Most key stage 2 teachers have pupils who balk at the prospect of writing a simple sentence, let alone an entire poem. But it doesn’t need to be overwhelming – lots of children love being creative with words, they just need a confidence boost. Here are 10 tried-and-tested techniques I’ve learned to help students get started.

Take the fear out of poetry-writing

Poetry is a mysterious concept to many children and when you ask students to pen a poem, less confident writers can freeze up. So start with a big dollop of reassurance. Tell them there’s no right or wrong in poetry, as long as it makes you go “Wow!”

List all the fun things you can do with a poem – such as sing it, set it to a beat, put it in a picture, inside a card, round the walls in giant letters, on the stage in a performance – to sweep away the mystery. Inspire students by showing some crazy shape poems and suggesting they re-write theirs in shapes afterwards, or read a funny or spooky verse.

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