‘Why Writing Matters’ | noreply@blogger.com (MichaelRosen)

[This is the talk I gave for the Royal Society of Literature and the British Library to celebrate the first National Writing Day, June 21, 2017.]

[You may use any part of the speech so long as you credit me! If you wish to reproduce the whole speech, please get in touch with me through my agent cogunbanjo@unitedagents.co.uk or cwalker@unitedagents.co.uk )

We cannot know everything. We cannot remember everything. Each of us cannot know everything there is to know about ourselves. Each of us cannot know everything there is to know about everyone else.

For much of the time, this…

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A firefighter who attended Grenfell tower has written this: | noreply@blogger.com (MichaelRosen)

[This piece of writing is up on the Facebook ‘Save the Fire Service’ page and begins with ‘Sent to us at STUKFS, powerful and emotional story from a firefighter who attended Grenfell Tower’]STUKFS = Save the UK Fire Service

I’m not sure if this is something that I should vocalise or whether or not it should be shared with the world but as I sit at home thinking about the other night the Grenfell Tower I feel like people might want to know how the incident went from the point of view of a firefighter who was sent inside, while the tower burned all around us and how after years of cuts to…

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Poetry in Primary Schools 6 | noreply@blogger.com (MichaelRosen)


1. I’ve written two books on how to help children write poems: ‘Did I Hear You Write?’ published first by Andre Deutsch and then by Five Leaves Press. You can find it in libraries or second hand on line. 

The second one is much more recent and is published by Walker Books. It’s called ‘What is Poetry? An Essential Guide for Reading and Writing Poems.’ It is available to order through any bookshop, it’s in libraries and you can find it online. 

In this book I talk about some classic poems and how they’re put together and how I respond to them. I talk about some poems that…

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Poetry in Primary Schools 5 | noreply@blogger.com (MichaelRosen)

Pupils’ comments when reading
(Based on Michael Rosen’s ‘matrix’ of the types of comments which children make about texts (2017), from which the wording of the descriptions is mostly borrowed. See http://ift.tt/1cHPHEK)
While reading, children will make comments spontaneously, or within a range of organised contexts – free discussion, free or journal writing, structured talk in pairs, small groups or as a class, talk or writing in role, drama and so on.
However, often comments are in response to questions, sometimes posed by a teacher or other adult but sometimes posed…

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Poetry in Primary Schools 4 | noreply@blogger.com (MichaelRosen)

How to break down into categories ways in which children respond to poems

(I posted this before as a matrix of response to all literature but I thought it would be useful to put here again.

I will post up as Poetry in Primary Schools 5, a set of ‘trigger questions’ produced by an English teacher and blogger, James Durran, in response to this matrix.)

For teachers: how to assess and analyse ways in which pupils respond to stories, poems and plays

This is a ‘matrix’ for use by teachers or anyone else wanting to do just this: analyse the kinds of talk and writing that pupils do in…

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Poetry in Primary Schools 3 | noreply@blogger.com (MichaelRosen)

How to look at poems closely.

I’m imagining  SATs-free sessions in primary schools, where you can read, talk about and discover poetry without worrying too much about the exact questions that SATs ask. 

There are ways of doing close reading of poems which don’t impose on the reading precise formulas. As you know these often go along the lines of proving that this or that poetic device (‘alliteration’ and the like)  is ‘effective’ before anyone’s had a chance of deciding that it is! Another formula is the one where the child has to guess what was in the poet’s head and state that as a reason…

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Poetry in Primary Schools 2. | noreply@blogger.com (MichaelRosen)

Some teachers have told me that on occasions people who manage schools have told them that they shouldn’t just be letting children read to themselves, and/or they shouldn’t just be reading and enjoying poetry. The teachers need to be doing some specific teaching and the children need to be doing a set task. 

In this blog, I’m going to try to answer this. I’m going to defend the activity of reading and enjoying poetry in the primary classroom. Just that. No task. 

This involves me imagining a situation in which a teacher has to justify this in a meeting with someone who is telling that…

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