An eight-page booklet | John Hegley
An eight-page booklet is made from a sheet of A4. The cover is left blank and is designed once the contents are complete, with an apt title. In the top left-hand corner of the other seven pages are written the letters A to G. A little time can be taken with the design when laying out these letters.
A is for arrival. I'd like you to write down a matter of fact sentence about any bit of your arriving here today.
'I put my bag down with the others and sat on the seat next to Dave.'
... And now the same experience but this time 'fatter than fact'.
'Onto the clump of baggage heapage, I let fall my burden and then dump my rump beside the Davage.'
B is for beliefs. In what do you believe?
'I believe in rain upon my tenting.
I believe in bus lanes.
I believe that coffee cups the size of cereal bowls are ridiculous.
I believe in learning the stories of the elderly.
I believe in Rich Tea biscuits.'
C is for colourful language. Invent some new non-bad-language abuses. 'You laughing lollipop?' Maybe go through them alphabetically ...
'You aspiring trapeze cleaner.
You biscuit with no crunchiness.
You cat among the pigeon food.
You damaged shoe rack.
You endless pair of trousers.'
D is for differences. Take two subjects and list some differences. Boys and girls? Cats and coathangers?
E is for ear. Write your ear a short letter. If you were writing to your hand you might say, 'You don't get to play with your twin very often do you - when you're clapping you do - but at least you are both on good terms with the cutlery.' One might draw a neighbour's ear to supplement the writing.
F is for footstep. We're going to open out the sheet and draw around our foot with or without footwear and within the footstep we write about some footstep taken. It can be true it can be not. It can be you it can be got from history.
But first we're going to make our little booklet page instruct the reader to look within for the footwork. Spend some time perhaps patterning the page or drawing something from what you will put within the footprint. See diagram B.
G is for goodbye. It can be a goodbye you have said or someone else has said.
And then the book needs a title and a cover.
Pupils pick one of their beliefs and pieces of colourful language and these are read out in series. With the beliefs, the whole group says each 'I believe', leaving the believer to complete the phrase, to the audience's gaze of disbelief.
At a subsequent workshop with a mixture of ages (5-13), a few additions were suggested. Letter E involved dividing the page in half longwise and on one side drawing an elephant and on the other listing a series of E words. I asked those who could write to describe in their footprint a walk using as many of their E words as possible. For our differences we did the difference between dalmations and duckchairs.
Other differences one might do include mind / matter, our own society / a perfect society, and dogs / deckchairs, for which a very young child at the Edinburgh Festival '05 gave the excellent distinction: deckchairs can't fly.
Two stories | Julie Blake
Two stories. The first, the lesson in which I was observed for my probationary assessment. A GCSE retake class and in a spirit of do-or-die chutzpah, I do Eliot’s ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’. With the grave and dignified head of department squished into a corner, we cast off simply: read the poem, some questions to think about and then a class discussion: an animated, intelligent, incisive, empathetic discussion involving every student.
A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.
The head stamps 'I have never seen a GCSE retake class so motivated by poetry' on the probation card and I wander back into class completely mystified by this success.
“What happened to you guys?!” Much laughing and falling off chairs.
“We weren’t really talking about the poem, Miss, we were talking about that man squished in the corner.”
Nothing whatsoever to do with my approach: a valid creative connection they developed with zest and originality, to the benefit of their analysis of the poem, and all without my stir.
The second story: the bell has just gone on a John Donne lesson for A2. “Read ‘Elegy XIX On His Mistress Going to Bed’ for next lesson.”
“Okay,” I proffer as my imaginative opening gambit next time, “what did you make of the poem?” The wind whistled down the long corridors. “Oh come on, you’re having me on!”
“Couldn’t understand a word of it.”
Nada, zilch, zero and my lesson plan’s blown right out of the water. Blind panic then a moment of creative inspiration: ‘Elegy XIX’ pictionary. I read; when I stop they draw exactly what they see in their mind’s eye. A couple of lines, a few gestures, and they’re guffawing and blushing, each according to his peccadillo. The plenary is a dash to the shredder before the Serious Crime Squad move in but everyone has a tangible sense of progress and a bubbling delight with the poem.
I offer the first story in recognition of the fact that inspiring lessons can and do happen without any planned-for 'creative approach'; the second that 'creative approaches' are often borne of pedagogical necessity. In between is the ragbag of things we might choose in order to develop enjoyment, intrigue and curiosity about poetry instead of giving it the Enigma treatment. Try…
| … interlacing the lines of two related poems in ways that create epiphanies of meaning (try a mash-up of Marlowe’s ‘A Passionate Shepherd to his Love’ and Angelou’s ‘Come. And Be My Baby’)
| … distilling the essence of a poem into a single or multiple box comic strip, using Poetry Comics as a style model (published by Teachers & Writers Books)
|…writing parodies emulating form and style (Henry Reed’s ‘Naming of Parts’ as baking of tarts or taking of cars or whatever) or have the poetically silenced subject's reply (Donne’s flea-lady, Marvell’s vegetable lover…)
|…using any one of the oven-ready creative lesson plans in the 'For Teachers' area of the Poetry Archive website.
Devising actions | Phil Beadle
A man's mind will very gradually refuse to make itself up until it is driven and compelled by emergency.
This technique is soon to be aired on the (warning: you’ll cough your dinner onto your lap) Phil Beadle Poetry Masterclass on Teachers’ TV. It’s particularly useful for Poems from Different Cultures, but can be employed with pretty well any GCSE option.
You, the teacher, go through the poem and underline any word or, particularly, verb phrase, that catches your eye and – here’s the problem, you actually have to do a little planning for this one - devise actions to go with it. Before you even touch the poem you teach the kids the actions, and rehearse this exhaustively so that their responses become polished to positively Pavlovian.
We’ll use ‘Island Man’ as an example. The kids start lying down on the classroom floor, eyes closed. As the teacher shouts out the word, “Morning,” in his or her best cod Caribbean accent, the kids open their eyes. The teacher then shouts, “Wakes up,” again attempting to come across as a cross between Shaggy and Linton Kwesi Johnson, and the kids stretch their arms and sit up. You get the idea….
|'sound' – put your hand to your ear, then spring up from the floor
|'blue surf' – right hand does spurious ‘wavey’ type movement
|'wild seabirds – hands together to make a shadow puppet idea of a birdy
|'the sun' – big circle of the arms
|'Comes back' – stop dead - stand to attention.
|'groggily groggily' – stare at the floor and walk slowly
|'muffling muffling' – lie down again
|'heaves' - yawn
|'Another London day' – back to kip
Then get them to do the actions as you read the poem aloud in full.
When they finally get to sit down at a desk to read it like normal human beings without actions, even their legs understand the poem; what is more they are completely cognisant of the music of the poem. You can do this with any reasonable sized poem, it’s a lesson that no one ever messes about in, it’s a laugh, and it saves you actually teaching them anything they’ll ever need to know.
The probing mouse | Harry Dodds
Reading a poem is a creative act: the shifting and developing relationship between text and reader creates meaning. When things go wrong in the poetry lesson, it’s usually because opportunities for this creativity have been stifled. Two familiar classroom examples:
1. AQA ‘Different Cultures’ poems. Often seen as ‘difficult’, they lead teachers into deciding what students need to know, then spoon-feeding it to them. Student dependency and the death of poems follow.
The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited.
A solution. Forget about finding the ‘answers’ and ask students, working in groups, to identify one question that the poem makes them want to ask. Bring the groups together, and rank each group’s question in terms of its importance to the whole class. Eliminate all but the most important question, then set the class the task of answering it. The process gives students time to think, helps them identify both what they already know and what they need to know, and encourages them to work together to explore the texts. (This approach owes something to Sapere - http://sapere.org.uk/what-is-sapere/ - best known for bringing philosophy to primary classrooms)
2. ‘A Martian sends a Postcard Home’. A useful poem, but a potential minefield. It sets up instant (and transferable) bad practice, because it’s usually reduced to a crossword-solving exercise, leading students to think that a poem is something to be decoded, and that there are always right / wrong ‘answers’. The poem’s invitation to us to look at the world sideways is ignored.
Suggestions for helping students develop healthy relationships with poems:
|Look for patterns in the text – visual patterns, or patterns of sound, imagery, rhyme, rhythm. This will encourage observation and attentiveness to the ways the poet gives form and structure to experience and to language, and should implant the idea that a poem is a carefully crafted construct that exploits every linguistic resource the poet has to hand. Ted Hughes’ poems are useful here, and in particular ‘The Warm and the Cold’
and ‘Work and Play’.
| Look at first and last lines or verses of a poem, before looking at the whole text, and ask what has changed between the two points. ‘The Fish’ by Elizabeth Bishop is excellent for this.
|Text transformation – ask students to present poems using techniques from drama, or turn them into videos. This makes them attend to imagery, especially the visual and aural, and in the process of transformation they will discover meaning in the text.
| When asking students to write, keep everything rooted in the five senses.
|Play with different perspectives – describe the familiar from different points of view – what would an ant’s five (?) senses tell it about a journey across your hand?
|Focus on metaphor as a way of explaining the new or unknown in terms of the familiar. Riddles (especially Old English) and incomplete descriptions are good for this.
… and why ‘The Probing Mouse’? Read Billy Collins’ ‘An Introduction to Poetry'.
People like poetry | Jane Bluett
Poetry don’t have to be / living in a library
People like poetry. It follows then that the teaching of poetry should be one of the joys of our profession. Poetry is the most creative branch of literature, it is the manipulation of language at its most effective – it is wordplay.
Creative approaches to poetry are as old as the hills: Blake’s illustrations of Paradise Lost, Parry’s musical rendition of 'Jerusalem', the BBC’s reworking of The Canterbury Tales and even this year’s 'Wordsworth Rap' (www.golakes.co.uk/wordsworthrap). Wordsworth may be turning in his grave but imagine what Byron would have made of it!
Poetry contains two key elements that make it accessible to students – pictures and sound. Exploiting these brings poetry out of the library and into the world.
Metaphor demands visual interpretation. Collages, poetry pictures and, my favourite, poetry mobiles, engage students with the detail of imagery. Technology allows students to gather a huge array of pictures that can be used to create poetry PowerPoints or short videos. To combine pictures with appropriate music takes the exploration a step further. (There are loads of great audio recordings of poetry with music to use as examples – try Joolz Denby or John Cooper Clark.) Here students can freely place their own interpretations on the work without the constraint of ‘what the poet really meant’.
Literary allusion is perhaps one of the more daunting aspects of poetry. Students obviously struggle with both classical and modern references beyond their cultural context. The analogy with their own musical interests is always a good way in. Do they know what the title of the first Arctic Monkeys’ album refers to or where the name Kasabian comes from? If not, why not? I also like the idea of thinking about poems as home pages, full of hyperlinks to other works of literature, art and cultural reference. Again students write the hyperlinks themselves, researching the poet’s references.
Arguably the best way to creatively engage students in the study of poetry is to get them writing it. If you’re teaching ‘Before You Were Mine’, get them to bring in a photo of their mother when she was young and write about it. Adapt ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird’ - take in a piece of fruit or a vegetable and get every student to write their own haiku about it. You will then have about 30 ways of looking at, for example, a lemon – depending on class size of course. Imitating the style of a chosen poet works a treat; they have to know the stylistic quirks of the poet to do this effectively. Nowhere do students have to be assessed on their ability to write poetry, so they can have fun with it - it neither has to be finished or given a grade.
Make sure you’ve checked out The Poetry Archive, a world of real poets reading their own poetry. Challenge your students to produce their own readings. Lastly, read, write and go to see poetry yourself. It’s out there, it’s bright and it doesn’t rhyme with orange.
Jane Bluett is a member of the National Association for the Teaching of English's Post-16 Committee
Poetry through parody | Geoff Barton
The thing that makes a creative person is to be creative and that is all there is to it.
If you ever thought writing poetry was something mysterious and elusive, then you haven’t visited www.ehow.com. This American site tells us 'How to write a romantic poem for a girl'. Here’s a hint of the magic formula: think about her; choose a tone; choose a form; draft your poem; write your poem; present it well; deliver it; and – a cute and unexpected step, this – 'act natural'.
There – in this multi-modal universe of Bebo and Facebook and endless texting, there’s a simple solution for every eventuality. And whilst it’s easy to lampoon, there’s something reassuring about the fact that the web is bulging with advice on something as old-fangled as writing poems.
As English teachers we have an important role in this, perhaps more important than we realise – simply to show that reading poems, talking about them in passing, is what we do, that poems aren’t the sole domain of sentimentalists, rappers, or greeting cards manufacturers. Poems are things that people like us – and, by extension, people like our students – like to read and sometimes write. It doesn’t have to be the cringe-making histrionics of Dead Poets’ Society. It might just be a fragment of text that’s lodged in our mind and we want to share, or something we’ve written ourselves, an image, a way of capturing a feeling, an experience.
So take it as read that if we’re going to teach our pupils to write poetry for pleasure and creatively, then we should immerse them in poetry, relish the language, encourage pupils to learn some poetry by heart so that they internalise the language, experiment with various poetic forms as well as free verse. Yes, we should do all that, preferably with none of it linked to assessment or exam.
But there’s one other idea that has led to some of my funniest, most memorable and most unexpected English lessons. W.H. Auden had a spectacularly brief and unhappy time as an English teacher which is described in Humphrey Carpenter’s magnificent biography (W.H. Auden: A Biography, Allen & Unwin 1981). Auden’s recommendation is mine: teach poetry through parody. Parody – or spoof as it’s more commonly known – gets pupils inadvertently experimenting with language. E.O. Parrott’s magnificent collection Imitations of Parody (Penguin 1987) is a brilliant starting point with nursery rhymes rewritten as if by other writers. J.D. Salinger does 'The Grand Old Duke of York' ('There was this goddam English duke for Chrissake ..'); Shakespeare does 'Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary' ('Sweet coz, how contrary thy garden grows'); Wordsworth does 'Jack and Jill' ('Close by the cataract a widow dwelt...).
Parody both celebrates the language and punctures the pomposity of the poetry business. It enables pupils to mess around with texts, to get a laugh and, in doing so, to get under the skin of the poems they thought they had to tiptoe around in reverential silence.
W.H. Auden may not have been much of an English teacher, but he had some great ideas.
The Poetry Place - a great place to meet | Trevor Millum
What's the difference between a metaphor and, like, a simile? Who cares? Certainly not the writer. The reader, then? I don't think so. So who does care? Apart from the odd literary critic, the analyser of texts, it can only be teachers. It's part of the drive to unpick and annotate literature, especially poetry. We rarely make such a finicky fuss about prose, whether fiction or non-fiction.
Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.
Analysis has its place but it should come out of an engagement with the text, an appreciation, even. By engagement or apprecation, I don't mean you have to like a given poem. It's possible to engage with something without really liking it. Of course, this applies to other forms of expression - and of human endeavour. I can appreciate how well the other team plays but I don't have to like them. I can appreciate the skill and energy and technique of, say, rugby players, but I don't have to enjoy watching rugby.
I think the first task of the teacher of English when approaching texts of any kind is to inspire interest, and to develop engagement. This is the prime and most difficult task. It cannot be done by someone who isn't, themselves, interested or engaged. That's where the skills and techniques of the English teacher come most fully into play. It's pedagogy, mate.
Once you have engagement, you can move on to analysis and understanding. Even then it doesn't really matter whether it's a simile or a metaphor. It's an image, it's making some kind of point through comparison. If it fixes the picture to the wall, it doesn't really matter if it's a nail or a screw.
I'm writing this to encourage you to take such an 'engaging' approach to poetry, not a note-down-the-side-of-the-page approach. Teachit's new Poetry Place, which opens today, will offer lots of ideas to help you do so. It will be a place where you can get ideas for teaching about poetry, see how poems get written and share some of your students' own writing too. See you there!
Teaching with Poetry Shuffle | Fiona Darby
Having contributed lessons to Teachit's new KS3 interactive pack, Poetry Shuffle, it was great to see the finished product in all its glory! I’d really enjoyed putting together the lessons for my allocated poems, and seeing them alongside all the other lessons made me realise what a good resource the pack is. A variety of writers, with a variety of experiences, from a variety schools ensures that there is something to suit all English teachers’ KS3 poetry needs.
Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or doing it better.
Whilst writing the lessons, I had some real life 'guinea pigs' to test them out on! I had two Year 8 classes - one top set and one bottom set.
The top group trialled some of the Classical Collection lessons. They particularly enjoyed Lesson 1: Roses are Red... on 'Sonnet 130', as they found Shakespeare’s comparisons very funny. They also enjoyed writing their own poems in a similar style. Keats’ 'Ode to Autumn' in Lesson 7: Mists and mellow fruitfulness, was a favourite too. They liked using coloured highlighters to analyse the colourful language and references to the senses. Some lovely 'Seasons' poems were produced during that lesson.
Now I know some of you are thinking 'My year 8s would never understand Shakespeare and Keats!' My thoughts exactly as I planned for my Year 8 bottom set. The pupils in this class, mainly boys, trialled some of the poems in the Rhythm and Blues section. They loved Lesson 6: The Fiendish Feline, on 'Macavity the Mystery Cat'. The rhythm of the poem went down well, as did thinking about the terrible crimes that Macavity could have committed as they continued the poem! (Underwear stealing, anyone?)
Lesson 19: What a Load of Rubbish, on 'Down Behind the Dustbin' was also popular, accessible, and good for involving everyone, with a group reading of pupils’ own stanzas.
If you teach poetry at KS3, Poetry Shuffle is definitely worth having in your department. It caters for the needs of all groups, and NLS objectives, ICT activities and follow up tasks are all included. At the back of the pack are ideas of how you might group the poems together. So now that the Poetry schemes of work are done, I’ll get on with the rest of my planning!
Fiona Darby is Curriculum Leader for English at Stratford High School
More about Poetry Shuffle | free samples | place an order
Topic-based approaches for students with SEN | Andrew Buckton
There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.
G K Chesterton
When the new primary framework was released, there was an inevitable snigger amongst the longer standing generation of teachers, sarcastically remarking on the ‘new idea’ to be more creative in teaching and have a more cross-curricular, topic based approach. Teaching by topic was, of course, what most of us grew up on in primary schools (remember ‘the Vikings’, or if you were really unlucky, ‘pets’?). Linking different aspects of learning together through topics can in fact be very helpful for pupils with SEN.
In many ways, teaching pupils with SEN, as I do, demands a supported and creative approach. Vygotsky’s ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ suggests we need to find an ‘ideal’ balance of pushing the pupils and teaching them new things. Too much or too little will turn them off their learning. This principle is useful for teaching pupils with SEN, as is the concept of ‘scaffolding’ their learning by supporting them to move on a bit.
Teaching poetry can lend itself to a cross-curricular approach which will support the pupils’ learning in the widest sense. For example:
| Liase with another subject teacher and look at the key language and themes of a topic. For example, a Geography project on coastal erosion will have vocabulary such as swash, backwash, wave-cut platform, longshore drift … These words are great for exploring onomatopoeia and plosives in poetry.
| Try using music with poetry – either as lyric writing or as a background to express a mood when writing.
|Work with artists or art departments in creating pictures that reflect an interpretation of a poem. This can be particularly helpful for pupils with SEN, as using colour and shape can bypass language difficulties but still allow the curriculum to be accessible.
Webwatch | Rhiannon Glover
It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.
There is no shortage of fabulous sites to help inspire you and your students in the run up to National Poetry Day and beyond. To find out more about National Poetry Day, for which this year’s theme is Dreams, together with a programme of poetry events and other useful information both about and for existing and aspiring poets, visit the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Day site.
The mission of The Poetry Archive is ‘to help make poetry accessible, relevant and enjoyable to a wide audience’ and, with its recordings of poets reading their own work, grouping of poems by theme and form and helpfully organised sections for teachers (including detailed lesson plans), students and children, it certainly achieves this. Poets performing their own work and being interviewed about it can also be found on the BBC’s Writing, Poetry and Books pages together with interactive poetry resources which will appeal to younger children.
If you teach English at GCSE you will almost certainly already know about Poetry Live!, which gives pupils in England and Wales an opportunity to see and hear live performances from a selection of the poets they are studying. The Poetry Live! website allows you to check dates and book for events in 2007-08 but also allows students to browse questions to and answers from both poets and examiners which may prove helpful while they are preparing for the poetry components of their English GCSEs.
Those of you planning to teach war poetry for A Level this year should familiarise yourself and your students with the First World War Poetry Digital Archive (based at the University of Oxford) which builds on the success of Oxford's Wilfred Owen archive and the Virtual Seminars for Teaching Literature project to contain archival resources from other major British poets of the First World War plus images, text, audio and video of primary contextual materials.
The South Bank Centre’s Poetry Library offers various resources and visits tailored to primary school students, secondary school students and teachers.
Everypoet.com could prove a useful resource if you are prepared to do some sifting. It has an archive of classic poems, a facility for sharing your own poems and various interactive poetry activities. Finally, at Poets.org , from the Academy of American poets, you will also find a wealth of resources, including biographies of hundreds of poets and over 2,000 poems.
The T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry Scheme
It’s a much commented on irony that as poetry writing classes, magazines and websites burgeon, the numbers reading, let alone buying, poetry, are in freefall – this despite (or because?) of the fact that poetry is heavily assessed at GCSE. Students don’t seem to be developing a taste for buying and reading poetry for pleasure.
As teachers, we might resolve to introduce students to poetry beyond the particular (some might say peculiar) confines of the National Curriculum or examination requirements but can easily be thwarted by the difficulty of doing this: lack of time, lack of resources, lack of confidence (am I really well enough read in contemporary poetry to know what it is worth spending time on? Do I know how to support students in becoming readers who choose poetry for pleasure and relaxation as well as critical analysis?).
The T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry Scheme, run jointly by the Poetry Book Society and emagazine exists to support students and teachers in engaging for pleasure with the very best contemporary poetry, removing some of these obstacles. How does it do this?
For a start the poems are chosen for you: the judges (this year chaired by U A Fanthorpe with Sujata Bhatt and W N Herbert) choose what they believe to be the ten best collections of poetry published during the year. These are poems worth reading silently and out loud, talking and arguing about, transforming, re-reading and so on. Resourcing? Thanks to the hard work of the Poetry Book Society you don’t have to worry about getting hold of the poems: from 3rd November you will be able to download and photocopy the ‘Shadowing Scheme Anthology’ comprising three poems from each of the shortlisted collections. That’s 30 poems from ten of the best collections of the year, by contemporary poets writing in English. Supporting students’ reading? There are two strands to the Shadowing Scheme to provide a strong incentive for students to read and engage with the shortlisted collections: an online poll asks students to vote for their favourite collection (the result of which will be announced at the Awards Evening, alongside the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry itself); and a writing competition requires students to write a 500-word rationale in favour of their poet.
Without the looming demands of the examination, reading is freed up to become creatively critical, and students given the space and encouragement to develop and articulate independent opinions on poetry so new there simply is no received opinion.
Full details of the scheme plus six suggestions for organising the reading and discussion of the poems will be posted on the emagazine website from mid-October.
Barbara Bleiman and Lucy Webster, co-editors, emagazine
The Children's Poetry Bookshelf Competition
The new Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen, is to chair the judging of a nationwide poetry competition for 7-11 year olds. The Competition is organised by the Children’s Poetry Bookshelf, a poetry book club for young people run by the Poetry Book Society. To link with National Poetry Day on Thursday 4 October, children will be asked to write a poem no longer than 25 lines on the theme of ‘Dreams’.
Now in its second year, the Children’s Poetry Bookshelf Competition is open to both individuals and schools, with prizes being awarded in two age groups, 7- 8 year olds and 9 -11 year olds. The competition is open now and entries will be accepted up until the closing date of Monday 15 October. The winners will be announced at an award ceremony in December, where they will be presented with cash prizes and poetry books for their school. Last year’s inaugural competition attracted nearly 5,000 entries from across the UK and overseas.
Michael Rosen was appointed to the prestigious post of Children’s Laureate on 11 June, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to children’s literature. On accepting the two-year post, he said, "I think poetry for children needs to be saved from the cold dissection table of right and wrong answers and put back into rooms and halls full of wonder, compassion, haunting, laughter, music and rhythm. We need to hear its many voices, many cultures, many sounds." The Children’s Poetry Bookshelf Competition will encourage children to play with poetry, by providing an outlet for their creativity with language and encouraging teachers to bring poetry alive in the classroom. A teacher’s guide to accompany the competition will be available to download from the Children’s Poetry Bookshelf website from the beginning of September, along with further information about the competition.
Chris Holifield, Director, Poetry Book Society