Playful Poetry

“I wandered lonely as a cloud…” A classic poem by William Wordsworth. Many would consider poetry as a sedentary activity. The poet sits to write it and then the audience sits to read it. But, does it have to be so? Earlier this term, we were approached by the inspirational Dr Emma Kell – would we like to contribute to the inaugural online arts event – The Power of Arts?

Having already piloted some playful poetry with Dom Traynor and Michael Rosen, we jumped at the chance. 

  • What ideas could we develop?
  • When could we start?
  • Where could we go?

Our first port of call was the Yorkshire Sculpture Park – it’s only 25 minutes on bike from Tagtiv8 HQ. It’s our GO TO PLACE to unwind and reflect. Prior to the pandemic, we had collaborated on a successful outdoor Maths project with White Rose Maths. We thought, if it inspires children in Maths, surely it will be even easier with English.

Playful Poetry Process

Step 1

We took photos of various sculptures and shared one of them, ‘The Man on the Moor’ by sculptor Sean Henry, on Facebook and Twitter. Within days, we had collected words, thoughts and feelings from friends and teachers.

Step 2

We shared the photos and words with Y5/6 children at the Leeds United Foundation Easter Camp for the Bramley Cluster. They sorted words into sets:

  • known
  • unknown

They then added words of their own.

Step 3

The children collected letter tags via different physical challenges, assembling the words in various parts of the playground.

These were then sorted according to the number of syllables, thus providing opportunities to create their own haikus.

Haiku Tag

Some of the children then created their own acrostic poems.

Future Poetry Ideas

Having seen just how animated the children were, the next steps include creating:

  • performance poetry
  • choreographed dances to illustrate the poems

These ideas didn’t come from ourselves – they were generated by the children themselves.

For further information about our involvement with the Power of Arts event, head to the:

To find out more about how our letter tags link with English and other subjects, contact us:

07506 523354

We would love to work – and play – with you.