KS3/4 English and Media – Experiments with Poetry

Encouraging thinking skills to help raise pupil achievement Stuart Hoskin introduces his Year 11 English class to poetry from different cultures using Developing Tray, a deceptively simple hangman game which encourages students to develop their thinking skills while reading and analysing texts. Stuart presents his students with the incomplete text of a poem which they then must reconstruct. As the students start filling in the blanks, words begin to emerge as a photograph emerges in a developing tray. This process requires students to read closely and with insight as they put the text together and analyse the word choices the poet has made. The students pick apart key images and even access the idea of reincarnation which Stuart believes may underlie some ideas in the poem. Working in pairs the students are encouraged to call upon what they have discovered to write the next few lines of the poem. Particularly impressive is the fact that these students, who are predicted D grades at GCSE, are working way above their usual academic level.

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