the project

Discover more teaching resources inspired by the tree

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!

Download

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.

Download

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.

Download this teaching resource

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.

Download

Drawing of reindeer in London

The Christmas Tree's Secret

Poet Julia Copus explores depicting Christmastime in poetry, focussing on the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree. You can use Julia's ideas to produce your very own poems in celebration of your Christmas trees, whether they are in your school, the local town centre or in your living room. 

Download

For added inspiration, read Julia's poem 'The Christmas Tree's Secret', commissioned as part of The Poetry Society's annual Look North More Often programme