LESSON 4: Turkeys are cool!

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1 Collins Poetry Pack 17/4/07 16:03 Page 121 RHYTHM AND BLUES LESSON 4: Turkeys are cool! Poem: Talking Turkeys!, Benjamin Zephaniah Framework Objectives: Year 7, S&L 15 Develop drama techniques to explore in role a variety of situations and texts or respond to stimuli Learning Objective: Use living illustrations to help visualise a text Resources and lesson preparation Worksheet 35: Group talk skill cards cut into individual cards Worksheet 36: Planning a performance Copies of the poem It would be useful to gather a miscellany of images of Christmas and turkeys, and of relevant aspects of Afro-Caribbean culture; also, varied items that could be used as costumes, props and scenery. Raid your local scrap store or junk shop. Some images are provided on the CD-ROM. Starter Split the class into groups of three. Display the first four lines of Talking Turkeys as an OHT, and give groups three minutes to devise a presentation, one person reading, the other two acting out the lines. Alternatively, use ICT Activity 1 as a way into the poem, asking students to recreate the lines from the fragments. Introduction Ask the class what was difficult about the Starter task. Concentrate on difficulties associated with group organisation and getting on with the task, but also with finding something to act from the lines (it s difficult being a turkey!) Hand out to each group a set of cards from Worksheet 35. Give them a few minutes to sort the cards into rank order of importance. (Tip: ask them to diamond-rank the cards, i.e. most important card at the top, then two joint-second most important cards; three joint-third cards; two joint-fourth; one least important; put aside the rest.) Take feedback, create and display a class set of essential rules for successful group talk. (This activity is worth taking time over the whole lesson if necessary.) Now ask a couple of groups to perform their living illustration of the first four lines of the poem, and use audience responses to these performances to generate some criteria for successful performance ( do they work best with big gestures and stillness?). Development Ask the groups to develop and rehearse living illustrations for the whole poem. Use Worksheet 36 to help with this. Hand out any random scrap items you have gathered. (Tip: you could select a couple of students to be group talk assessors, circulating among the groups, listening and watching, and making notes judging the work against the agreed successful group talk criteria.) Stop the groups part-way through the process to get them to talk about how they are working together and ideas they have for the living illustrations, then ask them to continue. 121

2 Collins Poetry Pack 17/4/07 16:03 Page 122 Plenary Watch some performances and ask the audience to give the performers some feedback with reference to the agreed success criteria. (If you have appointed any, ask the assessor students to give feedback on how well groups worked together.) Suggestions for writing Students create their own poem in imitation of Talking Turkeys. You might wish to suggest possible subjects (e.g. Be nice to your teachers/parents/biscuits this Christmas/holiday/teabreak ). The poem could first be modelled, and it might help to use Zephaniah s structure with its reiterative rhyme and repeating rhythms. NOTES To a Fish and A Fish Answers by James Leigh Hunt (Indie, Lesson 7) also deal with a clash between animals and humans. 122

3 Collins Poetry Pack 17/4/07 16:03 Page 123 WORKSHEET 35: Group talk skills cards The best actor should decide how to do everything. Ask each other to explain your ideas. Make sure everyone gets a turn to say what they think. Don t waste time just do the first thing you think of. Criticise ideas, but not the people who put them forward. If you disagree with someone say why. Decide who is going to do what. Discuss all the different ideas before deciding. If a wrong decision is made, point out who is to blame. If you disagree with someone then just shout them down or insult them. If you have a great idea, keep it to yourself. Otherwise other people in your group will steal it. Be prepared to change your mind. Try out different ideas and see which one works best. Don t do anything until everyone has agreed on everything. Make up your own mind straight away and stick to it. Show that you are listening to other people s ideas. Try to all agree before making a decision. Let the best talker speak most. Always agree with your friends. Try hard to stick to the topic. Build on what the previous speaker said. The cleverest person should be in charge. Share ideas and information round the whole group. Choose a leader and do what they say. If someone gives a reason you don t think is good, you should question it. In the end it doesn t matter what is decided as long as everyone agrees. 123

4 Collins Poetry Pack 17/4/07 16:03 Page 124 WORKSHEET 36: Planning a performance Draw quick sketches in the boxes to go with the lines in bold, showing how you might perform the different images with a group of actors. Talking Turkeys Sketches Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas (1) Cos turkeys just wanna hav fun Turkeys are cool, turkeys are wicked An every turkey has a Mum. Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas, Don t eat it, keep it alive, It could be yu mate, an not on your plate (2) Say, Yo! Turkey I m on your side. I got lots of friends who are turkeys An all of dem fear christmas time, Dey wanna enjoy it, dey say humans destroyed it An humans are out of dere mind, Yeah, I got lots of friends who are turkeys Dey all hav a right to a life, (3) Not to be caged up an genetically made up By any farmer an his wife. (4) Turkeys just wanna play reggae Turkeys just wanna hip-hop Can yu imagine a nice young turkey saying, I cannot wait for de chop, (5) Turkeys like getting presents, dey wanna watch christmas TV, Turkeys hav brains an turkeys feel pain In many ways like yu an me. I once knew a turkey called Turkey He said Benji explain to me please, Who put de turkey in christmas An what happens to christmas trees?, I said I am not too sure turkey But it s nothing to do wid Christ Mass (6) Humans get greedy an waste more dan need be An business men mek loadsa cash. (7) Invite dem indoors fe sum greens Let dem eat cake an let dem partake In a plate of organic grown beans, An spare dem de cut of de knife, (8) Join Turkeys United an dey ll be delighted An yu will mek new friends FOR LIFE. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) 124

5 Collins Poetry Pack 17/4/07 16:03 Page 125 Talking Turkeys! Benjamin Zephaniah OHT Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas Cos turkeys just wanna hav fun Turkeys are cool, turkeys are wicked An every turkey has a Mum. Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas, Don t eat it, keep it alive, It could be yu mate, an not on your plate Say, Yo! Turkey I m on your side. I got lots of friends who are turkeys An all of dem fear christmas time, Dey wanna enjoy it, dey say humans destroyed it An humans are out of dere mind, Yeah, I got lots of friends who are turkeys Dey all hav a right to a life, Not to be caged up an genetically made up By any farmer an his wife. Turkeys just wanna play reggae Turkeys just wanna hip-hop Can yu imagine a nice young turkey saying, I cannot wait for de chop, Turkeys like getting presents, dey wanna watch christmas TV, Turkeys hav brains an turkeys feel pain In many ways like yu an me. I once knew a turkey called Turkey He said Benji explain to me please, Who put de turkey in christmas An what happens to christmas trees?, I said I am not too sure turkey But it s nothing to do wid Christ Mass Humans get greedy an waste more dan need be An business men mek loadsa cash. Invite dem indoors fe sum greens Let dem eat cake an let dem partake In a plate of organic grown beans, An spare dem de cut of de knife, Join Turkeys United an dey ll be delighted An yu will mek new friends FOR LIFE. 125

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