Canterbury Festival Schools’ Poetry Competition ??Canterbury Festival and Wise Words Festival Schools’ Poetry Competition 2015 1 Canterbury Festival Schools’ Poetry Competition Teaching Resources for Primary Schools This Year’s Theme ... Reveal the rhyming words, and let the children know that in this poem there are half-rhymes. This is when words nearly rhyme, but not quite.
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Canterbury Festival and Wise Words Festival Schools Poetry Competition 2015 1
Canterbury Festival Schools Poetry Competition
Teaching Resources for Primary Schools
This Years Theme
The theme of the 2015 Canterbury Festival Schools Poetry Competition is Re-Write the
World. Encourage pupils to craft their own narratives of myths and legends, of origins, of
adventure and of mystery. This is their chance to re-write the world as we currently know it.
The following are just ideas and children shouldnt feel like they have to follow a certain
format: the more imaginative, creative and original, the better!
Re-Write the World Building a Narrative using Myths and Legends
Exercise 1: Paul Perros Collection of Childrens Poems-
Fabulous Features of Mythical Creatures
1. Read the following Paul Perro poems out loud. Then get the children to complete the tasks below.
A mythical creature
Or fabulous beast
Is one that does not
A dragon can breathe fire
And what he likes to do most,
Is use this remarkable talent
To make himself plenty of toast.
Mermaids have got fishs tails
They cannot walk at all.
Theyre good at water polo
But suck at basketball.
A Cyclops only has one eye,
Which means he cannot wink.
Every time he has a try
It turns into a blink. ,
Canterbury Festival and Wise Words Festival Schools Poetry Competition 2015 2
Medusas a grumpy woman
Youd best leave her alone.
Shes got snakes instead of hair
And can turn you into stone.
A centaur is half human, but
Has four legs, like a horse.
He doesnt say neigh,
And he doesnt eat hay,
But he loves sugar lumps, of course.
It isnt much fun being a troll
Living under a bridge.
He hasnt got a TV,
A sofa, bath, or fridge.
The kraken is a giant squid
That lives under the sea.
Sometimes when its hungry it has
Fish and ships for tea.
The hydras a giant snake with nine heads.
Can you imagine that?
And can you imagine how much it would cost,
If every head needed a hat?
2. A characteristic is a feature or quality belonging to a person e.g. big nose, long hair, friendly, mean. This could be a physical description or something about their personality. Write down
3. Then, write an acrostic poem with a few characteristics of a mythical creature. E.g. Medusa, unicorn, Cyclops, dragon.
Evil in her ways
Deadly in her cave
Snakes hiss on her head
Always avoid her stare!
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4. Pick a character from myths and legends, books, games or films, and make a timeline/plot out a day in their life. For example,
Hercules wakes up.
He has breakfast.
Then he arm-wrestles with a giant squid.
Next, he climbs a mountain.
After, he has dinner.
Next, he reads a book.
Then, he goes to bed.
5. Using this, write a poem about a day in their life. Include as much detail as you can, with lots of adjectives (describing words) and verbs (action words).
6. Re-Writing Canterbury Re-imaginings of Canterbury Landmarks
Show a small part of this clip (anywhere from 7 minutes onward) which is the street dance
group Diversity performing an act about toys coming to life after dark:
This is a great way of expressing this fun re-imagining! There are also movies and TV series with
the idea of things coming to life (for example Toy Story, Night at the Museum, the paintings in
Harry Potter, the animals in the Chronicles of Narnia and the shop mannequins in Doctor Who)
and paintings and poetry, like the ones below.
Source: Art by street artist Banksy. See here how he has cut the picture of the woman out and
placed her on the frame, outside the scene which suggests that she has come to life!
Canterbury Festival and Wise Words Festival Schools Poetry Competition 2015 4
by Shirlene Britstra
At the end of the hall under the stair
The toy boxsilentnear the old rocking chair.
The children tucked in, kissed goodnight,
Stories read, off with the light.
Sshh! Whats that faint stirring out there
At the end of the hall, near the old rocking chair?
Something magical, alls not what it seems,
Toys Alive? - perhaps its a dream!
Sshh! The witching hour, clocks chime,
Toys come out for play time!
All through the night, so much fun,
Then, once more quiet with the rising sun!
The Toys Playtime
by Tony Mitton
When we go to bed at the end of the day,
Our toys wake up and start to play.
They wait until were fast asleep,
Then THEY come alive and out they creep.
The ball goes bouncing. The doll does a dance.
The little ponies preen and prance.
The toy car roars across the room.
The rocket starts to take off: ZOOM!
The robot reads a picture book,
Then teddy comes and takes a look.
And all the time were sleeping tight,
The toys are playing through the night.
But when the sunlight warms our faces,
The toys sit quietly in their places.
They do not move. They make no noise.
You dont fool us, you naughty toys!
What mysterious goings-on can you think of? This could be in your house, in school, or somewhere
in the Canterbury District. For example the library, the Cathedral, the Beaney, Chaucer Tales
Canterbury Festival and Wise Words Festival Schools Poetry Competition 2015 5
Museum, Whitefriars, or the Turner Contemporary. Brainstorm ideas about this.
Children could use a spider diagram with one place in the centre, and their ideas around it or
simply jot down ideas.
Pick your favourite idea from this and use it to a write a short poem about a new local myth. What
happens in this myth? If something comes alive, what do they do? Remember to use lots of
adjectives (describing words). For example:
A monster lived in Canterbury Cathedral.
He had long black fur,
big green eyes
and hands as big as windows!
Everyone thought he was fearsome
and left him alone at night.
But this was when he enjoyed
playing with all the mice!
7. Re-Write the World: Origin Stories
Rudyard Kiplings Just So Stories described the origins of animal characteristics, documenting the
way the leopard got its spots, and how the whale got its throat, to name just a few.
Read the following poem by Michael Rosen, which describes the origins of broccoli:
Where Broccoli Comes From
Not many people know
that broccoli grows in the armpits
of very big green men
who live in the forest
and brave broccoli cutters
go deep into the forests
and they creep up on the
very big green men.
They wait for the
very big green men
to fall asleep
and the broccoli cutters
get out their
great big broccoli razors
and they shave the
of the very big green men.
Canterbury Festival and Wise Words Festival Schools Poetry Competition 2015 6
And thats where broccoli
Not many people know that.
Just thought Id let you know.
Also read Perros moon poem as a source.
Now, using the dice activity, lets create a poem about where things come from. The kookier the
- Get pupils to list some items/places e.g. socks, bananas, hats and number the items from 1 - 6
- Then list some creative ideas about where something comes from e.g. dungeons, secret caves,
space, Mars, under the sea., and number this list also from 1 - 6
- Roll a dice and the number you roll corresponds with an item from the first list.
- Roll again! This number corresponds to an origin on the second list.
- Now write an origin poem where the item you have been allocated comes from the location you
have picked! For example, a pupil could get socks and Mars, and would then have to write a poem
about how socks grew on Mars and were beamed down to Earth by aliens!
by Paul Perro
Once upon a time, years ago,
There were two boys called Neil and Buzz.
They were having an argument
And this is what it was.
"I think the moon's a giant face"
Said Neil. "Everybody agrees."
But Buzz said "No, Everyone knows
The moon is made of cheese!"
They argued on, "I'm right!" said Buzz
But Neil said "No you're not, I am!"
Eventually they decided
To ask their Uncle Sam.
So old uncle Sam listened to
The two young boys argue and shout,
And he said "My boys you must go
Up to the moon and find out!"
And old Uncle Sam decided
That he would help them, so,
He built the boys a rocket ship
And called it Apollo.
Canterbury Festival and Wise Words Festival Schools Poetry Competition 2015 7
The boys climbed into the rocket
And they turned on the ignition.
"Three, two, one,...blast-off!" they were off
On their lunar mission.
Up they went high into the sky
Up higher, and higher, and soon
They'd left the earth far far behind
And landed on the moon.
The boys climbed down from the rocket,
But the stairs were really quite steep.
Perhaps a small step for a man,
For boys, a giant leap.
Once on the moon they discovered
It was a cold and rocky place.
It was not made from cheese, and it
Was not a giant face.
"Well" said Buzz, quite disappointed,
"This is not a fun place at all.
I wish there was a cinema,
Golf course, or shopping mall."
They had a good look round the moon,
And took lots of photographs too.
They put up a flag, but then they
Ran out of things to do.
"I want to go back home" said Buzz,
And nodding, Neil said so did he.
They got back in Apollo and
Turned the ignition key.
The rocket took them back to Earth
A bit like in an aeroplane.
Space travel had been fun but they
Were glad to be home again.
9. Rhyming task. Not all poems need to rhyme, but this is a good way to write poems that are fun to read out loud.
Get the children to get their pencils and paper ready, and ask them to make a note on which
words they can hear that rhyme as you read the following poem out loud to them. Stress the
words in bold as these are words which rhyme. Included in this are half-rhymes too (see
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below for explanation)! You may decide that it is easier to ask your class to put up their
hands when they hear a rhyme instead of writing it down.
Clever Greeks by Paul Perro
The Ancient Greeks invented many things,
Like water mills, steam engines, and maps.
They founded democracy,
Drama and philosophy,
The Ancient Greeks were really clever chaps.
Astronomers from Greece worked out
The Earth goes round the sun.
It took hundreds of years before
Everyone else caught on.
The genius Archimedes once had
An idea that made him shout "Eureka"
He jumped out his bath, and ran down the path,
Then ran about naked like a streaker!
Another genius called Pythagoras
Once discovered a very famous sum.
This guy though, unlike the other fellow,
Did not show everyone his bum.
10. Reveal the rhyming words, and let the children know that in this poem there are half-rhymes. This is when words nearly rhyme, but not quite. Often, poets use words that sound
similar, with similar ending consonants. This does not exactly match the middle vowel
sounds. For example, sun and on, or democracy and philosophy.
11. Now write the following words on the whiteboard: cave, tale, world, space. Go through each word and ask the children to name words that rhyme with the original
words. Write them in a list under each original word.
12. Now, ask the children to write a poem using six of the rhyming words on the board. They can use any of the words they like. Ask for volunteers to read out their poems.
Pupils can use the exercises in the lesson to create poems to submit for the competition, or if
they want to create their own original poems based on their own myths and legends, thats
fine too! We look forward to receiving your entries!