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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Grant A Wish - Lesson Plan and Sample Poem

Here is an idea for a fun, poetry-based lesson/workshop. I have used the plan twice so far, once with Year 6 and once with a mixed-age Secondary group, and it has produced interesting results both times.

  • Perhaps using this poem of mine as a prompt, each pupil writes down THREE wishes. These can be as weird and elaborate as they like.
  • Teacher collects papers in, and redistributes them, so that each pupil now has a list of someone else's wishes.
  • Pupils pick ONE of the wishes they have received, and write a poem, in the First Person, developing it further. Here are some prompts to help them get started:
            - Why might you have that wish?
            - What would you do if it came true?
            - How might you feel?
            - What might other people say?

Using someone else's wish as a springboard for a poem leaves room for the writing to be taken in various interesting directions. For example, some pupils may choose to write about a wish that they themselves don't have, and the resulting piece of writing may thus end up being from the point of view of a 'character', using a different voice. Alternatively, some pupils may choose to pick a wish that they can identify with. It is likely that such pupils will gain confidence to open up about themselves and their lives under the guise, the 'shield', of someone else's wish. 

The following short poem, by Royce in Year 7, took this as its starting point: 'I wish I could go abroad, specifically to America'. I think Royce's response to this prompt highlights some of the interesting work that, with a bit of imagination, can be produced:

I wish... I wish upon the stars
I wish I could fly
I wish I could fly beyond the Great Barrier Reef
Into the land of the Free
The land of the Brave
The land of America
I wish I could restart my life
No parents and no walls to contain me
In this cage they call home.