National Poetry day is on the 4th October 2018 and the theme this year is Change.
To get you ready for this, LGfL are hosting a special Poetry themed Reading zone Live with Zaro Weil on the 3rd October 2018 at 2:30 pm. Zaro Weil is and has been a lot of things: dancer, poet, novelist, theatre director, performer, teacher, publisher, historian, and a few more as well. Her latest book Firecrackers contains 101 poems, rhymes, raps, haiku’s, ballads, little plays, fairy tales and tall tales which pulse with excitement and wonder. It is a book where experience is turned upside-down: questions are answered, tomorrow is yesterday, and tears are laughter. Every page invites the reader in to an enticing world where concepts, language and rhythms conspire to spark imagination. You can read an interview with Zaro here.
We would love you to join in with this event and there are a number of ways you can do this:
- If you have access to Video conferencing (VC) facilities you can link with the live event by e mailing email@example.com
- If you do not have access to VC, you can e mail questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can watch the event live from 2:25 pm on the 27th September here
- Tweet us before and during the event using the hashtag #RZL to @LGfL.
To tie in with National Poetry Day we are also launching our brand new resource Poetry Workshop with Cath Howe, the resource is part of our popular ReadingZone Live resource featuring 40 authors. Poetry Workshop offers strategies for developing creative poetry activities with primary children, suggestions for learning poems by heart and then performing them.
Special-guest material features award winning poet Joseph Coelho. There are five pages of tips for exploring and sharing poetry, learning poems by heart, performing poems, prompts to use when writing poetry and tips for learning poetry by heart. Each page features a teaching point as well as short videos.
There are a number of resources that can be used to help you plan and deliver lessons on or before National Poetry day based around the theme of Change from the National Poetry day website:
- Read or perform a poem – there are a selection of poems on the National Poetry day website that can get your class inspired.
- To tie in with National Poetry day a special competition with Hamish Hamilton, publishers of The Lost Words, has been launched. The Lost Words is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, it captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages and fascinates children. There are signed copies to be won plus £100s worth of books for your school library. The competition is open to children in two age groups: 7-9 and 10-12. You can find out more and enter here.
- Poems grow from poems, says poet Kate Clanchy, who has created this wonderful activity to inspire new poems. Why not have a go, in class.
- Posters to put up in class or around school and on your website to highlight the fact that you are supporting National Poetry day.
- Use this form to sign up for packs of printed materials – Please note it’s first come, first served and National Poetry Day partners at Browns Books for Students are also distributing materials.
- Lesson plans for KS 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 from the National Poetry day website to get you started, including a toolkit full of ideas and inspirations.
You can also join the UK’s biggest classroom at 2pm on National Poetry Day, Thursday 4th October, at bbc.com/livelessons. Featuring poetry reading, performances, and critical analysis of similes and metaphor, this free interactive show will broadcast live into schools across the UK. It will be led by award-winning performance poet, author and National Poetry Day ambassador Joseph Coelho, (who also features on LGfL Reading Zone Live you can see his interviews before the day here) and BBC presenter and author Katie Thistleton.
Using poetry from the National Poetry Day anthology Poetry for a Change, children will discover how intonation, volume and speed can affect the delivery and performance of a poem and use their imaginations to contribute to a mass Live Lessons poem.
Inspired by the National Poetry Day theme ‘Change’, the programme will encourage children to consider how they experience change in their everyday lives and how they can bring this theme to the poetry they read, write and perform.This lesson is aimed at Key Stage 2 and 2nd Level students.
BBC Teach Live Lessons bring the curriculum to life with leading experts and access to the BBC’s biggest brands and talent. The Poetry Live Lesson is one of a series of eight new half hour interactive webcasts for schools. Find out more at bbc.com/livelessons and follow @BBC_Teach for regular updates on all upcoming Live Lessons.
LGfL also have a range of resources to support you in teaching National Poetry Day
- Use Perform a Poem from LGfL to get tips on performing poems including resources for teachers. Teachers can find clips to help with performances, tips to get pupils writing poems, and information about filming and editing videos. As Michael Rosen states in the introduction of the resource – Poetry is the sound of words in your ears, it’s the look of poets in motion and that can be you. Make your poems sing, whisper, shout and float. Let the words make the rhythm and give the viewers a buzz to see you.
- Reading Zone Live also features the poet Roger Stevens who founded and runs the award-winning Poetry Zone website, which encourages children to write and publish their poetry and offers guidance and ideas for teachers on how to make the teaching of poetry fun and rewarding.
- You can also use image bank from LGfL to show children images of how London has changed over time for them to use as an inspiration to create their own poems and why not use BBC Sound effects to add different sounds to your poems.
- J2e Tool suite can be used for children to use any of the j2write tools to write their own poem on the theme of change and why not use j2 vote to get the children to vote for their favourite poem.
Poetry Roundabout is the go-to place to find anything and everything about poetry for young people. Poems do not have to be written specifically for young people to be accessible to them; content is however always suitable. This is a place of fun poetry, interesting poetry, lyrical poetry, poems in all different forms and shapes and sizes! Visit for interviews with the best children’s poets, poetry news, how to write poems, poems of course, and poetry book reviews… and more besides! For teachers, young people’s poets, and poets who are young people!