Sunday 1 May 2016

How to use my poetry videos as starting points for writing

Here is the safest way to view my poetry videos, go to this site and scroll through them:

If you are a parent or teacher then obviously you don't have to 'do' anything with them other than watch them.

If you would like children to have a go at some writing in response to them, can I suggest that you do something like this:

(What follows is primarily in relation to free verse, freewheeling anecdotes and monologues. I'll do a separate blog on the rhyming poems)

These anecdote poems cover a range of emotions and events from the comic to the sad, angry to fun. For your own notes, you might want to think about what kinds of emotions and feelings you might be exploring with this kind of work.

In the class: suggest that 'we' could write "something like that". I know "something like that" is vague-sounding but it's also non-threatening and open-ended. This is important.

If you have a copy of the book the poem comes from, take a look at that too, as that turns what seems like a flow of speech into words on the page - the thing the children find the hardest.
It gives the children a chance to get to see how this stream of words looks on a page.

If you haven't got a copy of the book, say to the children that everything that Michael Rosen said on the video, he wrote down.
You can say, it's as if he talked with his pen and then speaks what he wrote.

So, you can say, how can we talk with our pens?

First step - is there anything Michael Rosen said that reminds us of anything that has happened to us?

Get the children to talk to each other sharing some stories and anecdotes sparked off by the poem/performance.

Share some of these in the whole class or group.

'Grab' one of these and get the child to tell the story again.

As the child talks, 'scribe' it in front of everyone on a board, or flipchart.

Try not to change anything that the child says.

Discuss whether this 'says' all that needs to be said, or whether there's anything that could be added or taken away that would make it more interesting?

If you have copies of any of my poems, you could put one up on the whiteboard to see how I lay out these out on the page. Is there anything there that might help? Perhaps, perhaps not. (No need to be rigid about this, or implying that this is how it must be done.)

Everyone then has a go at writing like this.

Keep sharing what people have written, projecting it up on the whiteboard, performing, starting a class blog, making booklets of 'Our Stories' or something like.