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Poetry on the loose

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By Michael RosenThe Children’s Laureate

Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen, explains how to let poetry run free in your school

Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen reveals how you can help champion poetry in your school

At present, poetry in many primary school classrooms is, to my mind, stuck in a thorn bush. The National Literacy Strategy laid down when and how poetry should be taught, and following from that, materials and anthologies of poems have been published to fit in with this programme.

I think that this was the wrong approach. Reading and writing poetry shouldn’t be confined to systems of work that slot neatly into boxes with learning outcomes attached. Poetry shouldn’t be a matter of following a nationally-fixed progression from this or that kind of poem in Year 1, to this or that kind of poem in Year 2, and so on, up through the education system. Neither should it be something that is paralysed by the kinds of questions that have only one answer. You know the kind of thing: How many adjectives? Can you see the metaphor?

Poetry is a language

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Reviews

  1. paulwhitnall
    on 9 May 2010

    HOW TRUE

    Thank you Michael for being such an inspiration and for encouraging us all not to feel straight-jacketed by the system that is stifling creativity in the classroom.

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