Budding poets in Year 8 have had the opportunity to put their thinking skills and creative talents to work creating Silhouette/ Shape poems as part of the Year 8 English Poetry Module. This module forms part of the English Department’s progressive approach to poetry in Key Stage Three, preparing the students for the critical approaches to poetry which are essential at GCSE level and, hopefully, fostering in the students a love of reading poetry for pleasure. The Year 8 students began their exploration of poetry by “playing with words”: identifying different types of word-play poems from the selection in their textbook, Touchstones. This led to the creation of individual silhouette/shape poems in the IT suites: using a digital watermark in the Word program combined with their own creative descriptions of a variety of objects. In the resulting poems the students demonstrated a high level of proficiency in their manipulation of not only the words on the page, but also of the words within poems to create meaning. A selection of the poems is currently displayed on the notice-board in the English Department corridor *.
The Year 8 students are at present writing Haiku: short poems of three lines containing seventeen syllables which originated in Japan. In coming lessons they will be: exploring the sound effects of alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia; learning how to annotate a poem; using simile and metaphor as comparison techniques and discovering how to use rhyming couplets as they write their own modern versions of some traditional ballads. The English teachers are delighted with the combination of enthusiasm and creative imagination apparent in the Year 8 poetry classes; this augers well for the concluding lesson in the Poetry Module – an X-Factor Poetry competition where each class will get to select the best poems written by their fellow students.
* Keep watching the English corridor notice-board as the English Teachers will shortly get an opportunity to share their creative writing skills, and some very early photographs of themselves, in a Match the Teacher to the Writing competition.