The old green door opens …

…. onto a poem!

This week I visited Balmoral School and the theme of their Book Week was Doors. There are so many books with doorways and there are so many ways doorways can take you places when you write.

I started off by picturing an old wooden door. It was green, with peeling paint, and it was on a shed at the bottom of a garden. I opened the door slowly and inside was …

…. this was the beginning of a poem the Year 7 students made up with me. I got them to think of things inside the shed.

The Old Green Door

I open the door and see

a rusty bicycle

an old radio

a broken broom

the dangling shovel

sparkling spider webs

flattened tyres

a fat chicken

a mountain of firewood

We ended up making a list poem and I loved the picture that grew in my head with this list of things. I then got the students to explore how a last line can change the whole poem. One student suggested the last line could be ‘The shed collapsed‘ as though it had been in one of the earthquakes. That line would make you see the whole poem differently. It shows how important last lines can be.

Think about the last line when you write your story poem.

This is the poem Jamila (Year 7) came up with (I love a ‘gush of dust’ and the ending!):

The Haunted House

The door is flung open.

A gush of dust flies through my face.

I step onto a rug.

Flies zoom in and out.

The wind whistles.

A howl is heard from every corner.

The room slowly darkens.

A shadow is still seen.

A mysterious person in front of me is still visible.

Abruptly they turn around.

A clone of me appears.


Harry (Year 7) manages to build nice tension in his poem:

The Door

I twist the golden painted brass handle

I throw open the old chipped door as it screeches

I see an old chalk board with chalk dust rom top to bottom

The back wall has crumbled plaster all over the floor

I walk over to the screeching of a rusty, metal-spring, cuckoo clock

But as I stumble round the corner I see

the great, grey door.


Bryan (Year 7) wrote this poem full of juicy rhyme and images:

The Spooky Mansion

Visiting the mansion, I reached for the knob.

The mouldy door creaked

and in the room I saw

flickered candles, melted wax

dreadful organs, flapping bats

fluffy webs and screaming ghouls

desperate zombies, flying ghosts

sparkling wizards, magic toast

fireworks screamed, very strong light.

Then someone lit the dynamite


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