Jumpstart! Poetry: Games and Activities for Ages 7-12

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<ul><li><p>JUMPSTART!POETRY</p></li><li><p>The Jumpstart! books contain quick-fire ideas that could beused as warm-ups and starters as well as possibly extendedinto lessons. There are more than 100 provocative games andactivities for Key Stage 1, 2 or 3 classrooms. Practical, easy-to-do and vastly entertaining, the jumpstarts will appeal tobusy teachers in any primary or Key Stage 3 classroom.</p><p>Also available in the series:</p><p>Jumpstart! CreativityGames and Activities for Ages 714078-0-415-43273-7Steve Bowkett</p><p>Jumpstart! ICTICT Activities and Games for Ages 714978-1-84312-465-8John Taylor</p><p>Jumpstart! LiteracyGames and Activities for Ages 714978-1-84312-102-2Pie Corbett</p><p>Jumpstart! NumeracyMaths Activities and Games for Ages 514978-1-84312-264-7John Taylor</p><p>Forthcoming:</p><p>Jumpstart! StorymakingGames and Activities for Ages 712978-0-415-46686-8Pie Corbett</p></li><li><p>JUMPSTART!POETRY</p><p>GAMES AND ACTIVITIES FOR AGES 712</p><p>Pie Corbett</p></li><li><p>First published 2008by Routledge2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RNSimultaneously published in the USA and Canadaby Routledge270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016</p><p> 2008 Pie CorbettNote: The right of Pie Corbett to be identified as the author of this workhas been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs andPatents Act 1988.Every effort has been made to contact and acknowledge copyright owners,but the author and publishers would be pleased to have any errors oromissions brought to their attention so that corrections may be publishedat a later printing.All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproducedor utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means,now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording,or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission inwriting from the publishers.</p><p>British Library Cataloguing in Publication DataA catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication DataCorbett, Pie.Jumpstart! Poetry: games and activities for ages 712 / Pie Corbett.p. cm.</p><p>ISBN 978-0-415-46708-7 (pbk.)1. PoetryStudy and teaching (Elementary) 2. PoetryAuthorshipStudyand teaching (Elementary) [1. Games.] I. Title.LB1576.C7183 2008372.64dc22</p><p>2008018505</p><p>ISBN 10: 0-415-46708-7 (pbk)ISBN 13: 978-0-415-46708-7 (pbk)</p><p>This edition published in the Taylor &amp; Francis e-Library, 2008.</p><p>To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor &amp; Francis or Routledgescollection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk.</p><p>ISBN 0-203-88339-X Master e-book ISBN</p><p>Routledge is an imprint of theT aylor &amp; Francis Group, an informa business</p></li><li><p>Contents</p><p>Acknowledgements viii</p><p>Introduction ix</p><p>1 Ideas for developing a poetry climate in 1schools and classrooms</p><p>2 Poetry reading games and activities 5</p><p>3 Poetry warm-up games 24</p><p>4 Poetry writing games 43</p><p>5 Reading workshop ideas 90</p><p>6 Writing workshop ideas 100</p><p>7 Shakespeare rules 155</p><p>8 Poetry slams 164</p><p>9 Using the images 167</p><p>10 Ideas for publishing and performances 173</p><p>Appendices 175</p><p>Bibliography 180</p></li><li><p>Where there is no vision, the people perish.Proverbs 29:18</p></li><li><p>For Melanie inspiring teacher of writing and art</p></li><li><p>Acknowledgements</p><p>Many of these activities have been developed over the yearswith different classes and teachers and I would like to givecredit to all those teachers and children who have assisted inhelping me to develop ideas, especially the poet Brian Moses.The reading games are obviously influenced by the work ofLunzer and Gardeners DARTS (Directed Activites Related toTexts). However, the games are also influenced by theSurrealists and Dadaists, who enjoyed playing poetry games,as well as more recent poetry activities mainly developed inAmerica by writers such as William Burroughs, Brion Gysinand the school of poetics that appropriate, innovate or defineprocedures for creating newways of looking at language forinstance, writers such as John Cage, Ted Berrigan, RonPadgett and Jackson Mac Low.Writing ideas are influenced by the educational writings ofboth Ted Hughes and Kenneth Koch. Two sides of the poetrycoin that I have attempted to bring together. My own interestin poetry writing was kindled by the influence of theLiverpool Poets whose poems entered my imaginative worldand made me believe and want to write my own poems.Some of these ideas have appeared on the Everybody Writeswebsite (http://www.everybodywrites.org.uk/), courtesy ofthe National Book Trust. The main ideas were explored in aseries of conferences organized with the National LiteracyTrust and the Basic Skills Agency. Many of the ideas formedpart of the National Primary Strategy Talk for Writinginitiative, involving every primary school. I would also like tothank the children whose examples I have used, especiallythose from Chalford Primary. All examples and models areby myself, unless otherwise accredited.</p><p>viii</p></li><li><p>Introduction</p><p>THE POETS CHARM</p><p>By the slim pencil,By the tender writing,By the blank page,Come to life.</p><p>By the point of the nib,By the dark writing,By the loping rhythm,Come to life.</p><p>Katya, 7 yrs</p><p>Children write best about what they know, what matters andwhat amuses the mind. They should love writing and if theydo not enjoy words then they will never become comfortablewith writing. The aim of Jumpstart! Poetry is to build up abank of ideas that can be drawn upon when teaching poetrybut also at other times to provide a source for creative writingthat children will relish.</p><p>Childrens writing is influenced by their reading. Manychildren are familiar with the cheerful collections of poetry inthe My Dad smells like a wet dog vein of bums and bogies.Whilst this may capture interest, a creative classroom willneed to plunge deeper, richer and broader to provide apowerful bank of language possibilities and poeticinclinations. Avid readers internalize a sense of what iselegantly constructed, playfully, powerfully and surprisinglywritten. Techniques may be encountered but, more</p><p>ix</p></li><li><p>importantly, a sense of what poems can do poems can lie,imagine, pretend, comment, describe, question, command,defy, wonder, riddle, contrast, personify, even speak to tigers!Reading poetry aloud and performing poems are of keyimportance in helping children love poetry, as well asbuilding themselves a repertoire to draw upon. The danger ofa content heavy national curriculum is that we end uphopping from one thing to another like a shallow streamdimpling on its way. . . as we dip and weave through anoverloaded curriculum.</p><p>At the heart of creative writing lies experience real andimagined. Something worth writing about a focus thatintrigues, that demands language used in a special way. Yearsago, I took some town children to a youth hostel. At night wewent outside. They stood and stared at the Moon. It was acrisp, autumn night and the Moon was full and silvery white.Somehow, just saying we saw theMoon and it was big wouldnot do the experience justice. It demanded language to beused in a special way to communicate the enormity, the silverylight, the ghostly eye and the crisp pinch of darkness.</p><p>Recently, I was running a day-long workshop for able writers.We had been looking at some photographs of bees on theinteractive whiteboard. They were taken close up so that theeyes bulged. A ten year old boy began his poem like this:</p><p>Cloudy petals lie, drowsy, sleeping.</p><p>Pollen rests, consciousof its fragile beauty.</p><p>How is it that he, probably unconsciously, selected the wordscloudy and drowsy, creating an internal echo where theslow, soft vowel sounds pillow the sentence? And then hefollowed this with sleeping where the ee slows the linefurther? Not surprisingly, he reads. Perhaps his reading hashelped him acquire a sensitive ear so that he can hear whethera line works or not. He can make judgements. Of course, if</p><p>x</p><p>Jumpstart! Poetry</p></li><li><p>you havent read beautiful writing then it is impossible towrite beautifully or know when you have written powerfully.</p><p>And what are we to make of a 10-year-old boy who writespollen rests, conscious of its fragile beauty? Or who ends hispoem with an extended metaphor:</p><p>Cloudy petals lie, drowsy, sleeping.</p><p>Pollen rests, consciousof its fragile beauty.</p><p>Delicate wings dream dormant frozenin the chilling wind.</p><p>Legs weak like the strokeof a fine meandering brush.</p><p>Glaring eyes powerfully dartin all directions staring,wondering.</p><p>The beeis a master of disguise,</p><p>hiding in the autumn brownof a fragile leaf,</p><p>camouflaging himselfin the gold of the sleeping pollen,</p><p>secretly lying in the coverof blossoming flowers.</p><p>It made me wonder how a boy like this will fare whenpresented with SATs or the new idea of testing when childrenare ready. Surely writing of this order suggests a sensitivitytowards language, the ability to observe, feel and celebratethe essence of experience. It is a far stretch from being askedto write a police report about an accident that neverhappened!</p><p>xi</p><p>Introduction</p></li><li><p>So, this little book is about involving children as creativewriters. It might be worth them keeping a writing journal anddeveloping the habit of collecting words and noticing ideas,jotting down phrases and lines that might prove useful. Goodideas, snippets from the games and whole poems should bestored in their journal. They need to become word-searchersas well as being observers of the world. Writers are good atlooking; they notice the details that suggest something deeper,the details that illuminate. They are also attuned to wordchoices that illuminate and surprise the reader. The results ofquick writing games may be worth storing so that lines orimages may be plundered when children are writing at length.</p><p>Providing interesting writing tasks is essential to motivatingchildren. To strengthen childrens imagination, you have toenter into a place close to their own sense of excitement.Whilst much of their writing can be based on using realexperiences, they should also spend plenty of time playingwith words and ideas. Many of the writing games in this bookinvolve learning that language is the material for creating andcan be moved around to fashion all sorts of new andfascinating combinations.</p><p>I wonder if many boys ignore writing because the tasks arelifeless and the writing leads nowhere. It stays trapped insidean exercise book with the teacher spitting from the margins.Perhaps too much writing that boys encounter is concernedwith whole texts rather than short-burst creative tasks. Boysare minimalists and poetic writing often suits their sense offun and creativity. Modern technology has made it so easy topublish posters, booklets and anthologies let alone creatingblogs, web sites or multimedia texts with sound, video,images and writing. Publishing in various formats should bea regular part of the creative classroom we create tocommunicate. Publishing is a potent force that focuseschildren on the need to write effectively.</p><p>This book is a collection of ideas gathered over 35 years ofinvolvement in writing and teaching poetry. In the main, they</p><p>xii</p><p>Jumpstart! Poetry</p></li><li><p>are intended as quick-fire warm-ups to fire the brain into acreative mood for reading or writing. These sorts of linguisticgymnastics help establish an atmosphere and prepare theground for in-depth reading, writing and performance. Ofcourse, some may become extended into a whole session.Good writing does not always arrive fully formed but thenuggets from these games can be stored away for future use.These activities are part of limbering up and may sometimesgenerate something which may be useful elsewhere. Thereare multi-sensory games to develop the imagination, practisetechniques, generate creative thinking, to stimulate thewriting of poems as well as reading games and workshops.</p><p>I do think that it would be very interesting to see what wouldhappen to a childs writing if they had to write a quick-firepoetry idea every day for a year say ten minutes writingdaily. The golfer Gary Player said, The more I practise, theluckier I get. Pianists practise scales, weight-lifters go to thegym. Surely, if children are to get lucky and become good atwriting they should be involved in the daily tussle withwords. The creative writing workshop is about hands on the business of crafting language and ideas.</p><p>A good poetry idea should help the children feel excited aboutwriting and enable them to think of what to write. Agood ideais both an invitation as well as a catalyst. This may need somescaffolding making lists, brainstorming ideas and plenty ofhaving a go together to create a class example. Alongsidethis, it is worth bearing in mind the advice of the Americanpoet Kenneth Koch when he said, about working withchildren, perhaps the most important thing to do, I found, isto be positive about everything. It is sad that this simple ideais so rare in our world of tests, data and league tables wheremost writing is used to reveal a childs ignorance or at best isaccomplished to determine a level of attainment.</p><p>The ideas should act as catalysts that generate thinking andlanguage play. Other ideas should be allowed to creep in andgatecrash the party. Soon you will develop an eye for poems</p><p>xiii</p><p>Introduction</p></li><li><p>that suggest a writing idea or a line that lends itself toinnovation or a game for playing with words. Add to thispoetic storehouse and keep sharing with other teachers.</p><p>A final note: For simplicitys sake, the poems I mention arefound in the anthology, The Works: Poems for Key Stage 2(2006), published by Macmillan Childrens Books, edited bymyself. In this book, I specifically collected poems that Iwould want to use with children from 7 through to about 12years old. Many are classic workshop poems ideal as astimulus to writing or with sufficient depth for sustainingreading.</p><p>Jumpstart! Poetry</p></li><li><p>CHAPTER 1</p><p>Ideas for developing a poetryclimate in schools andclassrooms</p><p>Children love reading, writing and performing poetry. It isessential to our well-being because it focuses uponcreativity. . . and creativity matters, especially for those withchaotic lives. It is worth remembering that the opposite ofcreation is destruction. It seems an obvious idea to work outwhich poets are going to become the main focus for teachingwith a poet a term. This means that the children becomefamiliar with a range of poets over time. For instance:</p><p>Year Group Poets</p><p>Year 3 June CrebinJames CarterMichael Rosen</p><p>Year 4 Charles CausleyAlan AhlbergJan Dean</p><p>Year 5 Valerie BloomBrian MosesKit Wright</p><p>Year 6 Ted HughesWilliam BlakeJudith Nichols</p><p>1</p></li><li><p>Year 7 Roger McGoughJackie KayCarol Ann Duffy</p><p>Year 8 Brian PattenMatthew SweeneyGrace Nicols</p><p>Year 9 Philip GrossJohn AgardHelen Dunmore</p><p>RHYME OF THE WEEK</p><p>At key stage 1 children need to learn a bank of nursery,traditional and action rhymes. Many picture books rhyme(Each Peach Pear Plum) and there are a few key poems such asThe Owl and the Pussy Cat that should be learned andperformed. Poetry at key stage 1 should be a daily occurrenceand this is achieved by establishing a poem of the week. It isworth remembering that there is a strong link between successin reading and experience...</p></li></ul>

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