This year anti bullying week is happening during the week beginning the 12th November and the theme is ‘Choose Respect’. Poetry is a great way to tackle this delicate subject and this week I have chosen one of my poems called ‘If’ to potentially share with your class. For more examples of poems on the anti bullying theme check out a book called ‘Best of Enemies Best of Friends’ compiled by Brian Moses (Wayland) that features lots of poems that children in KS2 will be able to relate to.
My poem ‘If’ (above) inspired by the great poet Rudyard Kipling is a fun journey into what it is to be a friend at school and could be a useful scaffold on which your children could write their own friendship poem.
After reading the poem a couple of times with your class have a chat about the different techniques being used, ask:
where does the poem rhyme?
How does the rhythm work?
What effect does the repetition of ‘If’ have on the reader?
What tone does the poem have?
Now that you know how the poem works your class can have a go at writing their own version- the simple If/ When, If/ When structure should be fairly easy for most of your children to pick up.
Have a good old class discussion about what it is to be a good friend and create a bank of ideas. Using the writing framework If Kipling frame challenge your class to write their own ‘If’ poem. Be careful to point out that this poem can have a rhyme every 2 lines but it isn’t compulsory- sometimes rhyme can get in the way of what we really want to say! It’s also worth mentioning that this poem doesn’t have to be frivolous as in my version here it could, if they want, have a more serious tone about what it truly is to be a friend.
You could finish your lesson by having a Poetry X Factor style performance where each child/ pair can come to the front to share their poems with the rest of the class complete with props/ musical instruments/ costumes etc.
If your children do come up with any interesting versions of my ‘If’ poem please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to share them on my website and on Facebook and Twitter.
Happy poetry writing and have a great Anti Bullying Week!