It was a short week in poetry. On the first day my good friend, author Di Bates arranged a session of Poetry Games. The kids were very motivated to join in and grab points for their team - for group effort, individual brilliance and things that 'took the judge's ear'.
At the start Di outlined the games and asked who thought it sounded a bit boring. Some of the boys put up their hand and the challenge was accepted. The hour passed quickly and when Di announced the last reading out of poetry with 'who has something they are so excited about they just have to be the last person to read', every one of those 'I'll be bored' boys was waving their hands to be chosen. We all had heaps of fun - poets and judges alike.
On the second day I introduced Poems that Tell Stories and our second 'old dead' Poet of the Day, Banjo Patterson. We looked at the stories in narrative poems through different media - Waltzing Matilda listening to Slim Dusty sing and watching a music video and The Man From Snowy River read to selected sections from the movie.
For a third option I added The Highwayman, a favorite of mine and better suited to those who (like me!) like their poetry with a bit of action, blood and romance. The medium was a paper theatre telling by ten-year-old students (same age as the class) in the UK. The kids immediately wanted to create a paper theatre poem of their own.
Then we drew a comic strip of a selected poem - a fourth medium to demonstrate story from poetry.
We revisited The Highwayman searching out metaphors, allieration, onamatapoieas, refrain, end rhyme and similes. Then we wrote our own narrative poems and edited them using some of the techniques we learned in earlier lessons.
And the verdict so far: Some poetry is boring but a lot of it is fun.