Paul Cookson Poetry Workshop (Part 3) – Lots of minibeasts
30 April 2009Add to My Folder
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In this final part of our performance poetry workshop films, Paul Cookson works with KS1 children using dinosaurs and lists as a starting point for a group poem.
As in the film, you can start with a list. The list could be about anything – eg, farm animals, pets, fish, birds, jungle creatures – but the example given focuses on minibeasts and creepy-crawlies.
Creating your poem
Make a list of creepy-crawlies (about 12-14 will work well for a verse).
Say these out loud in rhythm, asking the children to repeat after you:
Spi-ders, bee-tles Ants and butterflies
Add some -ing words. What are these creatures doing? There is only one rule: no words can be repeated.
Spiders climbing Beetles creeping Ants crawling Butterflies flying Say these rhythmically with the children.
Add a chorus; something simple that is repeated after every four lines – eg:
Creepies here, crawlies there Creepy-crawlies everywhere
Children should have experience of: listening to poems and making up their own; responding with relevant comments; extending their vocabulary, exploring the meaning/sound of new words; interacting with others and taking turns; writing for different purposes using different forms – eg, lists.
Next, give the children the chance to be funny. They’ll love this bit! Ask the children what their favourite food is. Add this to your first line – eg:
Spiders climbing on my pizza
Now ask them to think of a body part. Where are the beetles creeping?
Beetles creeping up my nose
For line 3, think about clothes. With ants there’s only one answer:
Ants crawling in my pants
Now, think of somewhere round the house for line 4:
Butterflies flying in my bed
Put them together:
Spiders climbing in my pizza Beetles creeping up my nose Ants crawling in my pants Butterflies flying in my bed Creepies here, crawlies there Creepy-crawlies everywhere ...
Key learning outcomes:
- To experiment with new/interesting words/phrases;
- To take turns to speak/offer suggestions;
- To discuss why they like a performance;
- To explore the effect of language patterns/repeated words;
- To create short/simple poems.
You could, of course, have a whole poem about food, or a whole poem about clothes. Or try a more descriptive option. List some -ly words and add them to your poem:
Spiders climbing creepily Beetles creeping slowly Ants crawling quickly Butterflies flying gracefully
Add numbers, colours, descriptions:
Ten black hairy spiders climbing creepily Nine purple shiny beetles creeping slowly Eight red tiny ants crawling quickly Seven yellow spotty butterflies flying gracefully
Now, where are these going? Eg:
Ten black hairy spiders climbing creepily up the wall at midnight Use the activity sheet below to create ideas individually or in pairs, then combine in a class poem for a stunning visual display.
And finally, Step 9
Reverse the order and have Climbing spiders, etc. Then reverse the order again, eg: Creepily climbing spiders. Mix them up:
Spiders creepily climbing Hairy spiders creepily climbing... Black hairy spiders creepily climbing... Ten black hairy spiders creepily climbing Chop and change words and repeat some phrases: Hairy spiders, hairy spiders Ten black hairy spiders...