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Compare poets to songwriters and poems to rap to engage students – KS3 English lesson plan

Key Stage



Years 7-9


Help your students sharpen their critical skills by pairing poems with popular music that covers similar thematic ground, suggests Emily Bearman…

Following the introduction of the new GCSE specification, and its significantly larger focus on both seen and unseen poetry, we at Maltings Academy have sought to prioritise building and challenging students’ passion and love for learning poetry at KS3.

Our approach has been to utilise the medium of music and role models, in the form of rap, hip hop and spoken word artists, to help students explore these shared conventions and express themselves, while building their confidence and ability to inspire their peers.

Why teach this?

Are you struggling to engage your students in finding the ‘tone’ of a poem? By comparing poets to songwriters, and making connections between poetry and rap music, it’s possible to develop students’ creativity, oracy, confidence and ability to express themselves.

Key curriculum links

  • Identify and compare key poetic conventions used in a variety of texts.
  • Explore narratives from different genres, considering the contextual factors of each piece
  • Strengthen students’ cultural capital, enabling them to access a broader range of creative stimuli

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