For teachers

Here is a suggested class plan for teachers to use in class.
You can also download this Class Plan in PDF format here.


This is a poetry project for New Zealand’s National Poetry Day 2023, which is on the 25 of August. On 1 August we will publish five words chosen by students of the López de Arenas Secondary School in Marchena, Seville. There will be a prize for the Best Poem by Under-16s courtesy of The Cuba Press and The Massey University Press.


• Encourage investigation and creativity in relation to words and meaning.
• To make a poem inspired by five words.


Write some pairs of words on the board, for example rain/robot, grumble/granddad and heavy/hamburger, and give students 6 minutes to write down sentences that include both words of each pair. (e.g., The friendly robot had a built in umbrella for the rain.) Who can think up the craziest sentences? Ask students to read out a sentence. Did anyone play with alliteration in their sentences? (e.g., Granddad grumbled while going to get his glasses.)
Now write another word on the board, for example ‘scale’, and make an Ideas Cloud around the word. What words connect with scale? (music, rock-climbing, a measurement, size, fish, etc…)

Next, divide the class in groups and give each group one of the five words from the competition. On a large sheet of paper they have to make an Ideas Cloud for the word in their group. They can include drawings, writing, or collage from magazines etc. Each group presents their word to the rest of the class.

NOTE: Take this opportunity to point out how the word ‘broken’ can be used as both a verb and an adjective. As verbs can change, we will accept poems with: break, broke, or broken (but not the noun: break or the adjective: broke).

Students now work individually using the five words to write their poem. The theme of the poem is open and will depend on what the five words suggest for each person. If they need help they can use the Ideas Clouds and start by writing sentence ideas for word pairs as in the previous exercise.

Ask the students what is more important: The ideas they want to express? Or the sound and rhythm of the words?


Students share their poems with the class and comment on each other’s work.


Make your own Creative Word videos to send in and maybe they will be chosen as one of next year’s five words!

1) First watch the videos made by the students from López de Arenas Secondary School in Spain: (6 minutes) and those made by students from Te Parito Kōwhai Russley School in Christchurch: (1.22 minutes)

2) Choose your word! A strange word, a funny word, a word that is special for you, a word in English, te reo Māori or another language, a thing, an action, a describing word, any word…

3) Think of a creative way to present your word visually on video. For example:
• Make a picture (painting/collage/drawing) with the word.
• Find your word in the environment (street signs, etc).
• Write a word with food.
• Write a word on a dusty window or in condensation on a window.
• Cut out each letter in cardboard and find an interesting way to display the word.

See how creative you can be with the presentation of your word!

4) Make a short video of your word. You can use a mobile phone camera. You can include sound or texts like the students in Spain did.

Teachers can send a selection of the best videos to

PLEASE only send videos where the identities of the children are not visible.

You can send the videos after 25 August and up until the end of November 2023.

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