Spot The Difference: Storm on The Island

From my previous blog (The English Magpie) in 2008 on spotting the difference to evaluate the use of enjambment in Heaney’s ‘Storm on the Island’.

The English Magpie

saltwell_150316_470x353.jpgSpot the difference can be used with any poem to highlight a particular device being used and its effect. In this case, Heaney’s poem employs enjambement – I’ve found that students struggle to make sophisticated comments about the effect of enjambement. Here is the file for a document which has two versions of the poem. One is the original and the other does not show Heaney’s use of enjambement:


 Get students working in pairs and answering questions such as:

  • What are the differences?
  • What’s the effect of these differences?
  • Which do you think is the original version of the poem? Why?
  • What linguistic devices are being used? What’s the effect?

The aim is that students will notice the difference and begin to evaluate the use of enjambement in Heaney’s original version; pushing them towards the higher order thinking skills of evaluation: judging, giving an opinion etc . Hopefully they will begin to see…

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Unrolling a Poem: Not My Business

From my previous blog (The English Magpie) in 2008 on unrolling a poem.

The English Magpie

image0121.jpg As with all the approaches to poetry I have posted (collapsing and fragmenting poems) this approach can be applied to any poem but I shall be relating it to a single poem. The aim behind this approach is to encourage enquiry by revealing a poem a line at a time. Here is a very simple PowerPoint for Osundare’s poem which will need adapting and beautifying. It includes some suggested activities:


 Essentially you reveal a line at a time and discuss it in depth before building on it line by line. This is a very teacher-led activity but much of the work is student centred as it is them that will be generating questions and answering them. If you have an IWB then you can annotate around the poem as you go. Rather than going through what you might ask line by line, here are a few of the things you…

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