UK’s National Poetry Day is usually the first Thursday in October, but this year it has been brought forward by a week to 28th September 2017.
The theme this year is: FREEDOM
If you are lesson planning, there are a lot of free resources for teachers on the National Poetry Day Website, including lesson plans, tool kits and posters.
The change of week and the theme, Freedom, has been chosen because of working closely with the Hull City of Culture and the BBC this year. In 2015, I visited Thorseby Primary School, in Hull, for 3 days and they had Freedom as a theme then too. If you would like to read more about what we did over that period, I’ve written about it here.
If you’d like me to visit your school for poetry performance and workshops around National Poetry Day, please feel free to contact me.
The new chalk board theme
My webmaster, Karen, has given my website a new look. This website is hosted on WordPress.com. There are lots of themes to choose from. We decided this one was fun, casual and flexible (just like me!) and had a sort of link to schools. Although I bet there aren’t any classrooms in the schools that I visit that still have a chalk board. The reason for the change was to make the site work better on mobile phones and other devices. I hope you like it. Please do let me know what you think.
The old Koi theme that wasn’t responsive to mobile
A warm welcome from Moorside Primary School, Swinton
I know World Book Day is just one day, but it turns into a whole week of celebrations in many schools, and for me. That’s a great thing. I was in a different school each day of the week and met so many wonderful students and staff, and many dressed as characters from books.
One thing I am finding more frequently now when I visit a school is that the day’s events are captured in images and video and tweeted before I even get home. Here are some examples.
Many thanks for such great week to all of the staff and students at Hunslet Carr Primary School (Leeds), St Joseph’s RC Primary (Bolton), Christ Church CofE Primary School (Oldham), St Wildrid’s Primary School (Sheffield) and Moorside Primary School (Swinton).
“Thank you so much for such a wonderful day. The children, staff and parents really enjoyed it and I was impressed with the poetry the children created in such a short amount of time.” Vicky Sherrington, St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Bolton
“We loved every minute, thanks so much – we’re all officially inspired.” Rachel Robinson, Moorside Primary School, Swinton.
World Poetry Day (21 March each year) celebrates and promotes the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry worldwide. The day was declared an official observance day by UNESCO in 1999. But as many countries already had established traditional National Poetry Day’s around October time, this worldwide celebration receives very little publicity in those countries, including the UK. (Actually this year National Poetry day has been moved to 28 September in UK). I say, the more poetry days, the merrier.
“Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings.”
“Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.” (UNESCO website)
You could celebrate World Poetry Day in your school by learning about poems from different cultures, including from pupils’ own cultures. Or investigate different forms of poem, such as the Japanese Haiku or the Arabic Ruba’i.
Here are some teaching resources online that you may find useful:
I’m fully booked for the week of World Book Day, but do have availability after that if anyone wants a poet to liven up a school day.
For those of you looking for some activity ideas for World Book Day, I came across this poster on Twitter of 20 Bright Ideas.
This is part of the resource pack for primary schools available on the World Book Day website here: http://www.worldbookday.com/resources/primary/
I hope you all have a great World Book Day and ‘do something booky’!
Image Credit: the first photo in this post is shared by Creative Commons CC-BY-SA licence on flickr by Hans Splinter at https://flic.kr/p/2qqrc
2017 is the 20th year of World Book Day. It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.
I’ve had some great visits to schools over the years in the week of World Book Day. Last year I visited seven schools just before and during World Book Day Week, mostly in Manchester where I am based. I blogged about it here.
It is always fun to see how teachers and students dress up as characters from their favourite stories. Such as the teachers from Albrough Primary School in 2015 (read more) and Oldfield Primary School, gosh was that one really 2012? (Read more).
Aldbrough Primary School
Oldfield Primary School
There is still time to book me for sometime around World Book Day. For an idea of how a day of poetry workshops can work in a school see here. If you are interested, please contact me to check availability and cost.
What ever you do, I hope it is something booky!
It’s the day to
be a contender
and go the distance
It’s the day to
face the foe
toe to toe
It’s the day to
bob and weave
and float like a butterfly
It’s the day to
you don’t have a glass jaw
It’s the day to
roll with the punches
and not be out for the count
It’s not the day to
and throw in the towel
As it’s Apple Day, I’ve had apples on my mind. Apple Day (21 October every year) was launched by Common Ground in 1990 to celebrate the wide variety of apples and to contemplate the risks of losing the diversity of this wonderful fruit. Apples feature richly in our culture from the temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden to the temptation to buy the latest smartphone. These are my thoughts in poetry form.
Apple Thoughts On Apple Day
Lots of people
We’re tempted by the shiny skin
and the lively taste
that lies within.
And we adore the humble apple
and in pies.
When I see an innocent apple
hanging from a tree
I make a wish that no mishap’ll
In my day,
when young people
wanted to experiment with alcohol
they opted for cider.
Do they still?
As a teenage kid
I never did.
I preferred beer.
I’m picturing a billionaire businessman
in a shiny green appleskin suit
sitting behind a desk
in the Big Apple,
apple juice running down his chin
as he bites into a big red one.
The Beatles christened
their company and record label Apple.
I remember ‘Hey Jude’
revolving on the turntable
and watching the Apple logo
go round and round.
by the way,
is nothing to do with computers.
whose livelihood/ business
Is it bonkers
to be bananas
Two great days at Hollin Primary School this week. Thanks everyone. Nicely captured in the twittersphere:
Mostly, when I visit a school, I spend a whole day and work with all year groups, spending a little time with each, having kicked things off with a performance to the whole school. However, on Friday, linked to National Poetry Day, I had the pleasure of spending half a day with just one class at Chorlton CofE Primary School in Manchester – Miss Lowe’s year 3 class. This meant a more concentrated experience for the students in that class.
I performed to the class reading some poems from my books, some with guitar, and then answered their questions about being a poet. After that we wrote a poem about their school all together, with guitar accompaniment. Then I gave them some suggestions so they could write their own individual poems, which every child did. At the end of the session each child performed their poem to the rest of the class. All of this before lunch time! A very successful literacy lesson.
Thank you Year 3 and Miss Lowe for your enthusiasm and creativity. I hope this experience has nurtured a confidence with poetry which will stay for every day.