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In this week's blog Pearls of the Sea Artist Educator, Joseph Coelho, tells us about his experience of teaching MOREAPS to a group of teachers who attended one of the gallery's CPD sessions.  

One thing I have learnt over many years of running poetry sessions with adults and children is that a group of people in a room together act the same no matter the age. So whether your room is filled with chattering 6 year olds or chattering 66 year olds the group dynamics are always the same and therefore poetry is the great leveller.

On a recent Continuing Professional Development (CPD) session at Jerwood Gallery I had the pleasure of working with the teachers involved with the fantastic Pearls of the Sea project of which I am an artist tasked with the enviable task of creating creative sessions with local teachers to wow their students. On this particular CPD session I was asked to run a mini workshop that appealed to the teachers desire to be creative within the gallery.

Teachers have always been some of the most creative people I've had the pleasure of working with and so I was very excited to see what they would come up with when tasked with a challenge normally reserved for their students namely to create a group MORERAPS poem. If you've not familiar with the MORERAPS you can find out more here.

In short the MORERAPS is a poem I created to help demystify the poetic devices. I often start sessions in school with a reading of the MORERAPS as I find it helps pave the way for a day of writing unhampered by the fears of "What is a metaphor?" and "Does it have to rhyme?"

The teachers did not disappoint. As I read my poem they joined in at all the right places though did need a little prompting to sing ONOMATOPOEIA (something that children will do whether you want them to or not). Having read the poem I let the teachers run free in the Jerwood Gallery's beautiful collection, asking them to create their own MORERAPS, once created they swapped poems and attempted to find the paintings that had inspired their partners MORERAPS - some were found in mere moments simply by the tone of the written poem, others took slightly longer as the teacher-poets attempted to infer how a particular poem spoke to their colleagues. 

By the end of the session not only did each teacher leave with their own MORERAPS poem - but we also had a group MORERAPS poem that we had jointly created.


07 April, 2016
Written by Joseph Coelho