Children love rapping, it’s seen as being cool, they see it on TV and it’s all glamourous, blingy and ﬂawless. The trouble with rapping is that it’s quite hard to write and even harder to perform well. The good news is that with a bit of editing, practice and hard work children can write impressive raps that others will want to tap their foot to.
I’ve performed The Teatime Rap on many occasions in schools. Sausages, eggs and baked beans aren’t the usual topic of choice for your common-or-garden LA downtown rapper and the children usually ﬁnd this juxtaposition quite funny/ quirky. Do take a look at ‘Gran Can You Rap?’ by Jack Ousbey for another example of a fun primary school appropriate rap.
Let your children have fun reading the Teatime Rap and any other raps that you can source. Let them explore and indulge in the rhythm, rhyme and general feel of the piece. Professional rappers love to gesticulate and your children too should be encouraged to ham up the actions, expressions and general sassy body language. This is a great poem to perform chorally as a class letting different groups perform each verse and the whole class repeating the chorus.
The Anti Bully Rap!
They like to see you shaking
They like to hear your cries
They like to see you broken
From their silly made up lies
They wanna see you crumble
Don’t fall into their trap
Just listen to the wisdom
Of my ANTI BULLY RAP!
In the example above the rhymes come every second line or an A, B, C, B rhyme scheme. The line are all roughly the same length at about six to eight syllables. Don’t worry about using ‘street’ language like ‘wanna’ or ‘’bout’ as this is expected in more unconventional types of poetry like raps. It also helps if the rap is focused on some kind of injustice like bullying so that the performer kind embrace an indignant attitude which of course adds to the fun. This isn’t to say that raps can’t be about as something as banal as having your tea, they can of course, and the debunking of this genre can make them all the funnier and pleasurable to perform.
Have a go at writing raps with your class- be sure to drop me a line and tell me how you get on!