Poetry in Motion CD

Poetry in Motion CD

Using the environment to inspire children to write poetry.


Poetry resources for primary children should be fun and engaging. Poetry in Motion is an original poetry resource which uses the environment to inspire primary school pupils to write poetry. The resource provides exciting and stimulating ways to encourage teachers to take their children out into the world and find real subjects to write about.

With an ever-changing canvas (seasons, weather, day, night), the outdoors provide a wealth of stimuli for all the senses. Poetry is an excellent way of conveying sights, smells and sounds to the reader by using specific and descriptive language and therefore creating an effective image in the reader’s mind.

Poetry Resources that Inspire

The resource is organised into sections for different places (school grounds, historical places, urban areas, the countryside, etc) and broader ideas that can be applied to different locations building up poems by looking at small details.

The authors have concentrated on using ‘real experiences’ to inspire children’s poetry. The ideas are based on activities that have been successfully taught with children, and many of them can be adapted for different age groups (from Reception to Year 6).

This is not just a poetry resource – it is also about encouraging children to investigate and appreciate their local and wider environment.

'Poetry in Motion' from LCP, endorsed by NAEE.


 What the National Literacy Association is saying about this resource.

About the Authors

Roger Butts

Roger Butts was born and educated in Birmingham but, from an early age, always tried to escape from the confines of the city into the countryside. He managed to do so permanently after attending teacher training college at St Peter’s College, Saltley, and took up his first teaching post in Falmouth, Cornwall.

Apart from educating primary-age children, Roger’s other reason for being on earth is an interest in natural history. A life-long birdwatcher, he has always shared a love of the outdoors with the children he has taught. From teacher to head teacher, Roger has always believed in the value of giving children, whenever possible, real experiences to enhance their learning.

He worked for nine years in Cornwall’s Education Advisory Service as Advisory Teacher for Outdoor Education, working with teachers and children, using all manner of exciting environments as a classroom. During this time, Roger worked with poets, writers, musicians and artists of all kinds, organising practical creative projects for schools and communities in many different settings, both rural and urban. He has worked with the National Trust, English Heritage, RSPB, English Nature and many other bodies, often holding major exhibitions of children’s work.

For many years, Roger ran OUTLOOK, an agency for all manner of artisans who would work with children, using the richness of their experiences to develop quality learning at its best. Always interested in children’s creative language, Roger’s input into OUTLOOK was to use the wonderful world on our doorstep as an inspiration to teachers and children to write poetry.


Juliette Green

Juliette Green is a Birmingham-based primary school teacher who has taught all year groups from Nursery to Year 6. She has previously written various primary literacy and history teaching resources plus those focused on outdoor learning. Juliette has a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Environmental and Resource Science and a Primary Education PGCE. She is also involved with the charity National Association for Environmental Education (NAEE), where she works on their website.

Juliette is also the author of our Learning Outside the Classroom books.

'First hand experiences, I believe, are essential to children’s development and education – this resource, Poetry in Motion, embraces that belief to inspire children to write successful poetry. This resource encourages children to use their outdoor environment to create poetry by looking for specific detail, and using descriptive language to convey their ideas and emotions. Being outside not only stimulates all of the senses so children can really look at their surroundings, but allows them to draw on real experiences.

'In this well-thought-out resource and teaching guide, Roger Butts and Juliette Green have produced a product where stimulating environments meet creative writing skills. The CD is packed full of exciting and stimulating ways to teach poetry. Teachers will be inspired by this resource, as the contents are varied and can be adapted to suit their school. There are numerous poetic styles to fit into just about any teacher's curriculum at any level. The ideas and exercises that the authors suggest to get you going are simple, but extremely effective. The suggested activities work as a springboard that you can use your creativity to jump from and expand. There are lots of exciting and effective ideas on how, as a teacher, you can deliver poetry lessons using the outdoor environment. I particularly liked the ‘walking stick memories’ and the ‘artist palette’ – very motivating for the children.

'The contents map is very easily navigated and information can be found without difficulty. For every area or activity suggested there are real examples of children’s work, which demonstrate the successes the children have experienced. These also can be used within the teaching sequences as examples – this would be very useful. 

'The resource allows you to explore eight different learning environments that would provide the opportunity for the children to experience first hand. Within each section a variety of teaching activities are explored which offer an insight into writing poetry, how to teach poetry, and exploring poetry devices (such as imagery, metaphor…).

'Poetry in Motion is a stew of delicious ideas meant to inspire teachers to use the real world, to stimulate children into creating quality poetry. This resource definitely inspired me and provoked enthusiasm about teaching, creating and writing of poetry. I highly recommend this resource for any teacher wanting to inject inspiration into the way in which poetry is taught.'

Review by Katie Wood - Primary School Teacher



Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your Teacher.

William Wordsworth

'Just as poetry does not spring straight not from the mind, our children cannot be awoken to it whilst sat in quiet rows with only a ticking clock and white page for company. Many of the writers we ask them to admire hated these very same conditions. From Coleridge to Woolf, they sought to stimulate their senses to breathe life into their works. If Keats, Blake and Byron were sitting GCSE English today, it would not be surprising to find them drawing on tables and texting their mates at the back of the class.  

'Just as the greats needed to feel real sensation to wake up their creativity, so do our children. This resource contains more ideas and activities for a proper, outside poetic education than you will ever get approval for from the school. The usable, stand alone pdf guides span the mechanics and presentation of poetry in a way that informs the children’s work, without causing them to obsess over details. The CD also provides a plethora ideas for getting out and about to create poetry, both near the school  (School Grounds, Rivers and Water Ways) and far (The Seaside, Historical Places). The guides provide ideas for itineraries, interesting and multi-sensory activities, relevant poetic themes and examples of work produced by children:

'The following poem was written inside a mosque:

How many patterns will you find within these walls?
Light and shadow
Dark corners, forbidden doors.
And tiles - patterned and plain.

'There are ideas for inspiring the more and less able, and even thoughts on managing the logistics of such trips in a special ‘Keeping Safe’ section: “involve [the children] in your ‘risk assessment’...this is far more effective than simply telling [them] how to behave”.  With all this information, the resource nevertheless remains open to the creativity of teachers, making for an informative and thorough yet not prescriptive set of guides.

'Wordsworth recognised that learning about poetry has much less to do with books than with observation, feeling and experience. This resource allows teachers to explore this idea with children of all ages. It will inspire, give confidence, and result in the kind of poetry that pupils actually care about.

Chris Pryke
Not quite poet, not quite environmentalist, not quite teacher (NAEE member).


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