Zoom Poetry Club!

Poetry for Children ~ at home


Many moons ago, I used to hold a Poetry Club in the bookshop for children aged 7 – 10 years old. While pondering how best I could help with ‘home-schooling’ my four grand-children, I realised that the obvious thing for me to do was to establish a way of reading and enjoying poetry in the virtual world – hence the Zoom Poetry Club! The first one was such fun to do that I thought I could offer it not just to my grand-children but to any who might like it – so jump in, and enjoy yourselves!

Just a tip, I encourage the children to have blank paper and crayons/felt tips etc on the table while we are ‘zooming’, and I invite them to doodle during any of the longer poems ~ this seems to help them to listen!  Short poems I often read more than once.  I don’t ask the children to analyse the poems in any way at all – these sessions are all about the fun and pleasure of listening to the rhymes and rhythms, the msuicality of the poems. 


Poems we read about school


Round and Round by John Kitching,
Dinner Lady by David Harmer,
Where Do All the Teachers Go by Peter Dixon,
Where Teachers Keep their Pets by Paul Cookson,
At the End of a School Day by Wes Magee,
Teacher by Paul Cookson,
The Teacher’s Day in Bed by David Orme,
What Teachers Wear in Bed! by Brian Moses,


All of the above are taken from The Works, chosen by Paul Cookson, published by Macmillan and you can READ THEM ALL HERE!


Jumble Boy by Justin Coe, from The Jumble Book Show and Anthology edited by Roger Stevens and published by Macmillan


The Painting Lesson by Trevor Harvey,
School Concert by Marchette Chute, are both from Haven’t You Grown! Poems about Families, selected by Belinda Hollyer and published by Kingfisher

First Day at School by Roger McGough

Anxious Mum by Justin Coe, from The Magic of Mums published by Otter-Barry Books

Here are some of the activities that your children can do after the Zoom Poetry Club!

  • TRY THE WORDSEARCH – the words are taken from three of the poems we’ve read today!
  • CREATE A WORD BANK – see the list of words, and add your own:  just capture the words that come into your head when you think about school. Now you can save these words in your ‘word bank’ for when you feel like writing a poem!  (This idea is from How to Write Poems by Joseph Coelho, published by Bloomsbury)
  • GO WILD! Make an abstract painting of your Mum or Dad or soneone who takes care of you (see “The Painting Lesson” poem!)
  • Based on the poem “Where Teachers Keep Their Pets” by Paul Cookson, make a drawing of each animal and its hiding place: can you invent a hiding place for the stick insect?
  • Make a mesostic poem (it’s like an acrostic poem, but the main word runs down the middle or the spine of the poem) This idea is also from How to Write Poems by Joseph Coelho, published by Bloomsbury
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I hope you’ve had fun with Zoom Poetry Club! I have …


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