Poetry Writing

Things to do: 

This exercise is designed to encourage pupils to create their own RAF-themed poetry.

The activity uses poems, along with visual and tactile stimuli, to encourage the participants to think about how poems are structured, and the types of themes and emotions that can be explored in a poetic form. The exercise will give examples of how to dramatise these themes - fear, boredom, humour, excitement etc - to create a brand new, interesting and engaging poem, which will evoke the spirit of what it was like to serve with, or come into contact with, the RAF.

The exercise begins by reading out some short extracts from  RAF themed poetry (see below). These are used as a starting point and a discussion of how these poems differ from each other in style and content. Sections of these poems have been highlighted to provide short, relevant extracts to explore and discuss. Of course, these are just suggestions, and teachers may find different extracts are more useful.

After a discussion of these poems, the pupils (in small groups of 4 or 5) are given a ‘goody bag’ containing various items which they can examine and discuss as stimuli to creating their own RAF poems. Examples of the contents of this goody bag are listed at the end of the poetry section.

At the conclusion of this exercise the pupils should have produced at least one verse of a poem.
This activity could last up to an hour, with the discussion taking approximately 30 minutes and the actual group writing a further 30 minutes. At the end of the exercise each group should be encouraged to perform their brand new RAF themed poem to the rest of the group.

This exercise is suitable for Level 2 Primary and S1/S2 Secondary. 

This exercise covers the following CfE Experiences and Outcomes- ENG 2-19a; ENG 3-19a; LIT 2-20a; LIT 3-20a; LIT 3-23a; LIT 2-25a; LIT 3-25a; LIT 3-26a; ENG 2-27a; ENG 3-27a; ENG 2-31a; ENG 2-31a.


  • List of words
  • List of example poems
  • Be inspired by the poems below, composed by the pupils at QVS. [PDFs?]