Poetry Train

“All Aboard the Poetry (insert other suitable topic here) Train!”


Sounds- A3/4/5 Paper?

How It Works:

The students are given 20? minutes to annotate a copy of their chosen poem- they could also make a set of well presented notes on an A5 coloured piece of paper. Their annotations should include terminology, and notes about effect and meaning.

Their A5 notes to accompany the poem’s annotations should list connections that could be made to other poems, including main themes and ideas.

All students to do this with a separate poem each but also works well with pairs.
After the 20 minutes of preparation, half of the students are to be given the task of being the stations and half would be trains.

The trains move around the stations until the train horn sound is played out into the room. On the sound of the horn, the students acting as trains should then have a short space of time to speak to the stations. 

Stations should teach and trains would learn. When the train horn sound is played out again then it signals the time for trains to move onto the next stations. 

This can work with any topic. Just break the subject up so that each student (pair) has a separate part to examine and then teach.

To gather information together at the end, students can plot out all the stations visited on a large sheet of paper and they state 1? thing that was learnt at each station.


Time must be given for students to be trains and to be stations, so don’t give too much time for the preparation stage. This activity therefore works better towards the end of studying a topic so students can prepare quickly and with confidence. The preparation could even take place in a lesson prior.

Other variations I have used:

A boat around holiday islands with steel drums playing out to signal change.
Tarzan around the jungle with a jungle animal noise played out to signal change.

This is a guest post by https://twitter.com/hannahtyreman  

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