Hanging on every word
Poetry "coat-hangers" act as useful devices for liberating writing. They provide a repeating pattern on to which the children hang their ideas. The form liberates creativity.
The best known of these coat-hanger poems is Kit Wright's The Magic Box which led Emily to write: "I will put in my boxthe mast of a mossy shipwreck, sunk beneath the Atlantic Ocean,the lungs of a lonely lake,slowly breathing before death."
Initially, ideas are borrowed. The poems are shadows of an admired writer.
Eventually, a child's own voice appears as they invent their own patterned coat-hangers. Running a writing workshop in a Southampton school, I noticed a skeleton on the wall: "Late one nightthe skeleton sawa greedy goblin galloping by,a slithering serpent in the wizard's cellar."
Pie Corbett is a literacy consultant. For more poetic coat-hangers, see The Works Key Stage 1 or The Works Key Stage 2, edited by Pie Corbett, Macmillan Children's Books