Georgia, one of our teachers at 30+, recently taught an Upper-Intermediate class where they looked at a poem about Winter by Judith Nicholls. Before they listened to the poem she asked her students to think about the following things: a winter memory, this present winter and a wish for next winter. This helped them to start thinking about their personal associations with Winter.
After sharing their experiences with the class they then looked at the five senses – sight, smell, touch, sound and taste. Students worked in pairs to write down ideas for each sense which they felt encompassed the season for them. By doing this, students generated lots of vocabulary and expressions around the topic of the poem which prepared them to listen to Judith Nicholls’s poem.
Students then listened to the poem to see if any of the words the class had brainstormed came up in the text, then listened again filling in words that had been removed from the worksheet.
After discussing the new vocabulary students looked at how the poem was made and found patterns in the structure. Students then worked in groups and used the structure to create a third stanza to the poem. In the second part of the lesson students repeated the brainstorming process on different topics and developed their own language patterns to create the poems below.
through the whispering wood,
hushing fir and oak;
crushed each leaf and froze each web —
but never a word he spoke.
by the shivering sea,
lifting sand and stone;
nipped at each limpet silently —
and then moved on.
Winter raced down the frozen stream,
catching at his breath;
on his lips were icicles,
at his back was death.
by Judith Nicholls (1941-)
Never ending mystery I try discovering,
Never your luscious lips unveiled the secret of your soul,
Never the fragility of your silk skin will reveal the strength hidden underneath.
Always I’m caught by your natural elegance,
Always by your delicate fragrance I was utterly dazed,
Always I’ll be remembering your subtle sensuality.
by Tangee (French), Marcio (Brazilian) and Nicola (Italian)
First Spring whispers in my ears,
Milky weak sunlight,
Flies across the window closed
Opening my sleepy eyes.
Sweet tweets of early birds,
invited me to my new life.
Blooming flowers and damp grass
Swallow all my strife.
by Sonia (French) and Elisabeth (German)
Red buses fly through the fog,
Catching hurries lemmings,
Swerving amongst the mob,
Back from working on shopping.
by Jean-Luc (French)
When Summer is coming
Love fun and dance come arise.
The sand is burning, the sea is churning,
Warming people to come alive.
When summer is running,
Sun, water and day abide.
The beach is dancing, the ocean is prancing,
Friendly people to come alive.
by Hector (Spanish) and Fernanda (Brazilian)
By an early sunrise in June,
Delivering singing birds and colourful flowers,
Brought life in these boing streets –
And always sprinkle happiness.
Down on a sunny beach,
Singing with the sad sand,
Gathered families lovingly –
And rested all as one
by Barbara (Swiss) and Ekaterina (Russian)
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