Age 11-14

Lesson plans with ideas and activities for younger secondary school pupils, developing ways of reading and responding to poems. Some on individual poems, some themed pairs, some mini-projects.

A multimodal exploration of Tennyson's 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'

For students to explore through images a key Victorian idea about war (dulce et decorum est pro patria mori); to develop an awareness of historical context by reading a Crimean War ballad and a first hand news report; to read Tennyson's poem and compare it with images and texts encountered; and to explore the legacy of Tennyson’s poem and the validity of its enduring appeal.

 

Julie Blake

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Different writers, different times

For students to: imaginatively explore their own special places and those of two poets from different times and places: W.B. Yeats (Ireland) and James Berry (Jamaica); to experience creative reading and creative writing; to develop a comparative analysis of the two poems. 

Julie Blake

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Create a Guided Tour

To read a range of poems and select six to prepare brief introductions to; to write a well structured Guided Tour of the Poetry Archive; to use talk to develop drafting processes; to share their enjoyment of particular poems with a real audience.

Julie Blake

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Mothers - 'Mossbawn Sunlight' by Seamus Heaney and 'Not yet my mother' by Owen Sheers

To develop and adapt speaking skills and strategies in formal and informal contexts To analyse how writers' use of linguistic and literary features shapes and influences meaning To generate poems, through planning, drafting, and rewriting

John O'Donoghue

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Parents - 'Eden Rock' by Charles Causley and 'Timer' by Tony Harrison

To analyse and explore two poems that recall memories of the poets' parents To understand the ways poets use language to create meanings beyond the correlation between word and object To develop greater emotional awareness through scrutiny of these two poems

John O'Donoghue

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Place - 'In my country' by Jackie Kay and 'Geography lesson' by Brian Patten

For students to: Understand and respond to the ideas, themes and issues in poems Appreciate the linguistic choices made by poets, and their effects

Alison Smith

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Lesson on 'I, Too' by Langston Hughes

For students to: investigate the power of the title using corpus tools experience poetry aurally in the high-octane form of Hughes's original recording explore how the strength and power of the poem’s voice are constructed compare this with other texts.

Julie Blake

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Lesson on 'Prayer before birth' by Louis MacNeice

To encourage students' enjoyment of listening to poetry. To encourage students' pleasure in writing poetry. To extend and develop students' appreciation of poetry. To develop students' abilities to understand a poetic response to the world they inhabit, both from the point of view of a poet and from their own experience.

Lisa Dart

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Inclusion: 'I see you dancing, father' by Brendan Kennelly

All pupils will attend and respond to the sound, rhythm and mood of the text.

Carolyn Purslow

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Inclusion: 'The river' by Valerie Bloom

All pupils will... have listened to and made a response to part of the poem. Some pupils will... use vocal intonation to enhance meaning. A few pupils will... recognise some of the rhyming words and find some new rhyming words.

Carolyn Purslow

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Lesson on 'Timothy Winters' by Charles Causley

Year 7 Key Stage Three English Framework R3: compare and contrast the ways information is presented in different forms R19: explore how form contributes to meaning in poems from different times and cultures eg storytelling in ballads S10: identify and report the main points emerging from discussion S13: work together logically and methodically to solve problems, make deductions, share, test and evaluate ideas.

Esther Menon

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Lesson on 'Red Boots On' by Kit Wright

To encourage the pleasure of reading poetry To encourage the pleasure of listening to poetry To encourage pupils' understanding of rhythm, rhyme and symbolism To develop pupils' ability to write their own poetry To extend pupils' understanding of the drafting and re-drafting process To encourage specificity in the writing of pupils' own poetry To encourage pupils to use technical language to articulate the power of poetry.

Lisa Dart

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Work - 'The innocence of radium' by Lavinia Greenlaw and 'Nine to five' by Roger McGough

For students to: Encounter different experiences and attitudes towards the world of work as expressed in some contemporary poems Experience poetry aurally in the high-octane form of the two poets’ recordings Explore interpretations of the poems’ meaning and form through critical, creative and collaborative activity with others

Julie Blake

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Babies - 'Prayer before birth' by Louis MacNeice and 'The Tay Moses' by Kathleen Jamie

To explore the ways poets write about infants To encourage students to write their own poems on the theme of infancy

John O'Donoghue

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Violence - 'The shout' by Simon Armitage and 'Blues' by Derek Walcott

For students to: Understand and respond to ideas, viewpoints, themes and purposes in texts Use different dramatic approaches to explore ideas, texts and issues Experience poetry aurally in the high-octane form of the two poets' recordings

Julie Blake

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Identity - 'In my country' by Jackie Kay and 'Timer' by Tony Harrison

For students to: Develop and adapt active reading skills and strategies Understand and respond to ideas, viewpoints, themes and purposes in texts Experience poetry aurally in the high-octane form of the two poets' recordings

Julie Blake

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Lesson on 'Not waving but drowning' by Stevie Smith

To encourage the pleasure of reading poetry. To encourage the pleasure of listening to poetry. To explore ways of interpreting poetry through different readings. To develop pupils’ ability to work in groups. To explore ways in which poetry may lead to other kinds of writing.

Lisa Dart

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Lesson on 'Pike' by Ted Hughes

To develop an understanding of how a poet uses language to capture creatures on the page. To use this understanding to draft a poem on a 'sinister' animal.

Sue Dymoke

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Lesson on 'A refusal to mourn the death, by fire, of a child in London' by Dylan Thomas

To encourage the pleasure of reading poetry. To encourage the pleasure of listening to poetry. To explore ways of interpreting poetry through different readings. To develop pupils’ ability to work in groups.

Lisa Dart

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Gifted & talented: 'Cook ting' by R.F. Langley

The pupils will: explore the relationship between words and objects; words and place explore different ways of performing poetry

Carolyn Purslow

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Lesson on 'Immigrant' by Fleur Adcock

To encourage the pleasure of reading poetry; to encourage the pleasure of listening to poetry; to enable pupils to understand how emotional responses may be poetically expressed; to develop pupils' ability to use technical language in their discussion of poetry.

Lisa Dart

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Lesson on 'Seven types of shadow' by U A Fanthorpe

By the end of the lesson the pupils will have: explored the conventions of the ghostly stereotype as portrayed in written and visual forms; listened closely to the opening of the poem and developed an understanding of the situation U.A. Fanthorpe has created; collaborated with other members of their small group to discuss their interpretations and ideas; organised and presented their proposal to the rest of the class both in writing and orally.

Sue Dymoke

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Lesson on 'Hyena' by Edwin Morgan

By the end of the lesson pupils will have explored the ways in which Edwin Morgan creates the viewpoint of the hyena through his use of language and structure; identified the underlying themes through listening and discussion; drawn on their developing understanding of Morgan's poetic techniques to inform their own drafting.

Sue Dymoke

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Daljit Nagra

From time to time a poet is in residence at the Poetry Archive, talking about poetry with anyone who wants to join in the conversation.

Comic Verse

I'm troubled, as you can tell by my introduction, about comic verse. Comic verse gets bad press because rigid notions of comedy foreground throwaway poems. Surely the best comedy is when the poem surprises us into laughter rather than setting up t... >