From: 101 MORE Drama Games and Activities

Age: 7 to adult
Players: Small Groups
Time: 20-30 minutes
Skills: Improvisation, Movement, Verbal Expression
Materials: A selection of poems

Poetry can be explored and presented effectively through drama and movement

For this activity, you can either use a selection of short poems or break a long poem into separate verses. Give a print-out to each group of four to six participants. Ask them to read through the poem and devise a few freeze frames to represent any significant phrases.

Their next task is to find a way of performing the poem by moving between the still images and sharing out the lines between them. They can try saying some of the words when they are still and some of them while they are moving. This will produce some very effective work.

  • The groups can perform their pieces in order if you have chosen one long poem
  • You can use short stories, raps and texts as well

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Give each participant a line or couplet from a poem. They should practice it aloud and then work out some still images and movements.  And of course, they should try to learn it!

Useful Poems (for a range of age-groups)

Bat Patrol | Georgia Heard
Brendan Gallacher | Jackie Kay
Brothers | Andrew Forster
Checking Out Me History | John Agard
Cosmic Disco | Grace Nicholls
Dear Key Workers | Laura Mucha
The Highwayman | Alfred Noyes
Hurricane Hits England | Grace Nicholls
Jabberwocky | Lewis Carroll
The Lady of Shalott | Alfred Tennyson
Lady Winter’s Rap | Grace Nicholls
The Magic Box | Kit Wright
Night Flight | Laura Mucha
On the Ning Nang Nong | Spike Milligan
The Right Word | Imtiaz Dharker
The Tyger | William Blake
Wanted: Wizard’s Assistant | Laura Mucha

Next week I’m starting a Poetry Unit for all my classes (EYP 1 through Grade 9) and I just found your ‘Poetry in Motion” activity.  Perfect!

Kathy Neufeld Silver Fern International School, Thailand
Kathy Neufeld

I find ‘Poetry in Motion’ a great way to teach lines from Shakespeare!

Martha O'Shaughnessy Martha's Speech and Drama
Martha O'Shaughnessy

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