Posted in Writing Ideas

Thirteen Amazing Things To Do With A Poem

Have you ever sat down and made a list of different, whacky things you could do with a poem?

That is what we are going to encourage you to do with your children. Here’s how.

Let’s Start With A Poem

David begins this workshop by looking at this wonderful poem by Rita Ray:

Thirteen Things To Do With A Poem

Thirteen Things You Could Do With Thirteen Things To Do With A Poem

Here are David’s 13 suggestions:

1. Put up the poem’s title minus the last word. Write or reveal the poem line by line and invite the class to guess that missing word. Once the whole poem is shown discuss the chief clue – both real and misleading!

2. Children, maybe in pairs, prepare readings of the poem in a particular styles, say Blue Peter or a cookery programme.

3. As the class to write onto their copies of the poem a sequel to each line suggesting what happens next, eg:

Read it to the cat – until she purrs
Kep it inside your sock for a day – then tell everyone it’s the first poem to
appear on smellyvision

4. From the words of the poem what image do we get of the poet, Rita Ray?

413 Things To Do With A Poem

5. Make found poems by cutting Thirteen Things into individual words and using any or all to create fresh lines.

6. Children make a version of the poem as a cartoon or small book in the manner of an instruction manual, complete with explanatory diagrams.

7. Invite ideas for more things to do with a poeand turn the whole into a classroom display.

8. ‘Thirteeen Things To Do With A Poem’ is a list poem. Make a collection of list poems. Here are just two websites containing list poems – Poetry Line and Poetry Box.

9. Have another look at Rita Ray’s poem. Ask the children to rewrite it in the same style but this time each line must have exactly 13 words.

10. Ask the children to write their own ‘Thirteen Things To Do With… poem. Use everyday subjects to begin with: a pencil, a jamjar, a friend. This works well done in writing pairs.

13 Things To Do With A Poem

11. More ambitiously ask them to write poems listing things to do with an imaginatively challenging subject: a rainbow, Saturn, a dream…

12. A final variation is to invite poems titled Thirteen (or six or twenty) Ways of Looking at/Sitting/Making etc. So children can write ways at looking at a pebble, getting to sleep, making a mess and so on.

13. In Rita Ray’s poem her fourth thing is ‘Tie it to a balloon and launch it’. A cylinder of helium gas, balloons, thread and poems written on lightweight paper make this a real possibility – and a marvellous sectacle. Don’t forget to tell any airports nearby what you are up to!

David and Mike from Goodeyedeers.

A link to The Goodeyedeers Shop at TES Resources


A writer of short stories.

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