Poem and Activities Key Stage 2/3

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1 Poem and Activities Key Stage 2/3

2 Apples & Snakes is England s leading organisation for performance poetry. We aim to stretch the boundaries of poetry in education and performance by giving voice to a diverse range of challenging and dynamic poets.

3 This resource was created as part of the London 2012 FriendShip Schools Day Project, funded by Creative Partnerships London East in It contains four commissioned poems from some of Apples & Snakes most exciting artists, plus accompanying classroom activities providing ideas of how to extend the poems in the classroom and how to get your students writing. Each poet was commissioned to write a poem in response to these questions: Who will I be in 2012? What will London look like? What impact do I think the Olympics in London will have on me, and the city in which I live? Whilst the poems have been written with particular key stages in mind, feel free to use them as best suits the young people you are working with. Similarly the exercises are just pointers and can be adapted and used however you like. All the poems look at what the Olympics is and means, as well as what London is or might be like in In order to prepare the class before using these poems it would be useful to give some context to the idea of 2012 and London hosting the Olympics, what that means and what effect it could have. Lisa Mead, Apples & Snakes

4 Key Stage 2/3 Poem by Baden Prince Poem for 2012 It s Twenty-Oh-Five I m wondering what s in store for me Tower blocks look out on grey horizons and down on faded daydreams from Mile End to Peckham Dreams of flying like Flo-Jo and bending it like Beckham In the year Twenty-Twelve we ll see London change into OLYMPIC GAMES CITY Swinging, hip new OGC: Oh! Gee! See! Maybe but what will my future bring - Fame, fortune, success, all 3? I see me being my best wearing my pride in me like a medal on my chest as if I d broken the mould of poverty and despair beaten racism and fear Came up smelling roses and won solid gold - Another Ottey, Devers, or Moses Picture the look on my face as I pass all limitations of class and race People looking on will see not black or white or Asian but power and grace in combination I ll bury doubts in catacombs and stand tall, a champion like Kelly Holmes An all-seeing Cyclops like the London Eye I ll watch over my patch Not small and weak like a pet goldfish or sad, cold pond carp boundaries tightly drawn I ll represent a perfect blend of brain and brawn a match for even Teofilo Stevenson I ll be like a fighting pike swimming in the Thames a silver streak moving at warp speed in the pool, on court, on track stretching muscles and sinews like Ian Thorpe or Duncan Goodhew Me at my best My pride, like medals on my chest gleaming I ll break free in one mighty leap a new Bob Beamon I ll be the greatest, like Ali floating like a butterfly stinging like a bee In twenty-twelve that s what I want for me Baden Prince, 2005

5 Activities I m trying to do several things in this poem, all of them tied to its use in the classroom. I want the poem to be used as a basis for research and investigation, but also to stimulate and motivate children. I want children reading the poem or hearing it to pick up on the theme of pride in achievement, which is what the Olympics are (or should be) all about. Firstly, I ve littered the poem with the names of athletes and sporting figures, male and female, familiar and unfamiliar, past and present. I ve done this to stimulate their curiosity, to make them want to use the internet and the library to find out who these men and women were and are, and what they ve achieved. I m hoping that children will find inspiration in the stories of these and other athletes and sportsmen and women. I ve tried to do something similar with the language of the poem. I m hoping that children will react positively to some of the unfamiliar words and images, that these will stimulate curiosity and interest. I ve tried in various ways to describe that sense of pride, the feeling of doing and being one s best. By doing so, I hope to encourage children to aspire to something similar for themselves. I want them to think about being their best (not the best) at whatever they re doing. I ve made a number of specific references to race and class, as well as to social conditions (poverty, racism) that are a feature of life in London s inner city areas. I ve done this to encourage children to begin thinking about themselves as individuals, as people, as being able to overcome the boundaries that these factors and conditions can impose. Imaginative writing activity Try to imagine and describe the atmosphere at a major Olympics or other sporting event. Picture yourself right there in the stadium, right in the middle of the action. For example competing athletes or sportspersons taking part in an event; individuals experiencing the moment of triumph; interviewing and photographing the winners (group exercise, one half of the class being the team, the other the paparazzi or journalists). This could be explored through frozen images (tableau) or by getting children to improvise certain events. Try to describe the event from the point of view of: one of the competing sportsmen or women; a spectator, who knows someone who is competing (a relative or a team-mate); someone who is there in an official capacity, for example, one of the judges, or a photographer, or a news reporter. Writing relays Divide the class into teams of four and compete in four relay events: the 100m, 200m and 400m poetry sprints and the 800m middle distance story race. For the 100m sprint, the class is given an opening phrase. The first person completes the first line, including the phrase and then folds over the paper and passes it (the baton) to the next person, concealing what has been written. The next person writes the next line, folds the paper over and passes it on, and so on. When every team has finished, each team reads their poem in turn. The 200 and 400 follow a similar pattern with each person writing two and four lines each respectively. For the 800m, in addition to an opening phrase (or line) the teams could also be given an end line to work towards. Since the final results will be unpredictable, the winner of each event should be the team whose poem or story has the most unexpected effect, for example, a completely coherent story, or the most surreal or funniest poem. If a group is likely to struggle with the 400 as a poetry exercise, it could be used as a short story writing exercise instead, with each group being given an opening line or phrase and an end line to work towards. For poems, the shorter and more evocative the opening phrase, the better. For example, you may find, I wandered, remember, I love, I hate, tomorrow, think, whenever, once, I had. Book, film and song titles or quotes from these are good sources for opening and closing lines and phrases, as are newspaper headlines (especially from the tabloids) and television programmes. Sitting in the morning sun ; You win again ; Someone left the cake out in the rain ; Not that innocent ; There s no place like home ; Only fools/a fool. Baden Prince, 2005 A full version of these activities can be downloaded from

6 Creative Partnerships is a programme managed by Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts in England. It gives young people in 36 disadvantaged areas across England the opportunity to develop their creativity and their ambition by building partnerships between schools and creative organisations, businesses and individuals. Creative Partnerships aims to demonstrate the pivotal role creativity can play in transforming education in every curriculum subject for children of all ages and abilities. London East and London South were established as two of the first sixteen Creative Partnerships areas in 2002, delivering programmes with schools in Hackney, Greenwich, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets over a four year period. In April 2006 the two areas merged to form one Creative Partnerships area delivering a joint creative programme in eight boroughs. Creative Partnerships London East and South Discover, 1 Bridge Terrace, Stratford, London E15 4BG T: F: E:

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