Opening Doors to a Richer English Curriculum

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We have been on a creative writing journey using a classic poem by Charlotte Bronte – “Speak of the North.”

Using strategies from ‘Opening Doors to a Richer English Curriculum,’ the children were challenged to consider the question, “How is loneliness portrayed by Charlotte Bronte?”
Have a look at the work created along the way, which led to a final draft of our own innovated poems linked to our learning about Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance Expedition to the Antarctic in 1914.

We began by asking and answering questions about the illustration.

We worked in pairs to compare the vocabulary from the poem and order the words according to how powerful we thought they were. This led to lots of debate and discussion about how words can alter meaning depending on the context in which they are used.


We then found out about Charlotte Bronte’s life using the wonderful picture book:

This helped us to make inferences about the meaning of the poem.

The children then created a sliver of poetry based on the final lines of the original poem: Look at the vocabulary and how the children have portrayed the theme of isolation:


We continued to develop our reading fluency and practised reading aloud the poem lots and lots, taking into account punctuation and the meaning of the words. We also explored other poems with a similar theme and compared them.

Finally, we were ready to create our own poems. We wrote a first draft and then edited our work, ensuring that the vocabulary choices were precise and that the punctuation was where it needed to be.

Here are some examples of the final drafts: