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Teaching Strategies

Short, structured tasks clear targets for boys!

Talk! when pupils involved in activities that lead them to discuss, question, clarify and write
about course content, they foster better retention of the subject matter, helping expand pupils
thinking abilities. Helping to encourage pupils to talk about the nature of their reading voices, it
should assist pupils in acquiring the vocabulary to describe accent, tone and pitch which could
help to further articulate their affective impact on themselves as listeners.
In most discussion of literature, teachers control the floor, typically returning to the teacher
after each pupil turn (tend to be question and answer sessions). Such a pattern characteristic
of recitation rather than conversation.
Discussion boys seem more likely than girls to compete for the conversational floor (Hutchby
and Wooffitt, 1998). Manifestations of greater tendency towards exploratory talk actions that
show engagement!
Teacher should jump in to discussion to point things out e.g. contradiction. Be wary of offering
negative judgements!
Major purpose of discussion should be to provoke thought rather than to check childrens
comprehension or their use of poetic techniques.
Lockward (1994) some teachers and poets see memorisation not as an affliction but a valuable
exercise. It is a form of ownership.
Haliburton and Smith (1911) first appeal of a true poem is its resonance to our personal acts.
This is how every poem should be taught, not an over-analysis as this may prove fatal to pupils
love of a good poem.

Teaching Strategies

Stibbs (1981) teachers encourage poetry by writing it themselves unless teachers do that
they are tailors dummies in a nudist colony bad manners!
Overly didactic teaching methods may have a negative effect on pupils attitudes.
The range of poems studied tends to be limited too many poems considered a lack of
significant challenge by the pupils. Make own personal anthology of poems, continually
Quality of poem important should demonstrate a variety of expression so that children have
the opportunity to reflect on poets intonation, emphasis, pace, breathiness, volume and
Distinct English lessons/relevant knowledge, skills and understanding can be integrated into
cross-curricular work.
Brownjohn (1994): 2 principles for poetic encounters in the classroom: children should have the
opportunity to enjoy playing with language; need practice manipulating words, to feel in control
of them rather than letting them have control.
Song enhances pupils ability to articulate the effect of vocal play in voiced poems.
Moyer (1982) Repeated readings may seem like a punishment, it can be boring for older
readers. This is why the use of poetry is ideal with its comparatively short text, fun subject
matter and easy match with strategy of repeated reading. Mastery of a short poem can help
pupils feel confident and successful. This can be in conjunction with fluency success through
tutoring and corrective feedback.
Components of repeated readings: listening while reading; assisted reading and modelling.
Introduce a poem based on pupils current reading level.

Teaching Strategies
Failure to adopt a more creative approach to poetry makes it vulnerable to becoming a
packaged commodity (Hennessy and McNamara, 2011).
Danger classrooms become sterile, devoid of human character, warmth and individual
personality. A teachers individual character is key in constructing an atmosphere of fruitful
teaching and learning.
Conceptual space for children to explore ideas, take risks, experiment, problem solve and share
Meaningful environmental print can support, direct, affect childrens dispositions as well as
appropriate resources, enabling them to reflect and sustain their interest in poetry. An ethos
that encourages children to push the boundaries in learning, investigate new possibilities and
be fearless in their creations.
Poetry bags bag labelled with a theme, full of objects to inspire.
Ofsted (2007) importance of role poetry as children can demonstrate the use of high quality
language and its importance in giving meaning to experiences.
Characters in the poem can be explored with children. If there isnt much description of
characters, encourage the children to use their imagination to support understanding of the
text. Children can think beyond the text, creating character profiles for the different people in
the story, write descriptions of how the characters may look/choose wanted posters.
Setting can be explored with children. May be linked to an art lesson.
Through exploration of rhyming patterns, children can be encouraged to use the poem to

Teaching Strategies
Mixed ability groups fuel discussion. Encourage the children to fuel their own opinions about
the poems. Children share responses with the group. Teacher can make notes for speaking and
listening assessment.
Intervention groups often receive watered down reading instruction, causing those children to
be less engaged with text.
An atmosphere of trust and mutual support vital for pupils to progress.


Can make work transparent and fun

Can serve as a vehicle to connect teachers and pupils outside of the classroom setting.
Expectation learning today to be electronically connected wide range of text types now!
Can help reveal misconceptions may not otherwise discover!
Over emphasis on the presentational aspects can distract pupils from the real value of the word
processor as an editing tool. It can enable writers to make an unmake decisions about structure,
line length, word choice and word order in an instant.
Important children can make connections between reading and writing processes and are aware
of the particular opportunities which the PC offers.
Dauite (1983) word processor allows pupils to keep up with their thoughts as they write. The
immediate experiment with new word combinations/to reorganise texts can make the idea of
drafting much less of a daunting process. It is though by no means fool proof.

Play audio recordings of poems to their classes to create opportunities for them to respond.
Interpreted and transformed according to a variety of variables.
Teacher should take into account how the gender of the recorded voice to be heard by pupils could
have a significant effect on the meaning constructed by pupils, especially as the majority of
primary school teachers are predominantly female.
Byrom (1998) audio resources can play a helpful role in the engagement and learning of lower
attaining pupils.
Needs to be a shift away from thinking to considering enjoyment of sounds. Listening a lower
means to a higher end!
Newsom (DES, 1963) and Bullock (DES 1975) reports championed the use of audio resources but to
no avail.
Quality of heard voice important for 2 reasons: motivation; materially. Teachers need to be aware of
the impact of their own voices.
Impression teachers do not feel entirely at ease with supporting pupils listening to poetry it is a
novel experience and not normalised in class routines/teacher repertoires.
Pupils need training to listen teachers who havent engaged much in this activity will mean
neither have they.

Using video with pupils to record their poetry and performances.
Show children videos of poems such as the one below:

Overhead Projector

Invaluable tool which can make the drafting of a text much more of a shared experience.
Ensure you use a large font size and avoid cramming too much text
Using different coloured pens/highlighters can be very helpful
Drafts can be annotated and changed very quickly
Can be used during the plenary
Can be saved.

Visiting Poet
Bringing a poet into the classroom is the ultimate way of breathing life into the process of
writing poetry.
Can leave a long lasting impact on pupils perceptions of poetry must be properly planned!
Educational visits excellent opportunities!
Cross curricular list of potential venues endless!
Diversity of locations which can stimulate new writing (poetry places scheme, 1998-2000)

uppets/Marionettes Link to Dra

Puppetry is a way for pupils to become engaged in a holistic creative process.

Personal characteristics
Can use puppets to describe feelings link to emotive poetry?
Used for different purposes e.g. assessment and diagnosis. Can be meaningful and engaging!
Can take on the role of the teacher e.g. informing, questioning, organising, managing, etc. a
puppet that is curious, uncertain, misguided, confused captivating for children.
Meets the needs of all learners! . Same kind of learning opportunities for all children
Culminating act of performance to encompass more broadly the cognitive, kinaesthetic,
aesthetic and communicative processes that pupils exercise during performance study.
Often used with children with SEN.
Children can retell poems using their own voices, thoughts and ideas. Leave poem open inspire
a childs creativity!
Can help to build pupils understanding of the interrelation of reading, writing, speaking and
Develops reading confidence for narrative and non-native speakers of a language, increases
comprehension and meaningful strategy use.
Pupils less inclined to appeal for help with unfamiliar words used a variety of strategies to
figure them out.
So motivated use writing to develop scripts become enthusiastic authors once they had
puppets in need of play (children normally have a hard time coming up with ideas). When pupils
enjoy reading and analysing the poems put effort in to the puppet plays.
Play childs natural medium of self-expression. Take it seriously! Play a catalyst for positive

Puppets Link to Drama!

Recent emphasis on high quality, pupil dialogue. Engaging and motivating children challenge
for teachers. Children are keen to talk and explore alternative suggestions can generate ideas
for the puppet. children take misconceptions puppet gives seriously do their best to explain
how they can be solved. children often talk in dialogic ways explain and justify their ideas.
Impacts greater on those who talk the least. Proportion of teacher talk reduced. Children give
greater explanations to puppets compared to teachers.
A sense of dialogue which ideas are challenged and built upon, respectful acceptance of
responses, teacher acting as facilitator and high level of engagement. children make gains in
Teachers successful in generating a classroom and discussion culture that was supportive,
collective and reciprocal. Found it more difficult to generate purposeful and cumulative talk
(Alexander, 2008).
Teacher confidence an important element if a teacher suspends disbelief, pupils nearly always
do! Need to do wholeheartedly to make a positive impact.
Few teachers use puppets.
Learning through doing!
Expands childrens use of vocabulary.
Reading theatre meaningful opportunity to practice and strengthen literacy abilities. Wolfe
1993; 4 valuable tool for negotiating text, building status and interpreting text. Highly focused
on text and language simplicity ideal for classroom. Meaningful, motivational, purposeful!
Importance of process rereading known texts, reading for fluency with expression and reading

Engages children in many aspects of the reading process in meaningful and active ways.
Performance invite children to assume roles, voice stories and insights, dialogue with others
meeting speaking and listening.
Invites pupils to act, imagine, embody, feel and shape their way into a deeper knowledge of

Rhyming games. This can help children to become more familiar with words, increasing their
vocabulary as it can help to make the links clear between oracy and literacy through onset and

Oral Performance
Good for boys an activity they welcome! Careful they dont dominate! Communicative and
expressive arts can be seen as feminine!
Differences in reaction according to gender. Boys appear to express themselves with greater
physical animation and more overt mimicry.
Some boys performance work can be seen as a source of anxiety and tension.
Tongue twisters stumbling is the point, as this kind of fun is highly motivating.
The character of recorded reading may be important to pupils response, especially motivation
and engagement.

Reading Poetry
Successful readers bring with them many complex skills as they interact with text: fluently access
it; constantly construct meanings as they read; infer further meaning from contextual
Fluency essential aspect of social nature of reading. Provides many benefits to reader. To
prevent word recognition problems, pupils should follow print discourse.
Most poems are short encourages readers of all levels of proficiency to read many of them.
Children who had been reluctant to read prose aloud more commonly frequently volunteer to
read shorter passages that typify most poetry.
Doesnt take long for pupils to be captivated by allure of poetry. It can be a rewarding and
enjoyable experience. Appeals to the fondness children have for rhyme and rhythm. Teachers
should nurture childrens
Poetry salient facet of the reading curriculum
Carefully chosen poems should be read aloud in class should encourage: optimal listening;
secure the learners interest; stress meaningful content so that the reading makes sense to them;
understanding of the purpose for reading; intrinsic motivation for people to do more reading of
diverse kinds of poems (refer to poetry forms section); learners to enjoy reading activities;
listeners in wanting to write poems; learners to perceive relationships between reading and
writing (as theyre inextricably linked); feeling and the aesthetics of poems; stimulation, of
wanting to learn more about creatie uses of words and language (Gunning, 2000)
Boring experiences must be avoided in reading poetry (refer to teaching strategies).
Model the correct stress, pitch and juncture. Having own spontaneous reactions gives children a

Reading Poetry
Second reading should involve pupils in the read aloud. Rereading good so long as pupils
remain interested in the poetry selection. Unknown and unrecognised words may then be
mastered. May be followed by discussion in small groups.
Poetry is meant to be said out loud. It can become a powerful tool for early literacy as it contains
language used in beautiful forms which children can easily wrap around their tongues and play
with its sounds.
Readers tend to focus on different aspects of a poem during different readings.
DES (1988) pupils have an ear for language, hearing poetry first can be a thoroughly enjoyable
experience. Can manifest in repetition of details, physical animation and sustained engagement
in subsequent discussion.
Domaille and Edwards (2006) student teachers identify their strengths as readers.
Graham and Kelly (1997) reading requires knowledge of how language works semantically and
syntactically. This is acquired through social interaction with culture and the world.
Bars and Brown (1990) shared and guided reading perfect for immersion activities.
Pennac (2006) rights of the readers of poetry books: right not to read from beginning to end but
dip in; right to read and reread; right to read them aloud; right to learn them by heart; right to
read anything considered to be poetry; right to finish a poetry book if you dont like it.

Writing Poetry
Integrates well with different purposes in writing.
Pupils should practice writing the particular kind of poem after it has been introduced as they
will have gained the prerequisite experiences in which to do so.
Poets make use of imagery in writing. 2 kinds: similes make for creative comparisons;
alliteration 2 or more words in sequence with the same beginning sound, adding novelty and
originality. (refer to poetic features). Children should observe it, hear and enjoy it.
Onomatopoeia inherent part of a poem pupils may brainstorm these and use selected ones
to use in their written poems.
Use of displays teachers should be drawn to the ideas contained on displays, as a motivator.
Poems may be written by children to indicate what they have learned (refer to assessment).
Benefits of encouraging learners to write poetry: discovery; power and release; grace. These are
all based on the tenet children are natural poets.
Yates (2007) free writing writers produce works they havent anticipated.
Goal is development of individual personal voices through poetry writing Obied (2007);
Schwalb (2006).
Teachers are committed to encouraging pupils to use poetry writing as part of their self
Prefigure the needs of the writer (personal growth model) whilst recognising the need to scaffold
(Wood, Bruner and Ross, 1976)
Pupils rarely engage in extended writing digital communication is now a deeply embedded
cultural practice where reading is privileged over writing.

Writing Poetry
Ability to write needs the experience of reading as it helps to provide models of the function,
structure and power of written texts.
Implicit resonance with identification of needs (Maslow, 1954 self actualisation) learners need
psychological safety, which can occur when the writer has a strong self of own authorial voice
and feels empowered to make choices about the type of writing they do and as such be
innovative with their use of written language. Teachers need to create personalised spaces for
writing and recognise these may be different for different children. When a novice writers ideas
repeatedly fail to be afforded with a more powerful other this can cause damage to self-esteem
which may cause a long term reluctance to write.
Specific conditions required by writers: sufficient time to think and plan; use of mind mapping;
elicit memories and organise thought.
Pullman (2002) critical of over emphasis on planning.
In order to progress in writing children must demonstrate an ability to use adjectives. Careful not
to over-exaggerate the use of them as children use them to make their writing more interesting.
Teachers are aware of the need for different kinds of thinking to come into play at different parts
of the poetry writing process discipline is required for advancement of skills in poetry writing.
Wilson (2010) importance of risk taking and experimentation in poetry writing foregrounds
the need of the writer ahead of the reader.
Faigley (1994) poetic writing which appears to reflect the processes of the creative imagination
is deliberately arranged to seem spontaneous. Expressive writing should contain integrity,
spontaneity and originality which should not be subject to scrutiny.

Writing Poetry

Wilson (2010) poetry is a fertile space which affords teachers the opportunity to test their
different beliefs and values as well as pedagogical approaches.
School teachers expected to demonstrate proficiency as writers.
Those charged with developing childrens writing need to have a secure knowledge of the
syntactic and textual features of the text types they will be teaching, they also require
knowledge of the processes of composition.
Teachers have a moral obligation to write themselves, should keep their own folder in the
classroom along with their pupils.
Teachers of writing need to be creative, process knowledge of processes and composition and
have a familiarity with different textual structures (includes generation of ideas and their
translation into the meaningful text as well as the ability to review and revise). This process is
recursive rather than linear/sequential.
Graves (1994) only writers should be allowed to teach writing because writers alone
understand the circumstances of creation. Gordimer (2013) to be a writer is likened to a
voyage of discovery, a prerequisite of teachers. Sarmiento and Vasqez (2010) through writing
teachers gain a better sense of whom they are and gain insights into their writing selvs.
Aharonian (2008) concern pupils achievements in writing lag behind achievement in reading.
Teacher insider knowledge as writers has a positive impact on pupils achievement.
Positioning student teachers as writers and support for their writing can enable self-efficacy to
be developed, a subjective view of ones competence.
Ofsted (2009) found weaknesses in lessons. The technical aspects of writing were overemphasised where knowledge was privileged over practice in writing. Teachers lacked

Writing Poetry

Stannard and Huxford (2007) writing pedagogy in England has been neglected. Ofsted (2009)
clear need to reinvigorate the teaching of writing.
1 possible reason a tendency to privilege reading over writing. This is accompanied by a
privilege of reading for pleasure but rarely engaging in writing for pleasure (Peel, 2000; Cremin,
Domaille and Edwards (2006) rare student teachers identify their strengths as writers.
Bailey (2002) teachers adhere to the demonstration of discrete skills in their teaching of
writing. They need therefore a confident understanding of childrens writing development and a
clear rationale for writing pedagogy.
Andrews (2008) tenets to teach writing: write; pupils should respond to one anothers writing;
teacher should act as a writer alongside pupils and be prepared to undertake the same tasks;
best teacher of writing another teacher of writing; the various processes need to be mapped and
practiced: pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, conferencing and publishing.
Wenger (1998) the teaching of writing is a social activity where each writer is supported by
their peers in a community of practice.
1 size fits all teaching method inappropriate due to individualistic nature of written composition
and its recursive process.
Best writing comes from those who have experienced high quality models of text and engage
with their meaning.
Guided writing provides a means to step up intensity of collaboration between writers and
assists children in becoming more confident managers of narrative.
DfES (2005) 1 of the key issues in teaching writing is motivating boys. Its been suggested that

Writing Poetry

Graves 1981/3 writers rent their pieces and their teachers own them. Writing could begin with
unconscious rehearsal e.g. notes.
Neglection of the prewriting stages can significantly diminish pupils understanding of the writing
Graves 1983 advocated the modelling of writing, helping teachers to understand their own
writing and developed a community of spirit among the writers in the class. Urges teachers to
use simple, straightforward approaches including active listening and demonstration enabling
young writers to make sense of the unpredictable and often complex nature of their writing.
Provide regular opportunities to write poetry, can help make it possible to build a stronger
picture of childrens strengths and writing habits.
Hull recommends building in time to share their drafts as a pair or small group. Used models of
poems in classroom. Imitating a model can be a creative process and a strategy for guiding
young writers into a literary culture in which writing is created within the context of other
writing. Need not be directly linked but produced after a period of absorption. Flexibility is
essential if writers are genuinely develop.
Myhill (1986) poetry writing classrooms are sites of risk taking outside the bounds of the
conventional classroom. Pupils are given the freedom to choose their subjects and styles,
developing young writers confidence to make choices about styles and forms is essential if
children are to learn to be creative for themselves rather than imitate creators.
Devoting too much time and energy to heavily directed planning is something poetry teachers
need to be wary of e.g. an extensive array of diagrams, planning charts and writing frames as
the creative process could be stifled. Need to give careful consideration to an individuals


Response partner.
Peer feedback
Association between teacher-pupil feedback and pupil attributions.
Self assessment
Write poems to indicate to teacher what they have learned, linking this back to the success
criteria at the start of the lesson (WILF poem).
Academic self-concept needs to be taken into consideration.
It is so personal it seems almost intrusive to be over critical. Teachers comfortable with
intervening and supporting pupils during the drafting process but were anxious not to be
Negative emotions towards the idea of formally assessing poetry.
Flexibility and freedom in accepting interpretations and responses desirable but could bring
about difficulties in marking and assessment.
Comprehension and assessment seem to dominate over reading and response which will lead to
a reduced pleasure in texts and adversely influence childrens desire to read.
Andrews (1991) poetry is notoriously hard to assess.
Assessment frameworks give considerable status to the written mode.
Not the easiest medium to measure progress.
Hourd 1949 accept all of the pupils writings rather than make them.
Driver 1977 creative writing should take heed of assessment meaures if its not to be simply self
expression. A poem should be assessed in relation to the writer, not simply in success related to

Need for consideration of contexts as well as the cognitive and affective processes used by the
developing writer
A regular assessment dialogue should take place with pupils.
Black (1998) formative assessment should offer guidance about the ways pupils might progress
in learning, linked to a clear conception of the curriculum and its learning goals.
Use the model poem as an assessment tool.
Sainsbury (2009) teachers are working within a high stakes assessment environment where the
context is driven by notion of accountability.
Corrective feedback
Planning a final piece of work e.g. performance of poems is a rich means to assess childrens
understanding of the genre as well as a number of other key assessments.
Making the time to notice childrens poetry writing extremely difficult!
Provide regular opportunities to write poetry, can help make it possible to build a stronger picture
of childrens strengths and writing habits.