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Young Writers Inspires Local Pupils With Sponsored Poetry Workshop

Date Posted: 15/01/2015 | Category: Workshop

On Wednesday 14th January, we hosted our first sponsored poetry workshop in our local community. This means that Young Writers paid for a local poet to visit a local school for a morning to work with classes and get pupils motivated and enthused to write poetry. We’re delighted to say our first workshop was a huge success!

Werrington Primary School accepted our offer of a sponsored workshop run by the fantastic Mark Grist.

6A and 6C were chosen to take part, each class having an hour with Mark to participate in his ‘Originality and Metaphors’ workshop.

The workshop began with Mark introducing himself and performing his Board Games Rap to the pupils, asking them beforehand if they could count how many games were mentioned in the rap – this was a great ice-breaking exercise and Mark kept his record of no one being able to guess correctly!

The workshop progressed with the children being asked if they could explain what originality was and Mark giving examples, before the class went on to write in just one minute a boring, unoriginal list of things they’d done that morning. Next pupils had 2 minutes to write a list of things they wish they had done that morning instead, with originality being the key. This is where imaginations went into overdrive and the class fell silent except for the sound of pencils furiously scribbling down ideas. We all had a great time listening to one idea from each pupil. All of the ideas were just brilliant and here are a few of the gems offered up...

“I wish I could destroy the front of every left shoe”
“I wish I could go to Hawaii and learn to hula dance with all of Hollyoaks”
“I wish I could cut a panda’s hair”
“I wish I could jump over the Grand Canyon on a pogo stick”
“I wish I was on Jeremy Kyle” 
“I wish I had an invisible toothbrush”
“I wish I had a snout and could sumo-wrestle a pig”

We’re sure you’ll agree the pupils certainly had understood the concept of being original!

The final exercise was how to write metaphors. Mark gave the pupils the start of a sentence, which they had to finish with an original metaphor and then write a follow up sentence to complement it. This was repeated with several sentence-starters, and in-between pupils shared the metaphors they had written. From sincere to funny, the pupils explored a range of emotions and imagery in each metaphor and each child produced a poem in the workshop. The classroom was buzzing with excitement and enthusiasm, pupils of all abilities were involved, sharing their ideas, clearly enjoying the tasks Mark had set, it was a pleasure to witness.

Mrs Arling, Literacy Co-Ordinator at Werrington Primary School commented:  “Mark was brilliant, the children were inspired to write – children we never expected. I will be recommending Mark at the English Co-Ordinator meeting, he was such an inspiration.”

Young Writers sponsored poetry workshops is a new community-based project for 2015 and only available to schools in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. Workshops are available for both KS2 and KS3. If your school is interested in taking part, please ask your Literacy Co-Ordinator or Head of English to get in touch.

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