Poetry & Political Language

Taking inspiration from George Orwell's Animal Farm, this resource uses critical thinking and political language to create new poems called 'couplings' (after poets Karen McCarthy Woolf and Malika Booker). Created in partnership with The Orwell Foundation, as part of the 2020 Young Poets Network writing challenge.

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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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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.

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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.

Making poetry with my mother

This lesson plan by Teacher Trailblazer Kate Brackley looks at Letitia Chan’s ‘Making Glutinous Dumplings with My Mother’, a winning poem in theFoyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2016.

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Does this smell like a good poem?

This lesson plan by Teacher Trailblazer Joanne Bowles  involves exploring some of the ideas in Cyrus Larcombe-Moore’s poem ‘my ghost’ (see page 8 of this resource), one of the winning poems in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2016.

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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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The Battle of Agincourt: Dreaming history

John Lindley challenges young people to explore the history and legacy of an extraordinary conflict. It was created to accompany the Agincourt 600 Poetry Competition. At a glance: the Battle of Agincourt, imagery, sensory language, descriptive writing.

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Ways of looking

Teacher Trailblazer Ben Bransfield explores ways of writing unusual list poems, inspired by ‘6 Ways to Look at The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, a commended Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award winner 2015. At a glance: list poems, structure, metaphor.

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How to bake a poet

Teacher Trailblazer Ben Bransfield explores Sophia Carney's poem ‘How to be a patriot’. Sophia is onee of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2015. At a glance: patriotism, politics, imagery, structure with your class.

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