Young Writers, social media
Young Writers
Young Writers

Feedback Form

Click here if you would like to add a comment.

Thank For your Feedback


The Poetry Games: Truth or Dare?

Lesson Plan for KS3/4

Enter The Poetry Games Today!

Get published, win prizes!

Mini Saga Lesson Plan

Lesson Intention

  • This activity is a great way to engage your students with poetry writing by finding a subject that appeals to them. The aim is for students to express their views and opinions using nothing but words. When your students are interested in what they are, writing about and have freedom with their writing style, their poems pack more of a punch!


  • Photocopy the student planning sheet / entry form (one copy per student) or download / order them from our website
  • Watch the fun video that introduces the competition to your students
  • Download the free presentation that complements this activity
  • Ensure students have access to the Internet, if you use the research ideas we’ve provided in this lesson plan
  • Resources can be downloaded / ordered for free at

Introduction (Slide 2)

Explain that today students are going to enter The Poetry Games, where there are two teams, Team Truth and Team Dare. By completing this fun activity students will learn which team they are most suited to. Assure students, it’s just a bit of fun, they are welcome to choose which team appeals to them the most.

Activity Name Slide Reference Activity Details
How The Poetry Games: Truth or Dare Works... 3-4

Students will pick to write a poem for either Team Truth or Team Dare ‐ will they write from the heart, reveal a secret or share their thoughts and emotions or will they opt for Team Dare and speak up, ask a question, voice an opinion or fight for what they believe in? What or who will inspire their poem? Show them the video to introduce the activity.

How to Pick a Team 5-13

Ask students to call out words they associate with poetry. It is likely words such as boring, old-fashioned, romantic, rhyming and formal will pop up.

Show them our fun poetry ideas on the presentation:

  1. Did you know poetry is very similar to hip hop ‐ both use alliteration, rhythm, rhyme and imagery?
  2. Have you seen any spoken word videos? Try Dizraeli, Scroobius Pip, Hollie McNish, Mark Grist or Kate Tempest, we promise this will change your perception of poetry!
  3. Your favourite band / brand / sport / celebrity... There will be a poem about it somewhere online ‐ why not research your favourite thing / person? When you find a poem you can relate to, it makes poetry much more fun and interesting!
  4. Free verse is fun to write ‐ there are no rules! You can structure the verse(s) how you like, play with language and poetic techniques as you wish!
  5. There’s nothing wrong with a poetic form ‐ yes they are challenging but you can pick anything to write about, choose a subject you are interested in and you’ll enjoy writing poetry much more!

Ask your students to pick one of the ideas and research it for 20 minutes. Bring the class back together and split into groups based on which idea they have chosen to research. Ask students to have a quick discussion about what they discovered and if their perception of poetry has changed. Can they now see that poetry can be fun and relevant?!

Next, ask your students if they have an idea of what they’d like to write about. Encourage them to choose something they are passionate about. If they need some help show them the ideas in the presentation:

Theme / Subject Ideas 14-18
  • Current Affairs
  • Education
  • Society
  • Politics
  • Youth
  • Environment
  • Bullying
  • Social Media
  • War

One of the many great things about The Poetry Games: Truth or Dare? is that it’s about the poet’s perception of what they are writing about. Two students could write about the same subject, e.g. bullying, but one be in Team Truth and the other in Team Dare. Once they have chosen their subject your students then need to consider the attributes of either team and decide which one they are writing for:

Team Truth - Ideas

  • What’s it like being you?
  • What or who do you love?
  • Share your hopes, dreams and ambitions
  • Reveal a secret
  • Release your emotions

Team Dare - Ideas

  • Speak up, put yourself out there!
  • Ask a question
  • Be different
  • Voice an opinion
  • Fight for what you believe in
  • Challenge yourself

Show the examples in our presentation, should you wish to.

Choosing a Team & Theme 19‐20

Ask your students, as a class, to suggest ideas for Team Truth and for Team Dare. What will inspire them to write? Why do they think their theme fits the team they’ve suggested it for? Students then each need to choose whether they are Team Truth or Team Dare and the subject for their poem ‐ we suggest something they feel passionate about. We have suggested some ideas in the PowerPoint and in your teacher folder. From the natural world, youth and politics to current affairs, identity and equal rights, there’s lots of choice. Ask students to consider what really matters to them...

Composing a Poem 21

Once students are ready they can then draft their poem before writing up their final copy. You can provide your students with extra time for this section of the activity, should you wish to. Remind students to consider the poetic techniques ‐ how do they want the reader to feel? Are they going to use a rhyme scheme? What other poetic techniques are they going to use?

Plenary 22

Ask students to work in pairs or small groups and to read their poem to one another. Peers are to feed back something they like about the poem and how they think it could be improved.


  • Challenge more advanced students by asking them to include a set number of techniques to include in their poem or provide them with a poetic form to use alongside the techniques.
  • Less able students can work in pairs on their poem and focus on including one or two techniques.
  • Ask students to practise speaking their poems and then read them out to the rest of the class. This could be your own ‘The Poetry Games: Truth or Dare?’ ‐ which team will win the war of words in your classroom?
  • Ask students to edit their work.


  • This is an 80-minute activity. Alternatively, the introductory work can be done in class (approx. 55 minutes) and the poem can be written as homework.