English Literature KS3: Poetry workshop - Finding inspiration

The Great Hall of Oxfordshire's Broughton Castle is the setting for this poetry workshop.

Writer and teacher Kate Clanchy asks a group of teenagers to write down poetic images inspired by this extraordinary and ancient building.

Kate asks questions to help the process, for example: If the castle was a creature, what creature would it be?

What season is this castle? Is it winter or summer? What time of day is this castle? Night? Dawn?

The resulting images written by the young people are then assembled into a remarkable poem performed by Caroline Bird.

Teacher Notes

Can be used to show students one way into writing creatively about place.

Students should collectively decide on a striking local place or building, on which to base their ideas.

They can gather different pictures of this place to use in class. Students use comparison (analogy) to complete a series of writing exercises.

Students write down their ideas of the chosen building as an animal or creature, a food, a pudding, a type of meat, a time of day, a season etc.

Ask students to remember to add detail, with adjectives and descriptions of colour and smell.

Students could get into groups and pool their ideas to produce a poem, using comparing to bring the chosen setting into a new way of being.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching English Literature at KS3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 3rd and 4th Level in Scotland.