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Writing poems with Spark

Submitted by Sally Trowbridge on 1 October, 2012 - 11:52 Writing poems? No, this wouldnt work with my students! If you feel skeptical about getting your students to try their hand at composing poems or songs in class, try this activity. It is inspired by a song and has always worked for me no matter what level the students were at. Activity type: Writing/groups Level: A2 + Age: Teenagers or adults Aims: creative collaborative writing (poems), phonetic development (rhymes), listening


You will need the song Spark by Scottish singer Amy MacDonald from her debut album This Is the Life (2007). It is also available on the singers official YouTube channel: Print out the handout below and cut it up you will need one set per group of 3-4 students.


Tell students that you are going to listen to a song but before they listen you will look at some words taken from it. Give each group a set of cut-up words. Clarify that a match here means a wooden stick used to produce a flame and it collocates with the verb to strike: strike a match. Spaceman either means the same as astronaut or somebody from another planet. NB. The word sun appears twice. Ask students to work in groups and put the words into pairs based on associations. For example, they can match astronaut and spaceman, hurt and pain, sun and moon or moon and in the sky there are no correct answers here and students should use their imagination. After students have 10 pairs based on associations, ask them to match each pair with another pair so that they rhyme. For example: spaceman flying high moon in the sky or sun - rain love - pain They should also try to stick to the original associated pairs, if possible, but can switch the words in a pair if necessary in order to make them rhyme. Ideally, they should end up with five combinations of four cards. Now ask students to combine the words into verses and write them down. For example, After the sun again comes the rain My love is gone; Im left with the pain