What I’m teaching

Year 7 poetry anthologies

Our Year 7 Poetry scheme of work covers poems from a range of periods and in a diverse range of forms and styles. Throughout the unit, students read and explore poems by professional poets and are then invited to respond with their own work, learning about aspects of craft such as rhythm, line breaks and imagery as they go. My favourite part comes at the end, when students create their own anthologies, including a mixture of their own poems and those by other poets that they’ve read and enjoyed. It’s lovely to see what happens when students are given freedom and ownership. This year’s anthologies were particularly creative, including one poem, ‘Reflection’, which had entirely been written backwards. On the opposite page, the student had stuck a mirror so that the poem could be read forwards. Other students had experimented with poems which involved key words or lines being written on fold-out bits of paper. There’s something wonderfully tactile about these little books which is particularly refreshing in an age when so much reading is done on-screen. I also love the titles of these anthologies, ‘A Journey Through My Brain’ being a particular favourite.