How to... in a lockdown

One of the flexible formats we love engaging with is the Instructional Poem.

This allows you to play with language and ideas starting with a 'how to' list.


You might like to choose one of these titles to get you started:


  • How to *Walk in the Era of Social Distancing. or *play sport/ shop/ party ...

  • How to ZOOM with Classmates or How not to...

  • How to Survive Lockdown with Your Family and Live to Tell the Tale.

  • How to wash your hands

  • How to fill in time


Write a list of everything you can think of- no censoring ideas. Repetition is fine.


  • Now take your list and expand on some ideas.

  • Select the verbs that best describe the actions.

  • Trim other ideas so that two or three things are in one line.

  • Rearrange the lines to aid meaning and rhythm.

  • Play around with the words and the sounds.

  • Read your instructional poem out loud. Think about the best way to end it.


Here are a few samples of Instructional Poems on our Blog. Note how they all have a different tone and approach.


https://www.schoolforyoungwriters.org/post/how-to-walk-among-gamblers-unnoticed


https://www.schoolforyoungwriters.org/post/how-to-make-a-desert


https://www.schoolforyoungwriters.org/post/2019/03/04/gymnastics


https://www.schoolforyoungwriters.org/post/2018/09/26/how-not-to-climb-a-tree





When you have written your ideas down you can share them for our Write On Speak Out: Lockdown Voices 2020 project.

See details here: https://www.schoolforyoungwriters.org/write-on-speak-out