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It Could Be Verse: Three Modules on Writing Poems (Online)

Tom Lips

The modules are tailored to three age groups (and further adaptable in consultation with teachers).

  • Picking Berries, Picking Words (Grades 3-5): 40 minutes
  • Tracking the Wild Idea (Grades 6-8): 40 minutes 
  • The Thing That Needs Saying (Grades 9-12): 60 minutes.

Each module includes an introduction, some examples of poems, and one or more interactive exercises that will result in poems created collectively by the students.

To promote full participation and a successful outcome for all, the steps will be small and easy (i.e. age-appropriate), with turn-taking, guided choices and support from the presenter as required. Participation will be largely oral, so that students with challenges in reading and spelling will not be put on the spot.

The collectively generated poems can be showcased by the school (e.g. on posters or online) in cooperation with teachers.

While the modules are designed to stand alone as introductory experiences, students will benefit more if the sessions can be repeated and varied to focus on different exercises and learning goals.

Grade Suitability3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Maximum Class Size10
Time Required40 minutes for Module 1 or 2/ 60 minutes for Module 3/ Prep time: 1 hour
Material RequiredPaper and pencils/pens for students, provided by the school; blackboard or flipchart supplied by the school if the presentation is in class.
Language of InstructionEnglish

Tom Lips

Tom would like to share his writing experience and skills, and most of all the fun of creating poems, with young people – to inspire and be inspired by them. Tom has a Master’s degree in English Literature, has worked as an editor and writing tutor, and has been writing poems, songs and stories for over 40 years.

He has released four recordings of original songs, and his poems have appeared in The Fiddlehead, Descant, The Antigonish Review and other poetry magazines. He has contributed songs and song lyrics to several stage productions, and has performed as a singer-songwriter and storyteller in a variety of venues and festivals. Tom has led songwriting or storytelling workshops for the Canadian Authors Association, the Overbrook Community Association, Camp Au Grand Bois, and other organizations.

Contact the artist

  • (613) 581-8130
  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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