PAUL DELANEY has some poetry ideas whether you’re in class or back Zoom schooling

The greatest ‘gift’ to arise from Covid-19 is this simple word – gratitude. Appreciation of those little things, the things we take for granted, such as a hug and a kiss, a drink with friends down at the pub and the ability to buy bread and milk whenever you like.

NHS workers truly being valued at long last. Key workers, such as supermarket staff still climbing out of bed in the morning whilst so many of us were furloughed.

Mums and Dads everywhere teaching / entertaining their offspring at home, perhaps finally appreciating the sterling work of their children’s teachers and teaching assistants.

How often, when I was a primary teacher, would I hear these words on that final day in July? “It’s ok for you now, Mr. Delaney! Sunning yourself on the beach. I’ve got to entertain my Henry and Charlotte for six whole weeks!”

Wow, in Summer 2020, how about changing that to almost six whole months instead?

Hopefully, teachers will finally regain the respect and appreciation they so rightly deserve, especially now schools are up and running as usual at long last, albeit a few new social distancing rules.

However, if you’re stuck at home looking for a few ideas to write a poem with your own children, or even with your own new class this Autumn, here are a few of my own ideas, using my own work as stimulus:

I’m fed up! (From my poetry book, I’m fed up!)

(Yes, I’m fed up of staying at home too and not having any school visits!)


I’m fed up of…

Freezing cold toilet seats.

Cardboard tasting Shredded Wheat.

Grandad’s ancient mobile phone,

with its very embarrassing ringtone.

Hairy spiders, buzzing bees.

Falling off my bike and scuffing my knees.

Getting my hair cut when it’s not very long.

Mental math’s because I’m always wrong.

This poem doesn’t have to rhyme! And it’s basically a list poem.

I also love this poem as it shows us how we’re all different, meaning somebody’s ‘fed up!’ list will be completely different to somebody else’s. Somebody will be fed up of the smell of horses.

Somebody else just might love that. Great for diversity!

I’m fed up of…

My battery going flat in my electronic toothbrush.

Walking into the toilet when my dad’s just been on!

Ice creams melting all over me on a hot, summer’s day.

My teenage brother sitting on his Xbox in his bedroom for hours.

I’m sure you get the idea. You can have some great fun with this poetry idea too.


‘I can’ is a great list poem, especially suitable for younger children. Let’s let our imaginations run wild. Again, rhyming is optional. This is super for reinforcing positivity, instilling belief in children and reinforcing positive self-esteem and use of adjectives…

I can…

I can climb enormous Mount Everest wearing a pair of pink flip-flops.

I can fight a red, scaly dragon and kill it with a long, silver sword.

Can you? (Or I bet you can’t!) Or any line of your own.


This is a great ‘emotions’ poem – discuss with your children the importance of showing our emotions, how we’re feeling, etc.

Can you guess how I’m feeling? (From my poetry book, Get lost!)

I feel like a punctured tyre, a piece of rubber, flat.

I feel like the clothes in a charity bag, someone else’s tat.

I feel like I’m a naughty child. Have you just done that?

Can you guess how I’m feeling?

I feel like I’m a box of fireworks, lighting up the sky.

I feel like I’m an energy drink, those bubbles make me high.

I feel like I’m a burst of colour, Uncle Ronald’s revolting tie!

Can you guess how I’m feeling?


Performance poet, children’s author & professional organist. My passion is visiting schools, developing children’s love of poetry and creative writing!

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