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After writing a new poem, "I Did Not Choose" for #NationalPoetryDay last week, I was overjoyed when a day later, a teacher from Scotland got in touch via Twitter to let me know that she was going to use the poem to inspire a poetry lesson with her class of 10 and 11 year olds. She thought it was a great way to get the children thinking about #Choices past, present and future, as they prepare themselves for the transition from primary to secondary school.

The inspirational teacher went on to create a template for the children to use which she has kindly allowed me to share with you. You can follow her on Twitter at @KiwiGrant21

Before getting the children to write, the class read and talked about the poem. They read my original blog post, they discussed Poetry Day and then explored the choices they have or haven't had and how these change as you become a teenager and in turn, an adult.

If you use the template, I would love you to share the children's work via the comments box below.

"I Did Not Choose" Poem Template
I Did Not Choose Template by @KiwiGrant21

I Did Not Choose Template by @KiwiGrant21

I Did Not Choose by Mark Bird
Download PDF • 313KB

I was particularly pleased, as I'd been following Breadalbane Academy's P7 poetry blog for a while. As a teacher and poet myself, it is one of the best examples I've seen of teachers and children embracing and promoting poetry. Judging by the outcomes of their poetry work, the standard of teaching and learning is nothing short of exemplary. The teachers must be proud of their class and the class must be proud of their teachers. What a team!

I love the way the class use poetry to explore their inner-selves and the world outside. Please check out their blog!

Nothing fills you with more pride than seeing your work inspiring others, and in real time too.

You can read my original poem and the children's outcomes on Breadalbane's P7 blog by clicking this link.

Or see my original poem and the children's brilliant outcomes using the slider below.

I Did Not Choose

I did not choose my day of birth

I did not choose my name

I did not choose my start on Earth

I did not choose my brain

I did not choose my faith or face

I did not choose my schools

I did not choose my human race

I did not choose the rules

I cannot choose the sunshine days

I cannot choose the storm

I cannot choose the people’s ways

I cannot choose the norm

But somewhere in the in-between

From first to final gasp

My destiny of how I’m seen

is held within my grasp

So I will choose: Escape the chains

So I will choose: Be free

So I will choose: Erase the stains

So I will choose: New Me

I’ll choose each day not I but We

I’ll choose and chase the choice

I’ll choose my path and what I’ll be

I’ll choose to hear my voice

Mark Bird

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