My first lesson ever with my new year 10 class was at the worst time possible – last period on Friday of the first week back at school. Our topic? Poetry (OK, the topic is consumerism, but the text form is poetry). I knew that I couldn’t stand up and talk at the kids, or even get them to do a writing task. Why? I’m the new teacher, they’re in year 10, you work it out. So, I went for a hands on hook lesson.
I’ve done a similar lesson to this before with year 7 last year. I had the students work on a range of poetry-related activities for 5 minutes, then move to the next ‘station’. This time I added a couple of new activities, relevant to the age and skill level of my new students. Below is a list of the activities:
– What is poetry?
Students had to work in their small team to come up with a detailed analogy for poetry. They recorded this on a piece of A3 paper.
– Lego Poetry
Students wrote micro poems using a box of Lego where each brick has a different word on it – I used BrickStix for this, which you can buy online.
– Poetic Terms
In teams, students brainstormed and recorded all the poetic devices they knew and wrote examples of each.
– Instant Poetry
Using the iPad app, ‘Instant Poetry 2’, students wrote poems and matched them to a background. The poems were saved to a gallery. This is like digital magnetic poetry – hard but fun.
– Blackout Poetry
This is where students take a photocopy of an existing written text and a black marker and create a poem. I gave my students pages from James Paul Gee’s book ‘The Anti-Education Era’. Fun!
– Post-It Poetry
I took a very short famous poem (Emily Dickinson’s ‘If I can stop one heart from breaking’) and wrote each word on a Post-It. I then put these out in a random order, and the students had to try to put the poem back together!
Needless to say, the lesson was noisy but fun. It was great getting to know my students by the way the engaged with the tasks, and with each other. Also, it was nice seeing the furniture in the classroom being moved around so the desks weren’t all facing the front. I’m really looking forward to learning with this class, I think they’re going to be high spirited and engaged. Lucky me!