Without telling your pupils that this is a poem, listen to the recording together. Ask pupils to discuss in pairs when they may have been treated unfairly. When? What happened? How did they feel?
Give pupils the title of the poem and suitable pictures from the internet, books, etc to support discussion on what they imagine the market is like.
Look at the text of 'In-a Brixtan Markit' on the whiteboard or screen, and then listen to the recording a second time.
Ask your pupils to explore in pairs what the poem is about. (What has actually happened? Who is telling the story? How does the narrator feel?)
Instruct pupils to work in groups to do one of the following, with a view to making their own sound recording (if practical):
- write the poem in Standard English;
- write the poem in another dialect they may be familiar with; or
- write another poem, telling the incident from someone else's point of view (the policeman, a stall-holder, a passer-by etc).
Explain to your pupils that they may prepare to present their work, either to play the recording they have made or simply to do a prepared reading to the whole class.
Now encourage your pupils to discuss aspects of performance. For example, what do they notice about the experience of hearing a poem without having the text in front of them? What difference does it make to read the poem on the page?
You could also encourage your pupils to discuss dialects:
li>Why do they think dialects exist?
- Why might someone wish to keep/lose their dialect?
- What do they understand about the difference between accent and dialect?
As a follow-up you could ask your pupils to go to any public place (eg shopping mall, railway, library) and listen to what goes on, note down or record what they hear and bring their findings to the next lesson. These could be the beginnings of a new poem, dramatisation or story that pupils are to write in a subsequent lesson.
- Pupils will develop personal responses to published poetry and also the poetry of their peers
- Pupils will explore how it feels to be different in general discussion of their own experience and how such feelings may be expressed in poetry
- Pupils will work together to share ideas and responses
- Pupils will develop their understanding of dialects in general and 'In-a Brixtan Markit' specifically.
- Pupils will gain insight into the aural aspect of poetry (how words sound, as opposed to how they are written)
- Pupils will write their own poetry and in so doing, consolidate understanding of how experience and emotion may be shaped in words
- Pupils will develop understanding of narrative voice in poetry and, more generally, how situations may be interpreted from different viewpoints
- Pupils will practise reading, listening, writing and redrafting skills
- Pupils will increase their knowledge of, and express their individual responses to, a poem