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Full house for poems

To encourage Year 7 and 8 students to look forward to poetry lessons I introduce them to Poetry Bingo. Everyone uses the same poetry book (I like Poems for over 10 Year Olds, chosen by Kit Wright, Young Puffin).

Pupils find the page number of their favourite poem and write the number on the board. When the board is full, it's "eyes down" as I become the caller.

Whoever wrote up the number I call must decide whether to read it out loud themselves, give it to someone else to read, or share the reading.

Another game is to form the class into groups of four to six. Each group member must read aloud a poem they've chosen. I choose one person in each group to say "1, 2, 3" and, on the count of 3, every one points to the poem they liked the best (it can't be their own). Each group must then "perform" their poem to the whole class to decide the overall favourite.

Winning poems can then be toured to other classrooms or displayed on the wall.

Claire Trethewey , head of Year 7, Bury Grammar School (Girls), Bury, Lancashire.

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