Why teach poetry in primary schools?

Author: Jo Barwell
Published: 20/07/2023

New resources to teach poetry

With such high levels of interest and engagement from children, lack of funding is the only justification for the shortage of poetry books in our classrooms. However, there are other ways to enable children to read poetry, including looking online. With this in mind, we have just published four new KS1 poetry resources to help you introduce classic poems to your younger learners.

Write an autumn poem is based on John Keat's famous poem 'To Autumn' and features the poem for analysis plus a planning worksheet to support the children to write their own poem. Similarly, Write a recipe poem for winter is a based on Christina Rossetti's classic poem 'In the Bleak Midwinter' and includes scaffolding and a writing frame to enable children to use the first verse as a stimulus to write their own poem. Write a spring alphabet poem is based on 'On a Lane in Spring' by John Clare. Again, children are asked to read the poem and to complete the scaffolding activities to write their own poem. Finally (no prizes for guessing the theme), Write a summer poem using similes asks children to use examples provided to create their own summer similes and, once they have them, to write a poem based on their summer ideas.

All of these activities have been written with key stage 1 in mind but could be be also used at key stage 2 with differentiation by outcome. For example, the summer poem activity could also be used at KS2 if children were asked to use different examples of figurative language such as alliteration or personification.

We have a wide range of poetry teaching resources for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 in our poetry collection, including activities for writing poetry in the form of haikus, acrostic poems and free verse, and opportunities for reading aloud. Inspire a love of poetry from the early years onwards!

Jo Barwell

Managing Editor