Section 4: Using story and poetry

Key Focus Question: How can you use poetry and story to stimulate pupils to write?

Keywords: name; praise; poems; stories; biographies, writing

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will have:

  • used name or praise poems or stories to stimulate pupils’ ideas for writing;
  • used resources such as magazine or newspaper articles to stimulate ideas for writing life stories (biographies);
  • explored ‘drafting’ and ‘crafting’ when writing.


Throughout Africa, we have a rich oral and written literature about people who are, or who were in the past, important to their families, their communities and their countries. They are celebrated in praise songs and poems and in life stories (biographies). Using this rich cultural history in your teaching can provide reading materials for the language classroom and stimulate pupils’ interest in writing.

1. Using poems to stimulate writing activities