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Showing posts from July, 2014

Revising And Editing Poetic Pearls

To assist young poets to polish their raw words and transform them into poetic pearls  requires some scaffolded support.
I have created the following Revising and Editing checklists. Feel free to use them as a starting point with your student writers.
Remember writing poetry is about using powerful words in tight spaces. That way you are more likely to create some sparks!

My Revising Checklist For Poetry SKILL Student Teacher I have tried using repetition of words, sounds or phrases.

I have experimented with lines and white space.

I have read it aloud to see if the line breaks work for emphasis.

I have tried to use surprising language.

I have replaced ordinary words with stronger words.

Conversation Poem- Initials On A Pencil Case

I imagined this conversation between two boys and a chance observation... It's a variation on poems for two voices from the book,Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voicesby Paul Fleischman. 

Initials On A Pencil Case

What’s that on your pencil case? Right there in the corner in tiny letters Does it say I heart JB? Does it really? Why? Why does it say I heart JB? I cant believe you would write that…
It’s not what you think It’s not what you think It’s something else Really it is
Oh sure it is I heart JB – why did you write that For everyone to see?
It’s about someone else
Someone else? Who?
Julietta Brocklesbee
Who is Julietta Brocklesbee?
A girl
Thanks for the clue, but seriously, who is she?
She’s a singer in a band
What band?
The Fishsticks
Julietta Brosklesbee is a singer in a band Called The Fishsticks. Never heard of them…
They’re a new band A very good band My favourite new band, if you must know
You know what?
You need to get a new pencil case. You need to get a new pencil case, really, really quickly.
Alan …

Poetry Inspired By Mentor Poets- Structure & Patterns

In my eternal quest for poetry mentor texts that will support the sometimes tentative writing efforts of emerging student poets (and their teachers), I came across this poem by John Rice. It was part of a collection ‘Poems to Perform: A Classic Collection Chosen by the Children's Laureate,’Julia Donaldson.

The poem has a simple repetitive structure that provides a safe scaffold for the less experience poet. Students immediately note the please do -please do not pattern and the way the poet finishes with a line that breaks the pattern, yet neatly ties the poet’s thoughts together. It’s as if he has an afterthought. They also noted the element of humour the poet had injected into the poem. For young poets, the presence of humour heightens engagement.

Instructions For Giants

Please do not step on swings parks, youth

clubs, cinemas and discos

Please flatten all schools

Please do not eat children, pop stars, TV

soap operas, kind grannies who give us 


Please feel free to gobble up dentis…

Autobiographical Poetry

An autobiographical poem. -An example of narrative poetry. I had lots of fun with line breaks, white space and repetition in this poem based on a life shaping event. Ah, life's lessons are great fodder for the poet.

The Last Deirdre
She was my shining light My immediate hope My heart leaping inspiration Yet, something didn't look quite right with this girl. I think it was her chocolate brown desert boots The ones she wore with blue school tunic which retreated from her kneecaps. The gum she chewed and twisted round her finger Passion beat fashion ...easily I dismissed this miscalculation In the interest of flirtation - For my heart's sake
I liked her smile I liked her walk, So confident. So easy. The way her friends followed her Back and forth Back and forth . Across the asphalt. She was Aphrodite in D.B's .- She was Mother Duck. Her name was Deirdre Not Diana, Delores...Desiree Names from my fantasy file This girl didn't look like a Deirdre was supposed to look She had none of my fantasy f…

Poetry is Making A Resurgence

I am reposting this most interesting article from Cambridge University, kindly sent to me by fellow educator and friend, Lisa Burman.

Having long been sidelined as a Cinderella subject in schools, children's poetry is poised to reclaim the hearts and minds of a new generation of younger readers, a new study suggests. Poetry has always been the hardest part of the English curriculum to deliver in schools. Opportunities to write poetry have increasingly been squeezed out in response to pressures to "teach to tests" David WhitleyResearchers argue that factors including internet and television campaigns, scientific and psychological studies, and the present and previous poet laureates' sympathies for the cause are all aiding a revival in the subject after years in the doldrums. The claims are made by the editors of a new book, Poetry and Childhood, which, following a joint University of Cambridge and British Library conference on the same theme last year, compiles the latest…