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List poems

Stimulus: #1: 
Eight photos of types of transport from the nineteenth and twentieth century

Student activities

Task no. 1

List poems

Your teacher will explain what a list poem is and you will create one of your own. Your poem will consist of a list of kennings that describe a type of transport. Try to write about ten lines.

Remember that a kenning is a type of riddle. Your list poem can also be a form of riddle, with each line forming another clue that gives the reader a chance to guess the subject (the type of transport) of the poem. Organise your poem so the hardest clues are at the start of the poem, and the most obvious kennings form the last lines of the poem. Your final line might finally name the object that is described by your kennings.

To help you organise your kennings you might write each one on a strip of paper. Move these around until you get the order you prefer. Then number or quickly paste the strips onto a piece of paper so that your preferred order is not lost! You can also edit in this way using cut and paste in a Word document or in a PowerPoint slide.

You might use a kenning for your title.

This can be an individual task or completed in pairs or small groups.

Option - The “Epic” List Poem

One approach to this activity is to create an “epic” list poem describing a form of transport that includes a kenning from everyone in the class, including the teacher. An epic poem is a very long poem.

Have the whole class perform the poem by reading their kennings around the room.

Alternatively, you could write each kenning on a card and display these around the room as a kenning trail for the reader to follow. Ask students or teachers from other classes to follow this trail and see if they can guess the subject of the poem.

Option - Performing your list poem

The Norse and Anglo Saxon poems that featured kennings were mostly spoken or performed so it makes sense to perform your list poem.

You might like to have a competition where each person reads or performs their kenning list poem and members of the class try to guess the type of transport that the kennings describe.