Wednesday, 10 July 2013

See what I found?


See What I found?
A tiny wooden chair
Old, twisted, dirty, rough and curly
Found it near the fire circle in the grass
Do fairies us it as a chair?
I adore gathering words and questions with children – and adding thoughts onto luggage labels is something that I (and many others) love…
I often use luggage labels in projects for children (and me!) to add thoughts, questions, words and phrases to objects and places…

Today in the Discovery Garden at Dunkirk year 4 worked with me and we created a set of poems for tiny objects we found – and we made a little Garden museum of treasures…
I love simple poetry formats that follow a set of “rules” but then take on a million different meanings when created by a group of people… There’s something so inspiring and wonderful about a group of poems all made following the same pattern - but each poem has its own beauty, inspirations, quirks and ignites its own questions.
I’ve used lots of different poetry patterns in projects and today we used one of my favourites – this was suggested by Juliet at Creative Star Learning in a really lovely blog post about outdoor poetry .   I’ve used it with adults and children (in schools and when I’ve run INSET sessions) and it produces results that are really captivating.
I’ve just been sorting through the photos I took of the children’s words in the garden – and have been smiling lots of their ideas – a million stories are suggested here I think (and a brilliant image in my head of a bug doing push-ups with a stone…)

See What I found?
A broken white jug
Broken, smooth, hard, bendy and white
I found it in the mud
Is this a piece of a jug and how did it get there?
See what I found?
A flower
Beautiful, green, pink and colourful
I found it on the floor
I wonder if it’s been an animals habitat?

See What I found
An interesting rock
Smooth, rough, bumpy, multi-coloured small rock
I found it next to some dirt
It might have come from space?
See what I found?
Two sticks to peel
Old, big, small, rusty
I found it on some bricks
I wonder that you can make something out of it?
See what I found?
A hard stone
Strong, does not break
I found it in the fire circle
I think a bug uses it to get muscles…
There are many more…
The poetry form is as follows (I’ve also changed it to “did you hear what I heard?”   and other things in a similar vein…)
First line: See what I found

Second line: say what the object is

Third line: four or five descriptive words about it

Forth line: say where you found it

Fifth line: a question about it


And the poems will flood in….

With very many thanks to Juliet at Creative Star Learning for the format and her wonderful blog posts…
We were also really pleased with the wonderful crop of strawberries we were able to pick and eat there and then today!  The Discovery Garden is nurturing us well!


  1. Thanks Claire for a lovely blog post. I can't remember where I first stumbled across this structure. I think as a student I found a set of notes about teaching poetry called "Not daffodils again" and it was one of the formats offered there which I always remembered.

    Alec Finlay's website is great for poetry structures if a little hard to navigate. He uses a lot of luggage tags too!

  2. What a lovely post.
    I've recently moved abroad and no longer work in childcare, i deeply miss the Reggio Emilia approach so it's lovely to be able to see it through your writing x