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.

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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.

We, the Reef

This resource brings together poetry and science to explore the symbiotic relationship between algae and coral reefs. It includes a step-by-step guide to using improvisation to create your own poem, inspired by 'We, the Reef', a new poem by Caleb Parkin, Jane Hills, and Isla Keesje Davidson, commissioned for About Us.

Key Stages 2-4

Topics: symbiosis, zooxanthellae algae and coral reefs, climate change, collaboration,improvisation

Literary features: ecopoetry, voice, personification, creative writing

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We are the Sea

This resource brings together poetry and science to explore the relationship between humans and the sea. It focuses on whales, and includes discussion points and creative writing activities inspired by Isaac Graaf's 'The New Guy', a winning poem from the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2006.

Key Stages 1 & 2

Topics: whales, echolocation, humans and the sea, sealife

Literary features: point of view, comic voice

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Illustration of a small Christmas tree smiling in a forest

The Christmas Pine: The Tree Speaks Back!

In these activities for KS1 and KS2, children read Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson's new poem 'The Christmas Pine' and are invited to find out more about their favourite plant and write a dramatic monologue from its perspective. A great activity for the end of term, with links to science and learning about other cultures, this plan can be completed as a class, in groups or individually. Children can follow the poem frame or make up their own structure. It can be made to be very Christmassy - or not Christmassy at all!

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For added inspiration, don't forget to read Julia's poem 'The Christmas Pine', commissioned as part of The Poetry Society's annual Look North More Often programme, and performed by three children from St Mary of the Angels Primary School here.

Illustrations by Marcus Walters.

 

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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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

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

Poetry manifestos: End Hunger UK

With a free PowerPoint presentation by End Hunger UK and accompanying audio clip, Fran Pridham helps students to respond to food poverty in the UK through poetry. She uses Foyle Young Poet Phoebe Stuckes’ poem ‘Daughters’ as a way into writing manifestos against injustice. Enter your pupils’ work into the Young Poets Network challenge to win free workshops and inclusion on the nationwide End Hunger UK touring exhibition (closing 6 May 2018). Download teaching resource.  

Drawing of two deer, one male and one female, looking at us in front of a snow scene

Hands around the Christmas Tree

Children's poet and storyteller A.F. Harrold explores the theme of friendship through poetry, focussing on the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, given by the city of Oslo as a symbol of thanks and friendship each year. You can use A.F. Harrold's two exercises and poem structure to create your own Christmas Tree poem and think about friendship at this festive time. This is a great Christmas activity for all settings, from schools and community groups to home.

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For added inspiration, read A.F. Harrold's own poem 'The Friendship Tree', commissioned as part of The Poetry Society's annual Look North More Often programme

Honour and belief: The Battle of Agincourt

Alf Wilkinson takes the lives of ordinary soldier as inspiration for an exploration the detail of a famous battle and the world it was fought in. This resource was created to accompany the Agincourt 600 Poetry Competition. At a glance: history, journeys, letter poems, voice.

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