This year I volunteered to teach English.  After being given an English class last year and spending an inordinate amount of time learning how to teach it and develop resources, (and creating a class blog to celebrate the students’ learning) I decided it was better to volunteer to teach English again rather than find myself with another new subject to learn.  In New Zealand it is the lot of an option subject teacher to have to be flexible; there will never be enough Spanish classes for me to have a full timetable so I have to make up my time with other subjects.  So, here I am with another English class.  The challenge is that last year I had an A band class, and this year I have a B band class.  There is not a lot of what I prepared last year that will work with my new class!  Never mind, I always like a challenge!

We have chosen, this year, to develop a cross-curricular approach to our Junior Programme.  Our first term theme is Globalisation so across four subjects in Year 9 we are trying teach the skills our students need under the umbrella of Globalisation.   English, Science, Social Studies and Maths.  Other subjects such as languages and the arts can choose to do so.

It is Week 6 and it is time for poetry.  I saw a neat link to “Tweetspeak Poetry” on Twitter last week and discovered the idea of Twitter Poems and Micropoetry.  This seemed to me to be perfect – the globalisation of the poem, disseminated across Twitter, published globally.  It also fitted my class of students who struggle to write but who have awesome ideas.

We started off discussing in groups and I asked them, “What is poetry?” This is the mindmap they come up with. I loved the suggestion that poetry is “something that paints a picture in the reader’s mind”.

what is poetry

So that got me thinking and I came up with this activity.  The girls really engaged with the task and some of them rose to the challenge of writing poems that drew their peers towards one photo but then revealed the real one in the final line! Using only 140 characters for the TwitterPoems was a challenge and there is still some work to do on these but I think they did a really neat job.  They loved reading them out for each other and were proud of their writing.  Can you work out which poems describe which photos?

four images in a collage, top left is graffitti on a wall, top right is a butterfly feeding on a pink camellia, bottom left is a sunset over the ocean, bottom right is a view of a cathedral and old city walls.Bright colours glistening
Floating in the summer breeze
Life full with beauty

Fluorescent Colours
Exploring perfect flowers
so small and fragile

The day was old,
the clouds were flowing over the
tall elegant brick buildings
as the wind blows the trees lightly

Sun begins ascent.
Red rays dance into ocean
The waves start to stir

Sunset’s reflection
He with brushes and paint
the ocean he creates

Empty hallways full of gloomy darkness. Brick walls are faded brown stones. At the bottom no one hears the prisoners yelling for help to get out. The view is outstandingly beautiful. The windows are as old as a bristlecone tree. There are so many different parts you get lost. This place is so old it has become abandoned.

Shimmering Sunrise
Over the horizon and
Over Golden sand


Colours spiral around like the waves in the sea
Eyes stare at me like a tiger surrounding its prey.
Colours play with my mind and pull me into a mysterious world.

Enchanting ocean
Shimmering beautifully
Night’s song soon begins

Colours mix in wind
glooming bright sky shining down
flowing in a bowl

Blue sky hovering over head
white bubbles floating in the wind
Crunchy grains underneath my soles
hair flying in the Lord’s CO2

Leave a Reply