Serendipity and Poetry

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I love getting children to play with words and sometimes it develops into a poetry session. My first week plans included looking at abstract nouns. I have often used the idea from Pie Corbett of linking abstract nouns with concrete ones to create images such as the wardrobe of anxiety or the kite of hopefulness. Sometimes we have developed these into list poems.

This year I saw on Twitter that @MrWalkerKPPS was doing something similar with his class but developing the ideas using colours and verbs which made me think that I could do a bit more with the idea than I had previously.

We have also looked at prepositions this week so I had the idea of combining the work on nouns with prepositions to give something like ‘ Inside the wardrobe of anxiety, the box of curiosity. That reminded me of Amulet by Ted Hughes which we had studied at the beginning of the year and so I had my poetry lesson all sorted.

We worked on computers because I think that it is so easy for children to use wordprocessing to write poetry. It makes it so simple for them to insert or delete words and move things around. They already had their pairs of concrete and abstract nouns  and were ready to start writing their poems. When I reminded them of Amulet, I was really pleased by how well they remembered it and how quickly they realised that they could use the idea of end line being the opening in their own poems.

The atmosphere in the room was really buzzy. Many of the children were working alone but discussing their ideas with those near to them. Others were working in pairs and it was great to hear them all rehearsing their ideas aloud and suggesting a range of prepositions to use in their poems.

Then I had the idea of using a verb to begin the lines which added more variety to their work. Again, the children took the idea on board enthusiastically and thought carefully about which ‘ing’ word would work in a particular line.

After 50 minutes of work, every child or pair had completed a poem and they were very pleased with their finished work. It was a really simple lesson and had the benefit of reinforcing several word classes so was a useful grammar exercise as well. I love it when things work out and just wish that all my lessons were as successful. So serendipity because if I hadn’t seen the post by Mr Walker, I might not have thought again about something that I have done in several years previously.

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Author: Janette

Recently retired Ex-Assistant Head of a large primary school in Leicestershire although I seem to be in school teaching quite a bit still.

One thought on “Serendipity and Poetry”

  1. Wow! These poems are fantastic. Lessons like that are what make all the expletive deleted bearable. I am feeling very envious right now and wishing that I was still teaching so that I could magpie the ideas.

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