About Us produced a series of videos for GCSE English students. In each of these four videos, we explore a recently commissioned poem, hear from the poets themselves, and practise some techniques for tackling unseen poems. Watch the playlist below.
The poems featured were originally commissioned for the About Us live show. They are by poets Stephen Sexton, Jason Allen-Paisant, Khairani Barokka and Llŷr Gwyn Lewis. Each poem explores the theme of connection, covering topics like outer space, nature and evolution, global supply chains, and the digital world.
These videos use those poems as examples to practise ways of approaching an ‘unseen’ poem. Aimed at Key Stage 4 students, they introduce techniques students can use in an exam context. Approaches to the unseen covered here can be applied to other poems students might meet in the future. Each video comes with an accompanying worksheet, freely available to download.
We hear the poems read aloud and watch interviews with the poets, explaining why they made particular poetic choices and what inspired them. Along the way, the videos touch on lots of features of language, such as alliteration, metaphor, imperatives and many more.
We know students can feel daunted by all the terminology they have to learn; these resources aim to bring that terminology alive, offering a fascinating insight into why poets use different poetic devices and demonstrating that poetry is a living, dynamic art form.