Conversation Poems Part 2

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By Kevin McCann — freelance writer and former teacher

Three more interactive poetry writing frames. ‘The Martians’, is based around the idea that Mars was once capable of supporting life. ‘Why are you so late?’ centres around creating imaginative excuses for being late for school. ‘In our house’, is based on the idea that, in families, people say one thing but mean another.


Shared learning and teaching

Level 1 – The Martians

  • Ask the children what they know about Mars. Look up information on the planet in books or on the internet. Collect words to describe the planet to use in the poem.
  • The frame uses simile and metaphor. Some preliminary oral or board work may be useful. Begin with a sentence (eg, The rain on the windows sounded like…) then ask for alternative endings. The endings can be as weird as you like but must work. For example: The rain on the windows sounded like claws scratching works, while: The rain on the windows sounded like a trumpet doesn’t!
  • The frame asks the children to imagine Mars as an inhabited planet. Point out that some of the latest photographic evidence suggests there may have been rivers and seas there in the past, and that if there was water it’s possible there was life. Explain that the children have to imagine they have seen Martians and are answering questions about them. Emphasise that there are no wrong answers, only possibly dull ones.
  • Scroll down and run through the whole frame structure before beginning to type in ideas.
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