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.

Writing a Christmas Tree Poem

Liz Lochhead inspires pupils to write a Christmas Tree poem, hanging the tree with real or imagined decorations which engage the senses. At a glance: friends and family, the senses, syllables.

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For added inspiration, read Liz's poem 'How I'll Decorate My Tree', commissioned as part of The Poetry Society's annual Look North More Often programme

Rhythm and Pace in War Poetry

Using poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Wilfred Owen, Roshan Doug aims to familiarise students with the concepts of structure and movement in a poem. At a glance: rhythm, iamibic pentameter, war poetry, structure, syllables.

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Poetry Train

David Harmer and Roger Stevens use a collection of activities, poems, and advice for teaching poetry in primary schools.  The two share proven approaches based on poems by Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay, David Harmer, and Roger Stevens.

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My Family and Other Pests...

Using a poem by Jackie Kay, David Harmer encourages students to use stories about their friends and family as inspiration for their poems.  At a glance: people and families, contrasts, personal writing, haiku.

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Short Poems are Scary!

Using a poem by Carol Ann Duffy, David Harmer encourages students to create Nonsense Monsters with inanimate objects and shape them into poems.  At a glance: imagination, haiku and tankas, cinquains, kennings.

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Making monsters

Using his own poem, Gavin Stewart helps pupils develop original monster characters. At a glance: creating characters, syllables, humorous verse, creating new words, simile and metaphor.

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