Eco-Poetry Workshops for Schools

I started running eco-poetry workshops in schools in 2008 to encourage more young people to become informed and active on environmental issues. Luckily, it turns out that these kinds of workshops - supporting and encouraging students to write and perform poetry about the environment - also help schools to meet key curriculum goals on language, science, citizenship, drama, and technology in a fun and inspiring way!

A typical eco-poetry day consists of a series of workshops with different classes. Each workshop would include example poetry, a short discussion about poetry and the environment, fun games and exercises in poetry-writing, performance skills and imagination, and then forming the class into small poetry-writing groups. At the end of the day, all the groups from the different classes come together and perform their poems to each other.

I work both as an individual artist and as part of the Hammer and Tongue "Cyc du Soleil" solar and pedal-powered poetry project. While I'm always happy to run solo workshops, I'd really recommend the more spectacular option of booking the Cyc du Soleil bicycle-powered performance poetry sound  system for a day. This allows pupils to perform their environmental poetry through a zero-carbon speaker system powered by their pedalling classmates. It adds a whole new element to the workshops, by allowing us to teach the children about eco-friendly technology as well as being very visual and great fun! Note that this is more suitable for older children (Year 6 and above) because younger ones may find it difficult to pedal the sound system.

The precise content and length of the sessions can be tailored to meet the needs of each school, and to tie in with any other relevant environmental or poetry projects that might be going on.

For more information, see the Cyc du Soleil website or email me.