Climate Crisis Poems from Tuffley Primary School!
Tuffley Primary School came to Cheltenham Literary Festival to see Matt Goodfellow and I perform some The Same Inside and Be the Change poems, and afterwards they wrote some excellent climate crisis poems themselves – which I am very pleased to be able to share with you.
Paul, I really like the image of the world fading away before our eyes, because it is being hidden by pollution. ‘I really hate pollution because it is like the world is fading away’. Lovely imagery! And wonderful undersea illustration.
Buying food locally is a brilliant way of helping local people AND helping the planet, a great thing to explain in this poem. Your last line is wonderful, Emilia; ‘set your food free, save them, and save me’. Every life in the world depends on other lives in the world – the bacteria in the earth, the insects, the birds, the animals, the trees, we need to save them all to save ourselves.
Keelie-Louise, your poem has some fantastic poetic devices in it – repetition and alliteration and rhythm. ‘Hear me out, I’m gonna shout, I’m gonna shout’ – brilliant! Litter does indeed kill many, many animals. They can get stuck inside bottles, choke on plastic, and get caught in strings etc.
You mention dreaming in your first line Faraneh, and there is a lovely dreamy quality to the rest of your poem as well. ‘Motion’ and ‘ocean’ are lovely, rolling, dreamy words that make you think of the sea. What a good idea to put a series of worlds breaking apart in the illustrations going round your poem.
Chloe, the repeating lines of the animal names and ‘Save me! save them! in your poem are very powerful. Your use of ‘not for me’ – is like saying not in my name, a statement that you are not going to accept this and will try to stop it. I also admire the way your picture round the edge is alike a deep, deep ocean with the sand at the top, with a little turtle just coming out.
Diamond seas is a very evocative description, making me think of sun and sparkles and and happy times, Mya. Excellent point, too, about how cutting down trees will affect the oxygen levels in the world as the not only take in carbon dioxide but they also breathe out our oxygen. Your repeated ‘please’ at the end is like a chorus. The tree looks like it is crying leaves!
Krystian, I love the empathy you have with animals that shines so clearly from your poem. It is certainly true that cutting down on the meat we eat will help the climate crisis. This is very complicated, and people have very strong feelings on both sides of this subject. I like the way your people round the edge are sad then not happy or sad, unsure, and then very happy, changing in each drawing. Having something to say and an opinion and expressing it well is very important in writing.
Great simile comparing the climate crisis with the meteor that helped wipe out most of the dinosaurs, Farbod! And a very powerful illustration, too… I’d like to see your next illustration of a happy world, without knives hanging over it, because so many people are walking or cycling, choosing to use the bus, or even to share their cars on the way to work!
Most of your poem is about the terrible things that are happening, Jaycie, but your last lovely line is the one that will save the animals! You have used what is known as ‘slant rhyme’. Two words that use the same vowel sound but different consonant sounds – killer and river. Well done. I like the way you have a contrast in your picture, too – the dark sea in the middle, and the bright, happy, rainbow outside of the polluted middle!
There can be hundreds of creatures living in just one tree – it’s excellent that you have kept focussed on just one aspect of climate crisis in this poem, Daisy – chopping down trees will, in the end, kill the animals that live in them, and can bring those creatures to extinction. The line ‘It is their home’ is very emotive – it makes people think how sad it would be to not have their own home. The falling leaves all around your picture makes me think of the trees falling too – lovely!
What a great line, Malachy, ‘one hundred enormous factories burning up the sky’. Wonderful rhythm, too. Help it, help it, help it, is a great opening line, as well, it gets people’s attention because it is an imperative – an order. And what a lot you have managed to get into your picture – the burning skies, the pollution from the factory, and the little turtle about to eat a plastic bag.
Another poem full of love for animals, Joseph. It’s wonderful that you have such strong feelings – poetry and art are very good ways of catching attention, helping people feel empathy, and making them think about and perhaps question things. ‘Knives stabbing like sharks attacking their prey’ is an excellent simile. What a lot of expressive pig faces!
Tyra, this is a great subject for your poem! Water is very precious, but because it is so easy to get from the tap and by flushing, it is so quickly wasted. ‘It is like filling up a pool for no-one to go in it’. Fantastic point. I hadn’t thought of it, but is just like that! Excellent – perhaps you could write a little book of tips?
Wow, there is some smashing imagery in this poem, Cody. Pollution is a very powerful thing, even if we can’t always see it, it is there affecting our air and breathing, and eventually if it gets too bad, yes, nothing will grow, and because of climate crisis fires can make the sky go dark with smoke. ‘A factory blowing black gas like a dark, dark room’ is a wonderful line. I also very much like the first two lines in this poem, they make your message feel very personal.
You’ve got a great rhythm in this poem, Safaa. I particularly like the third verse. You could take that verse and make more using the same first and last two lines,’The oceans are as polluted as/The city of Beijing,/If you want to save the Earth/Help Stop Pollution, and just change the ‘The city of Beijing’ line to all sorts of great similes like that one!
Isabell, you have some lovely similes here. “leaves as green as green as freshly grown grass’. What wonderfully alliterative lines. And a fabulous word – interdependent! Great information too – I don’t think many people know that not only do trees provide places for animals, and breathe in CO2, and give us oxygen, and give us fruit and nuts, they also help make soil, keep the soil healthy, and keep the soil where it is, places without trees flood much more easily.
You have chosen to write about and draw one of my favourite animals, Liam. Your polar bear does look very sad! The arctic circle should be as cold and colder than our freezer, but some parts recently have been warmer than our country for periods of time. ‘the arctic circle is melting, there’s no way to save them’ would make a great repeating line about the animals if you are writing another poem about the arctic circle. It has the same rhythm as ‘we’re going on a bear hunt’!
Isa, ‘a forest is as massive as one hundred football pitches’ is a lovely rhythmic line. Did you know that the world lost one football pitch of trees every single SECOND in 2017? That’s a lot of trees. I knew they were important but I didn’t know they make 25% of the oxygen in our air, thank you for that fact. I like the two very tall, majestic trees either side of your poem!
What a wonderful idea, Lorna, all the other creatures in the world looking at us in disapproval! They certainly should be, shouldn’t they! ‘Turtles looking like emerald seaweed, fishes as smooth as silk’ – beautiful imagery and lovely alliteration in those lines! I like the fish in the top left corner saying ‘save me’ !
‘Recycle, recycle, save the turtles’ are fabulous alliterative lines, Naomi. You have another two great alliterative lines as well – ‘on a sunny, sandy seashore with ice-cream’. A lot of ice-cream wrappers get blown out to sea because people throw them down. Even those put in a bin can fly out in the wind into the sea. I expect you know it’s safest to take all wrappers home. The repeated recycle pattern round your poem is great!
Oscar, I love that you have thought about sounds in your poem. I have never thought about the fact that trees sound just like plastic bags swishing in the wind, what an original simile! I used to live by the sea when I was a child, and to me they always sound like the sea. You have drawn wonderful images around your poem of trees being cut down. Perhaps your school could find somewhere to plant some trees? The Woodland Trust can provide trees, free.
Milena, you have used rhyme very successfully in your poem, which is hard to do, well done! ‘We’re destroying the Earth, Cutting down trees, There’s pollution and rubbish, In all of our seas!’ are great, rhythmic lines. I’m also very impressed by how neat your trees are surrounding your poem – the whole page looks excellent.
Great use of rhyming repetition here, Keira, which is an excellent poetic device. I like the idea of reusing toys and making them new. Is that you polishing a scooter? Wonderful. I also like that you have used the word ‘reduce’ which is one of the very, very best ways to help the planet – reducing what you buy.
I like the focus of this poem just on pollution from cars, Freya-May. I also like the fact you haven’t accepted ‘no time’ as a reason not to walk! Did you know that children in cars breathe in a lot more pollution than children who walk to school, even if they are walking beside busy, polluted roads? I hope you can walk to school, when it isn’t too rainy! What a fabulous drawing, too, of pollution from the exhaust pipe of the car, and the black cloud of pollution above!
Congratulations, Tuffley Primary School on a wonderful set of poems and great knowledge base!