We love the power of words, so National Poetry Day is always one of our most enjoyable times of the year. And as National Poetry Day 2019 marks the celebration's twenty fifth birthday, this year's also bound to be one of our busiest! So throughout October we have a whole range of enjoyable and engaging Poetry workshops for you, all tied into the 2019 theme of “Truth”. Longer workshops will also see pupils gaining experience in presentation skills as we support them in exploring the most effective ways to deliver their poems vocally. We can also provide a Poetry assembly to kick-start your poetry day in school! Our poetry workshops are available throughout the school year - and can be adapted to suit any theme or text, connecting literacy right across the curriculum.
Poetry Assemblies for Schools
Assemblies are a great way, of course, of launching your National Poetry Day celebrations - and ours are guaranteed to create a real buzz about the wonder of words! So we're happy to lead whole-school poetry assemblies at the start of a day of any of our poetry workshops, sharing some of our favourite verses and providing opportunities for pupils to join in - and all at no extra cost!
Soundscape Poetry - Where's the Truth?
Those pupils who claim they don’t like poetry will be writing furiously at the end of this magical poetry workshop. Realising the power of “sound”, they’ll design and perform two contrasting soundscapes, working to topics/themes of your choice. We’ll then guide them through a structure supporting them in crafting richly descriptive poems that tell both individual and collective stories in which the "truth" can change with time or place. Suitable for: KS1 – KS4 / P2 - S5 Exploring (according to age): onomatopoeia, alliteration, descriptive writing, contrasts, rhythm, tone, pace. Duration: Soundscape Poetry is suitable for up to 30 students at a time and requires a minimum of 60 minutes (although we always prefer longer!).
"Each class thoroughly enjoyed the poetry workshops and enjoyed taking an active role in order to create their ideas. Using drama to create an orchestra of sounds for our soundscape poems was fantastic to see and I know that we plan to use this strategy with the children again! Thank you for inspiring the children, so they could create such wonderful ideas!" (Amy Wynn, Windsor CP School)
"The immersion aspect was particularly effective in engaging the children and this led to high standards of written poetry. All teachers were full of praise for the workshops and were delighted with the pupil outcomes and engagement. We would love to arrange another visit for next year!" (Head of English, Immanuel and St Andrews School)
Personification Poetry – Whose Truth?
What if Big Ben could remember all that it had seen, heard and felt – how would its "truth" differ from that of the humans who bustle around it? What about the football used in the World Cup Final? And what about the clock on your classroom wall? This highly imaginative and interactive workshop allows students to harvest the fruits of both their own and their classmates’ imaginations as they explore notions of empathy to construct some uniquely moving poetry. Suitable for: EYFS – KS4 / P1 - S5 Exploring (according to age): empathy, personification, subtext, descriptive writing, contrasts, rhythm, tone, pace. Duration: Suitable for up to 30 pupils at a time, Personification Poetry requires a minimum of 60 minutes (although we always prefer longer!).
The Poet-Tree – Poems that Grow and Change Before Your Eyes
Every tree starts as a seed – a seed that germinates and flourishes. And every poem starts with an idea – an idea that seeks its own "truth" as it finds its form in words. In both cases, the journey to fruition is one of organic change. And while neither topiarist nor poet can know what the final outcome will be until it’s there in all its glory, they both shape and prune their creations carefully. This enchanting workshop supports children and young people in appreciating how a poem evolves from the pen of its writer – and offers them scaffolds allowing ideas and words to take root and grow. We’ll provide them with stimuli to start the process off, enable them to think structurally as they begin to piece their poems together – and emphasise the role that “choice” plays in poetry as they select the words, phrases, similes, metaphors and personifications that best suit their needs Suitable for: KS1 – KS3 / P2 - S3 Duration: 60minutes – half a day Exploring (according to age): descriptive writing, connection-making, simile, metaphor, poetic structure.
“The poems look amazing and I am really excited to send these home with the children who took part in the workshop. The day was a huge success and all of the pupils have commented how fantastic it was. Similarly, the teachers really enjoyed the CPD. Thank you again for such a wonderful experience.” (Teacher, Mapledene School)
Shakespearean Clerihews – Looking for the "Truth" in Characters
While most of Shakespeare’s greatest characters seek to be true to themselves, many of them fail - and that's where the drama lies, of course. So although Macbeth wants to be his country’s brave and loyal servant, he ends up betraying it in a sea of blood. Juliet's dreams of romance end up in tragedy – and Bottom simply doesn't know what the truth is when Ophelia seems to fall in love with him! This experiential workshop uses drama techniques to introduce students to characters from a play of your choice, then introduces them to Clerihews – four line, descriptive, rhyming poems, packed with descriptive language. Suitable for: KS2 – KS4 / P4 - S5 Duration: 60minutes – half a day Exploring (according to age): Shakespeare’s plays, characters and characterisation, poetic structure.
"I’d like to say a huge thank you to Jackson for his delivery of our Shakespeare poetry workshop…the students have really enjoyed learning about Shakespeare in a very active way. All members of staff were very impressed with Jackson and have all commented on how they cannot wait to use some of the techniques to inform their future practice. I’m sure we will be looking to work with you again in the future.” (Creative Curriculum Leader, Guardian Angels Catholic Primary School)
Cinquains of Truth – the People Behind the Headlines
This year’s National Poetry Day coincides with the start of Black History Month – and this thought provoking workshops offers you a great chance to combine the two! Progress towards equality in a diverse world has been made possible by people behind the headlines. People like Lilian Bader of the RAF (World War II), the Bristol Bus Strikers (1963) and, at the Mexico Olympics, Tommie Smith (1968). The belief in the truth of human equality shared by such people changed and shaped the world – and this inspiring workshop celebrates their deeds and legacies through poetry. After engaging pupils in a range of drama-based activities to explore the people and events in question, we’ll introduce them to poetic structures including clerihews and cinquains in which to commemorate their feats. Suitable for: KS2 – KS4 / P4 - S5 Exploring (according to age): epic poetry, poetic structures, alliteration, contrasts, rhythm, tone, pace. Duration: Standing up for Freedom is suitable for up to 30 students at a time and requires a minimum of 60 minutes (although we always prefer longer!).
Performance Poetry: Rhythm, Rhyme and Action
A magical route to seeing how poems can be changed and transformed through choral speaking Some of the best poems written have quite simple messages at their heart – while the power of those messages can be dramatically magnified when they are delivered chorally. This highly engaging workshop sees a group of disparate pupils magically transformed into a chorus, speaking and performing an age-appropriate verse.
Suitable for: EYFS – KS1 / P3 - S3 Exploring: rhyme, rhythm, tone, pace, performance skills Duration:Suitable for up to 30 pupils at a time, Performance Poetry requires a minimum of 30 minutes – but can also be combined with Collaborative Poetry for a one hour session.
Seeing at first hand how poems change at the hands of their poets Poetry is all about making choices – about words, about rhymes, about metres. This exciting workshop allows a whole class of EYFS or KS1 pupils to make choices together as they create and perform a collaborative class poem on a theme of your (or their) choice. Suitable for: EYFS – KS1 / P1 - P3 Exploring: rhyme, rhythm, tone, pace, performance skills Duration: Suitable for up to 30 pupils at a time, Collaborative Poetry requires a minimum of 30 minutes – but can also be combined with Performance Poetry for a one hour session.
Get in touch
To find out more about our Poetry Workshops for Schools please contact us on 0151 708 8886 or email email@example.com. National Poetry Day will take place on Thursday 3rd October 2019.