Poetry Emotion resource book

50 original poems to spark an imaginative approach to topical values.

Poetry Emotion contains a treasure trove of original poems to stimulate a child's observation and deep thinking; to affirm individuality and a sense of belonging; to express a myriad of feelings; and to develop meaningful skills for living.

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Sample pages

The 50 poems are organised under 12 value-based topics, providing an ideal vehicle to address social and emotional values at Key Stage 2. They can be used with great effect in Collective Worship, and readily related to English, PSHCE, SEAL and RE in the classroom.

The poems in each section are offered with introductory suggestions for ways in which the topics can be unpacked.

Topics include:

  • Whose world?
  • Who am I?
  • Who is my neighbour?
  • What's so special about the Bible?
  • It's not fair!
  • Getting on and falling out
  • Going for goals
  • New beginnings
  • Saying no to bullying
  • Good to be me
  • Changes
  • Self awareness
  • Managing feelings
  • Motivation
  • Social skills

Technical information

  • ISBN: 9781841018935
  • Published: 18 May 2012
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96

Poet Stewart Henderson and his classroom challenge

Stewart reads his poem 'Class project: rediscovering our past' to set the scene for the Classroom Challenge outlined in the link above. Here it is... a project to enjoy to mark National Poetry Day.

Class project: rediscovering our past

Yesterday we went to a museum
and looked at old photographs of children.
Children were in black and white then.
They were in a war so they had
to be sent off to farms and places,
they got on special trains
and tried not to cry.

When the war surrendered
the children went to the seaside
and the boys sometimes wore school caps
and the girls had dresses with bows at the back
and some children had round glasses
and smiled a lot
and their teeth were funny.

They played in the street until it was nearly dark
and the girls skipped because there were no cars.
Then they went indoors and had small food...
bread and jam and not much else
and they sat cross-legged in front of a fire and read

And everyone was poor
in these photographs
but they weren't somehow
and they were children like us
but they weren't somehow...
In the future, will there be a photograph
of our class in the museum?

What people are saying

Top of the list, on the basis of entertainment alone, would be Poetry Emotion, by Stewart Henderson. What Michael Morpurgo has done for children's fiction, Henderson has done for poetry.

As a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 4, the writer has something of a national reputation. His poems are simple, unintimidating to children, and characterised by a delightful, iconoclastic sense of humour. Teachers, grandads, best friends, and even enemies are teased, but always gently.

Inspired by a previous volume of his, one of my students began his poem on his goldfish 'Hail to thee, wet pet!' The style is recognisably Henderson's. At the heart of this book is compassion for those who find life hard and challenging.

Adolescents, take note, and take heart. This slim volume may well be just the tonic you need to get through another tricky day. And he knows that Converse All Stars are shoes, even if your dad doesn't.

From The Church Times - June 2012


This is an excellent little collection of 50 original poems to be used in a classroom or school setting that address a wide range of themes and issues, from everyday life and emotions to slightly more topical issues like disability, being on benefits and bullying.

The poems really are excellent (my personal favourites are 'Zoo Trip' and 'Friend in Need') and the teachers' guidance notes that go with them really help to contextualise the situation and subjects with which these poems can be used. An excellent tool for a hard- pressed teacher who wants something short but interesting to use for assembly, worship or even in PHSE or other subject lessons.

Some of the poems in here would also work really well for a range of outside school activities. Youth and children's leaders and even ministers would not go too far amiss with using this book either.

Reviewed by Melanie Carroll, The Good Bookstall - June 2012