I had a cracking time yesterday at Lord Grey School in Bletchley, Bedfordshire. First of all I met all the Year 7s and regaled them with my life history (they were in thrall, as you can imagine). After that I was given two hours with thirty Y7 girls – wahoo! My mission – to get them to produce some creative writing worthy of publication in the We Are Writers book, which I duly did.
I started off with an ice-breaker – Book Spine Poetry. I say ice-breaker, I mean library-wrecker. Book Spine Poetry entails trawling the shelves for four or five titles which, when put together, form a kind of poem. I have to say the librarian, Mrs Coles, was very brave. She didn’t flinch at all as the group were let loose on her shelves.
Once the ‘poems’ had been assembled, they were read out and also captured on camera, rather than being written down. Good fun.
Book Spine Poetry using some really random titles
After that we used Ian McMillan’s Ten Things Found In A Shipwrecked Sailor’s Pocket as the basis for our main activity. Working in groups, the girls devised their own ‘Ten Things Found…’ list, choosing from such things as ‘… in a pop-star’s dressing room’ or ‘a footballer’s locker.’ Sure enough, most went for the darkest choice ’Ten Things Found in a Murderer’s Heart.’
Here’s an example:
Ten Things Found in a Murderer’s Heart
A childhood sweetheart whom he betrayed.
An icicle dangling.
A nagging pain that won’t stop.
A drop of sorrow, drained of all love.
The cold, black blood that runs through his veins.
A memory, locked away and rather forgotten
An everlasting strain of regret.
A conscience trapped inside, aching to escape.
A mixture of envy and hurt.
A hope that someone will save him.
by Eleanor, Maisie and Abigail
The final piece of writing was another poem. This time a cinquain.
Cinquain’s are deceptively simple but can be very moving, too.
Here are a few from yesterday:
Shiny and crisp.
Glistening, sparkling, glimmering.
It writes without a pen, independently.
Stretching, flexing, bending.
head held high.
And my favourite:
Creating, laughing, making.
Writing books to keep us reading.
Thank you to everyone I met yesterday at Lord Grey School, especially to Isabella Coles, librarian supremo. I had a super time.