Poetry’s on the menu

Joshua Seigal gives his top hints and tips on using poetry in school.

Many of my friends, and many people I encounter in my work as an itinerant children’s poet, are teachers. They sometimes tell me that poetry is ‘scary’ or ‘difficult’, and that they consequently shy away from discussing it in any great detail in class. While it is no doubt true that a lot of poetry is scary and difficult, one of my main aims as a children’s poet is to show, through my humorous, interactive performances, that this doesn’t have to be the case. Indeed, it is my view that once children are hooked on the fun of poetry – of playing with words – they will be more enthusiastic about tackling the really difficult stuff. A good way into poetry is to engage with it via everyday concerns. I can think of fewer more pertinent items in this respect than food. In this article I want to suggest three ways in which teachers can encourage pupils to use food as a way into writing and performing poetry.

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