Poetry Consequences

I have been revising ‘Poetry From Different Cultures’ with my year 11s recently and tried this approach with them to get them linking poems together. In the Paper 2 exam they have to compare/contrast two poems and the ways in which the poets present a particular theme or idea.

Basically this involves students writing what they know about the theme/interpretation/language/structure of a poem on a piece of paper before passing it on to somebody else. The next person needs to try and think of a poem that links to the first and compare/contrast it in terms of interpretation, language and structure and pass the piece of paper on. The next student has to decide which poem links to the second and so on and so forth.

The aim is that each student will end up with a piece of paper that shows links between poems which should hopefully be a useful revision tool. In fact, the very act of playing the consequences game is to practise their skills of comparing and contrasting as this is the key element in the question they will be asked. I will try and scan a copy in of one of the consequences sheets produced last lesson so you can see what it looks like.

 I think this could be easily adapted as a revision tool for the Literature paper where students have to link four poems. The first student could write about a Duffy poem, the second would link this to an Armitage poem and the final two would be linking pre-1914 poems. It might be better, in this case, to restrict students to a particular theme, for example ‘death’, as comparing and contrasting four poems is that bit more demanding.


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