Social & Political Poetry

Why do this project?

In the very end, civilizations perish because they listen to their politicians and not to their poets – Jonas Mekas

Throughout the history of this country, there have been radical ballads, songs and poems written with the aim of publicising and protesting against certain social and political issues.

They have been shared and performed publicly to create a sense of communality and to be an inspiration for radical action and change. They have been about class oppression, race, gender, war, injustice, inequality, disability, freedom, poverty, religion – whatever have been the preoccupations of the age in which they were written, so that a particular piece of history could be passed on from generation to generation and not lost. Spoken word poetry is also becoming increasingly popular amongst young people, and this project can harness that interest.

We all know that today’s children are very concerned about many social issues – human, animal and environmental. They learn about social injustice through the media; it may also affect their lives in a personal way. Writing political and protest poetry is important because it gives children a way of expressing their feelings and worries, asking questions about the world and their dreams and hopes for the future. Sharing their fears and concerns, challenging those who have responsibility and influence, and using their voice for social change can feel empowering and maybe even a little reassuring. And of course it’s a perfect example of the whole idea of writing personally, persuasively and for a purpose.

This class writing project provides you with:

+ Comprehensive teacher notes:

  • Suggestions for both year group and whole school writing progression
  • Advice for teachers on how to write great mentor poems
  • Over thirty writing study and functional grammar mini-lessons
  • Suggested book list for your classroom library

+ Our popular and photocopiable child-facing Genre Booklet which includes:

  • Year 6 purpose and audience writing wheel
  • Publishing and performance menu
  • 2 exemplar texts and links to dozens more
  • Idea generation techniques
  • Dabbling and drafting advice
  • Revision checklist
  • Editing checklist

+ Our quick guide to teaching writing

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