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Wednesday 22 July 2015

PERSONIFICATION - poem & workshop idea (KS2)

very tall. My head is high. My
lips reach out to kiss the sky.

My ears can hear for miles
around. I stand one-legged
Using the poem above as a model, ask children to think of an inanimate object. Examples include: tree, car, train, house, etc. Next, they need to list different parts of a human body (head, hands, arms, legs, etc.) Finally, they need to reimagine their inanimate object as though it possesses these human body parts, and think about what each of these parts may do. For example:
The windows of the house are eyes, peering out at passers by
The chimney is a tongue, tasting the flavour of the summer sky
The door is the heart, ready to let family in...
For an optional extra, they could rewrite their piece as a shape poem, as above!

Monday 13 July 2015

Maths Poetry With Year 7

Over the last few weeks I have been teaching maths lessons. Having not studied maths for well over a decade this was a fairly daunting proposition. However, these were no ordinary maths lessons. The aim of the lessons was to incorporate poetry, and to explore the ways in which mathematical language and concepts can be used in order creatively to explore issues of personal identity. I would like to present a selection of poems produced by girls in Year 7. I supplied some templates in order to inspire them, but the students were very much encouraged to use their imaginations and go wherever they want with their ideas.

Equation Poem by Farzana 7P

Blue + Yellow = a blooming flower
Me – You = an abandoned soul silently drowning in a sky of grey
Dog + Cat = screeches of hate
Teacher + Failed homework = clammy hands and beating heart
Love x Emptiness = a calamity caused by untouched feelings

Summing Me Up by Khadija 7L
The inverse of me is a Business Assistant
A fraction of me is talking nonstop
If I was a shape I would be a circle, because a circle doesn’t end, so for me that means I can talk nonstop!
If I was rounded up I would be the youngest mayor of Newham
If I was rounded down I would be the most arrogant and unsuccessful person
If I was the colour white then my grandma would be the colour black because our opinions don’t match.

Summing Me Up by Sathana 7P
Me + sister = enemies
Me – Chinese takeaway = nothing
Me x twelve = me
Me + vanilla cheesecake = heaven
Me = getting whatever I want = OMG

Me – sister = friends
Me + Chinese takeaway = something important
Me – vanilla cheesecake = hell
Me ÷ 12 = foetus
Me – getting whatever I want = what on earth is going on?!

(Special mention must also go to Thanha in 7L, who came up with the line “the probability of me and maths being good friends is just as likely as a zombie apocalypse happening in 5 minutes time.”

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Year 4 Students Win Poetry Slam

I am delighted to report that the group of Year 4 students with whom I recently worked at St John's Walham Green Primary School, Fulham, won 'Best Performance' at the Verse vs Verse poetry slam, organised by Eastside Educational Trust. They should be very proud of themselves! Here is their fantastic poem:

A Piece of Respect St Johns
Be respectful, don’t bully
Be respectful, don’t be silly!
It’s not good, it’s not nice
So don’t even dare to roll the dice!

I am a victim, you spit in my face
Being a big disgrace
Punching my belly whilst I eat jelly
Punching my nose, kicking my toes
I don’t like this at all!


I am a bully, I don’t care
I’m being mean and pulling hair
I am a bully, you can’t stop me
‘Cause I’m everywhere don’t you see?
I am a bully, I enjoy what I do
I’ve got my target and today it’s you!


What are you doing? Don’t do that!
You know why and I’ll tell you that
It’s not nice to be mean
It’s not nice to be rude
It’s not nice to punch and slap
It’s not nice to kick or imitate
It’s not nice to be a bully
Because people will get quite upset! 


Well if you won’t listen
You’ll have problems in life
You’re really annoying and ruining my life
It doesn’t matter ‘cause I don’t care
Shut up or I’ll get my knife!