Finding ideas to inspire the reluctant writers in our classes can be very difficult- poetry writing for some children can seem especially onerous! I have used the following poetry writing idea How To Make a Poem (Blue Peter Style) on many occasions with children from Year 2 up to Year 6 and found it to be a VERY effective way of encouraging children to write a fabulous poem. This idea came originally from my friend Coral Rumble- a poet who works extensively in primary schools in London and the south east of England.
The children are asked to decide on a subject for their poem, they then cut out 16 squares of paper and on each piece of paper they are asked to write either a word, phrase, simile, line or question to do with this subject. After this they can arrange the pieces vertically in any order and this then constitutes their first draft. Ask the children to read it and see how it sounds. Then challenge them to rearrange the pieces of paper to create their 2nd draft- how is this better/ worse? more or less effective? When put together in different orders, do words/ similes create different effects? Finally rearrange again to create a final draft that they are the most happy with. I sometimes take a picture of each stage of the poem to see a progression of their work.
On each and every occasion I have done this lesson the children have had great fun and have produced some wonderfully effective poems- putting words and phrases together in the most unexpected ways. David Bowie reputedly used this method when writing some of his songs. It’s almost as if they feel they aren’t writing a poem rather just moving ideas around. You can download all the resources for this lesson here:
For lots more engaging poetry ideas like this check out The Poetry Society’s website here: http://resources.poetrysociety.org.uk/lessons/ All these ideas have been devised by professional children’s poets and come with ready to use resources your children will love.
Please send any interesting poems produced by your children to me, I would be fascinated to see any results. Happy writing!