As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve just taken part in my first poetry-in-schools session, with Moqapi, the poet that I’ve been teamed up with. I was a little apprehensive, not least because Moqapi is very laid back (horizontal!) and I am a bit more of a …er..planner… and I didn’t feel that we were 100% prepared for 2 hours with a class of lively 6 and 7 year olds!
I needn’t have worried. It was great. Moqapi, who is a Rastafarian dub poet, (he chants and sings all his poetry without a script), had them all a) in hysterics and b) eating out of his hand within about five minutes. He even had them up at the front of the class doing a Haka at one point!
I felt a bit staid and boring in comparison! But luckily we had a break between Moqapi’s ‘warm up’ session and my slightly more convention stuff.
I read a couple of my children’s poems out and some ‘kennings’ (riddle poems) and then I got them to write an ‘acrostic’ poem using the first letters of their name.
I showed them mine, as an example (despite a suggestion of ‘heavy?’ from the back of the class for my initial letter, I stuck with ‘happy’!) and it looked like this:
E – energetic
L – lively
E – excited
N – noisy
And then they were off, making up their own (it was hard luck on ‘Christopher’ and ‘Charlotte’, who had lots of letters to find adjectives for and not so difficult for ‘Owen’ and ‘Erin’!).
And at the end, every single one of them stood up and read out their ‘poem’. I was impressed, they seemed to enjoy it, the teachers seemed happy, so we’re back this week for another session…! Now I’ve got to put my thinking cap on and come up with more fun stuff to get them interested in poetry and words.