Anti-Bullying Week: All Different, All Equal

13th-17th November 2017 is Anti-Bullying Week #AntiBullyingWeek #AllDifferentAllEqual

Poetry is a great way to get young people thinking and talking about the issues and feelings linked to bullying and friendship in a positive and fun way. I’m looking forward to doing poetry workshops at Summerville Primary School in Salford on Thursday 16th November as part of our Patron of Reading relationship. We’ll be reading and writing some poems on this theme.

Anti-Bullying Resources

There are loads of great resources for lessons and activities in school on the theme of anti-bullying for this special week and throughout the year here: http://www.actionwork.com/bullyingresources.html

I’ve listed more resources at the bottom of this post.

A Poem

Below is a poem of mine from “Brilliant” that was also included in an anthology of poems compiled by Brian Moses, “Best of Enemies, Best of Friends” (2011). Even though right on topic, that book is hard to get hold of now. There is a new book due to come out January 2018, “The Same Inside: Poems about Empathy and Friendship” by Liz Brownlee, Roger Stevens and Matt Goodfellow.

I wish I was a robot

When robots are fighting
they don’t feel pain.
They bash one another
again and again.

They clang when they clash
They rattle and crunch.
Have head-on collisions
and don’t stop for lunch.

I wish I was like them
then I’d suffer no pain
when punched and kicked
and punched again.

If I was a robot
I could cope with a lot.
If I was a robot.
But, sadly, I’m not.

The Effect Of Poetry

When children are being bullied they cannot always put their feelings into words. Reading and writing poetry helps them to articulate those feelings. It can help by making them realise that others have felt the same way too. It also can help bullies to have more empathy to change their behaviour.

Even where there are no issues of bullying in your school, focussing on positive messages of what being a good friend is all about is also a great thing to do.  Here is a popular poem of mine, “Best Friends”, in video format:

Odd Socks Day: Monday 13th November

As part of Anti-Bullying Week, on the first day, (Monday 13th November) the organisers are asking schools across the country to hold an ‘Odd Socks Day for Anti-Bullying Week’.

Aimed at early years and primary school children, the day encourages young children to wear odd socks for the day, celebrating their uniqueness. Odd Socks Day is designed to be fun! It’s an opportunity for children to express themselves and appreciate individuality. There is no pressure on the children to wear the latest fashion or for parents to buy expensive costumes. All they have to do to take part is wear odd socks to school, it couldn’t be simpler!

More info: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/63635-anti-bullying-week-2017

Other Poetry Resources on Bullying and Friendship Theme

  1. A downloadable poem by Brian Moses about friendship taken from “Best of Enemies, Best of Friends”. Also included: information about bullying, teaching notes, class discussion activities and worksheets to use in English and PSHE. https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/bullying-and-friendship-6085881 (requires logon to download)
  2. 7 Poems on the Theme of Bullying https://nobullying.com/poems-about-bullying/
  3. Article about catharsis for kids reading or writing poems about bullying by having their feelings articulated http://nobullying.com/bullying-and-poetry/
  4. ‘The Bully’ poem poster from https://education.scholastic.co.uk/resources/7720 (requires logon)
  5. ‘I’ll be there for you’ anti-bullying poem poster from https://education.scholastic.co.uk/resources/60709 (requires logon)

Poster available from https://education.scholastic.co.uk/resources/7720Anti-bulying poem poster available from https://education.scholastic.co.uk/resources/60709

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Valentine’s Day is coming: quotes, thoughts and poetry about LOVE

It’s that time of year when a poet is called to write about Love.

“Now no discourse, except it be of Love”
– Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona

“Love’s language starts, stops starts;
the right words flowing or clotting in the heart.”
– from Syntax by Carol Ann Duffy

“All You Need Is Love”
– The Beatles

“My room, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever:
I was wrong”
– from Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden

Ooh! I Think You’re Wonderful by Bernard Young

You’re the wings on my aeroplane
You’re the strings on my guitar
You’re the star in my night-sky
You’re the garage for my car

You’re the answer to my question
You’re the pen that writes my line
You’re the spring in my onion
You’re the tingle down my spine

You’re the zipper on my jacket
You’re the ketchup on my chips
You’re the method in my madness
You’re the promise on my lips

You’re the headline in my paper
You’re all my favourite smells
You’re the last piece in my jigsaw
Oops! Sorry, I thought you were someone else

A Watery Poem for National Poetry Day (3 October 2013)

In preparation for National Poetry Day, my friend, Karen, has recorded me reading one of my poems, Puddles in the Playground from Double Talk, and turned it into a video, and here it is.

National Poetry Day 3 October 2013

National Poetry Day is an annual event.  This year the theme is Water.

If you’re a teacher, there are resources available to help you think about what you could be doing with your class or school here: http://www.forwardartsfoundation.org/national-poetry-day/resources/lesson-plans/

Also information on the Poetry Society’s website here: http://www.poetrysociety.org.uk/content/info/npd/

Of course the way to really bring your lessons alive is to book a poet for the day.

Here’s a rondel from my book Wanted Alive, also available with a picture on blipfoto.com.

Something To Look Forward To

Someday the sun will shine.
We’ll step out and not get wet.
One day, but not just yet,
the weather will be fine.

That day will be yours and mine.
We’ll sunbathe. Joyfully sweat.
Someday the sun will shine.
We’ll step out and not get wet.

So don’t grumble. Don’t whine.
Don’t lose hope. Don’t fret.
Things will get better. You bet.

Look for an omen. A sign.
Someday the sun will shine.
We’ll step out and not get wet.

Best Friends on YouTube

Absent on Youtube