Pupils need to envisage a scene or preferably be provided with a stimulus in the form of a photograph, picture, painting, a paragraph from a book/play or perhaps the view from their classroom window.
Focal poetry is simple in idea but can create very powerful and technical pieces of poetry.
To begin the poem your pupils need to generally describe the whole scene they have been presented with, or chosen, and provide their first impressions of what they can see.
Main Teaching Activity
Within their scene they need to decide on one focal point that will eventually be the important focus of their piece.
From them setting their scene they need to gradually hone into their chosen focal point as if viewing the subject through a zoom lens.
The idea behind focal poetry is to encourage your pupils to describe what they see and learn to build up interest and the readerís expectations. These newly acquired skills can then be applied to other areas of creative writing.
Also a number of poetic techniques can be used within focal poetry such as rhyme, rhythm, tone, lyric, metaphors, similes and onomatopoeia to mention but a few. Key words to use somewhere within their description is a way to enhance vocabulary and make the poetry writing a further challenge.
Example Focal Poem
Here is an example of focal poetry, inspired by using a stimulus of M C Escherís painting ĎBond In Unioní.
United In Bonds
Silence, only sight prevails
Intertwining souls unite in a fluid motion
No eye contact, just touch
Floating in a sea of black
Bubbles surround them amidst the darkness
Reflecting light, reminds me of stars
Although united, separated too
His eyes lost
His mind a fury of bubbles
Escaped through his thoughts
Left empty; alone
Yet united in bonds.