Fold-up poems work in the same way as the game consequences, and can be used to activate taught vocabulary or grammar. There are a few different variations which change the tone of the outcome and suit different levels. The following activity and its variants can be combined and modified as required:
Students need paper and a pen(cil)
- Instruct students to divide their sheet of paper in half 3/4/5/6 times to produce 6/8/10/12 rows divided by creases.
- Students sit in a circle facing outwards, or sit facing away from others so they are not distracted.
- Explain that they are to write a poem collectively and that the activity is silent.
- When the class are relaxed and quiet, instruct students to write a verse (which could be a sentence, clause, stamement, question or interjection) that comes into their head (but it must be complete e.g. not
"A whistle was what", but "A whistle was what I heard").
- After 60-90 seconds, ask the students to fold the sheet of paper so that their sentence is hidden and then to pass it to the person on their left.
- Tell the students to write another sentence and again fold the paper and pass (the sentence needn´t be related to the first one they wrote).
- This process is repeated until all the rows are full.
- Students unwrap their poem and read it, correcting any spelling errors and making any minor changes to render it readable.
- The students mingle and read the poems, perhaps voting for the funniest, most random and most poetic to be read out to the whole class by volunteers.
Variation 1: partner poetry
The above procedure is followed, but pairs pass between themselves rather than around the group.
Variation 2: limited length
The teacher dicates numbers to write in the margin of each row, and the verses must contain the corresponding number of words e.g.
|4||Revenge of the lawn|
|6||You have two cows which moo|
|8||Do you think you can pass the test?|
|7||Welcome to the world of endless boredom|
|5||Not all eagles can fly|
|3||Nice mint tea|
Variation 3: target language
The teacher dictates, or the students choose, (studied) grammatical structures or vocabulary items, which are written beside each row and must be used in the verses e.g.
|agree||I don´t agree with this at all|
|has/have got||We have got to write a poem|
|knowledgable||Some animals are knowledgable|
|keen on||Esteban seems keen on Andrea|
|stopped||The pen stopped writing|
|quietly||Butterflies fly quietly|
|time to||There´s no time to talk|
|will be -ing||Will she be dancing at the club later?|