Power and dynamics of poetry in a target language

Last term I spent time considering ways to introduce and use poetry in language learning. It's an area that I have always enjoyed with young learners (and as an English and Drama  teacher in a former life) I am always delighted when children realise the power of poetry!

This academic year I am keen to focus on the "power of poetry " to bring words to life! Not just to look for images or to play matching and rhyming games but to engage the young learners with the power and sound scapes behind a poet's words.

Let's look for the dynamics of the poetry!
The  cadence, the pictures created by the sound- scapes ,the beat and rhythm of the syllables and the words chosen and the mysterious world that the poet has encapsulated in a confined use of language.

How do I think we can achieve this during a year of primary language learning...?
Well ...nursery rhymes and songs enable us to encourage young language learners to join in, participate, create actions, move around .... so let's look at poetry in KS2 in a similar way.

Build opportunities to explore poetry across KS2, where you engage the children with:
  • listening for the beat, 
  • the rhythm, 
  • drawing the shape of the sounds they hear in the air or on white boards,
  • creating actions that interpret the story of the poem or song,
  • creating physical performances of the poems 
  • taking an original text and making it up to date and modern e.g. generating a rap
  • using APPS to add dynamics such as drumbeats and music to a class recording of thew spoken poem.

Let's consider what opportunities already exist in the work I know is being planned for within the network this Autumn term. 
We will be working with the children on Autumn poems in October  - based on the sounds and the smells and surprises of an Autumn walk.We will create Halloween poems and explore authentic poetry and songs about witches such as la sorciere grabouilla. Here's a You tube clip of the French song...  

In November we work on firework poems both  as reading and writing activities and we explore the shapes, sounds and colours of a firework display. In UKS2 some teachers will be generating wizard's potion poems after exploring a written simple potion to create a wizard. In December we will be getting ready for our Christmas activities and with KS2 children we might be preparing the poem and now song  le bonhomme de neige by Jacques Prévert.

Inspired ?
Well then why not get started in September with one of this back to school theme poem blog for both French and Spanish called Physical Pop Up Poems Daily Routine and Back to School,where you will find that I have suggested activities that will allow you to explore the dynamics of the poems hopefully to enable you to generate memorable learning occasions for the children and yourself!

You may also find some of my blogs on poetry from last year useful too. I have included opportunities for you children to explore the role of the poet and use limited language to great effect in creating their own poetry too! Hope the blogs,the ideas are useful and the possible transfer of activities to poetry in other languages is useful too!  

Spanish  KS1 rhyme based on the bear hunt Bear Hunt Rhyme
French, Spanish, German : The verb to have and a wizard's potion
French : simple Easter movie based on un petit lapin rhyme
All languages : Creating our own simple past tense mood swing poems
All languages : Using video clips  to generate poems Eye in the sky
 French and Spanish writing our own sandcastle poems to perform
French :using an authentic comptine to explore the skills of  listening,speaking,reading,writing , drama and phonics Dame tartine
French sept couleurs magiques
French painting a poem of a Summer's Day
French writing our own poems about the seaside based on authentic poetry
French emotions and doodle sense poems based on authentic poem mon cartable
French Drama and mystery in the cafe dejeuner du matin