Chris Thompson's innovative approach to Creative EducationFind out about the exciting Scribing Technique. Downloadable Resources providedInteractive approaches to Story telling and downloadable resourcesIdeas for drama in the classroom with all age groupsStory telling and Magic shows for all agesDemonstration sessions, workshops for teachers, and more

An on-going creative writing programme
intergenerational projects
Supporting the SESE curriculum
Supporting the SESE curriculum
a cultural diversity project
A collaborative novel
Plays For the Backstage
Word Pictures
A Scribing Project
Children's writing
Creative Writing Galleries
Using role-play to inspire creative writing
Poetry Resources for Teachers

Scribing poetry
Downloadable resources

A 20 minute demonstration film
on poetry making for teachers

Poetry gallery
Examples of children's work

Poetry by the Shannon
A favourite project

I have always enjoyed teaching poetry. For me, poetry could be described as painting pictures with words. But like a good painting, poetry requires a good eye for composition and structure just like painting a picture. Poetry is energised language where every word used has its own colour tone to be blended and shaded tocreate the desired effect. Poetry is not about rhyme, although rhyme can be effective.
Given the right environment, children can create spectacular poetry.
I give poetry workshops in schools and libraries on a regular basis. A few years ago, I organised poetry festivals in several locations, based on poetry workshops in schools in several counties.
I found that children were enthusiastic about poetry and even the youngest could produce creditable results by any standard. I can offer a few tips although it is easier to demonstrate than to talk about.
  • Children need to hear a wide variety of appropriate, entertaining and varied poems on a regular basis. Fortunately there are now some excellent anthologies available. Rhythm and structure tend to be absorbed as much as taught.
  • Rythmn is far more important than rhyme. Encouraging children to rhyme their poetry can oftern be counter-productive to poetry making
  • Giving children poetry with clear and simple structures, e.g. cinquains, haikus, accrostics is very helpful. This way children do not have to concentrate on structure and content at the same time.
  • Not all poetry has to be written down.Creating poems by linking descriptive pieces orally and recording them on tape or mini-disc is equally valid.
  • A highly visual presentation is very effective. Find unusual ways to present the finished poem. (see Countdown for example)