The Photograph Motif: A Perfect Creative Writing Response

I love this blog as well, from Andy.

I’ve been a huge fan of using photographs for inspirations for storytelling for a long time.

Here are some other sites you can locate images from and which sometimes add different scaffolded questions in.  Paintings as well as photographs can provide inspirations.

Once Upon a Picture  

New York Times Prompts

Visual Prompts by Year Level


Winner of CLiPPA 2022 is Val Bloom!

I really like the Poetry Roundabout and have just come across whilst preparing an assignment for Masters of Teaching.

Why do I like it?

1. Because I enjoy practitioners discussing and sharing what they do, as creators, performers and educators

2. It encourages Author Visits (some of which I have done!)

3. It has links to other resources, books and sites which are going to be useful and inspiring to explore.

As for it’s author she is Liz Brownlee

“Hello! I’m Liz Brownlee, and I’ll be pushing round the ‘Roundabout’ –  a blog celebrating children’s poetry and poets from all over the world. It will be whirling with the poems, opinions, jokes, and posts of as many children’s poets as possible each year.

I’m a children’s poet (of course), have an MA in Writing for Young People (Distinction), and have five books published (Macmillan and Bloomsbury). A book I have edited will be out in August, and I’m writing one for Otter-Barry next year.”

Poetry Roundabout

Stars with Flaming Tails by Val Bloom, Illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max, Otter-Barry Books

On Friday 8th of July six shortlisted poets who’d written five books made their way to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Southbank, to celebrate the CLiPPA 2022, and hear who had won. Laura Mucha, Matt Goodfellow and I were shortlisted for Being Me, Val Bloom for Stars with Flaming Tails, Manjeet Mann for The Crossing, Kate Wakeling for Cloud Soup, and Matt Goodfellow (again!) for Caterpillar Cake.

The awards were hosted by Southbank and the ALCS as well as the CLPE, and Michael Rosen, last year’s winner, was the main compère, which was fantastic – and of course the whole proceedings were drawn live by the incomparable Chris Riddell as usual.

The performances by the poets were interspersed with the winning shadowing schools’ children’s performances, and wonderful they were, too. The whole…

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Teaching Poetry: A Step by Step Guide

I am very appreciative of the many teacher bloggers out there, like Andy,  who share what they do in the classroom. Sharing a few that I think you might find valuable.

Visit the original blog and show the teacher your appreciation.

This is Andy’s intro on the blog.

“I am an English teacher, but also deeply interested and involved in whole school pedagogy/research.

Before teaching at secondary school, I taught at undergraduate level for a number of years whilst completing a PhD in twentieth century literature. This also involved speaking at various academic conferences and publishing papers, an aspect of research I very much enjoyed!

This blog is an opportunity to refine, express and share some views about literature and teaching literature.

You can follow me on Twitter: @__codexterous

Thanks for stopping by and drop me a message on Twitter if you have any enquiries or questions!



Ok: first of all an admission. The title of this post, with its impossibly bold claim to distil teaching poetry into a series of neatly packaged steps, is somewhat overzealous. In a manner somewhat, and unfavourably, all too familiar to the last year, I fear it will overpromise and underdeliver.

However, what it will do, hopefully, is offer up a kind of template, a broad horizon of possibilities, that will seek to capture and condense what a typical poetry lesson for me might look like. Of course, within this template any individual lesson may vary, dependent on class or poem, but it should indicate a certain sweep of what a poetry lesson may look like.

So let’s imagine the following scenario: the students have the lesson’s poem in front of them. They haven’t yet read the poem and have no prior knowledge of it. What could happen next?

Step 1:…

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