Poésie’s gift of confidence

In this post Catriona Cunningham shares the resources she used as part of a workshop at the ‘Re-enchanting the academy’ conference. To read about the background to the workshop and further details of the other activities included, please click on this link.

The stimulus – a poem

Déjeuner Du Matin, Jacques Prévert, (Paroles, 1946)

Il a mis le café
Dans la tasse
Il a mis le lait
Dans la tasse de café
Il a mis le sucre
Dans le café au lait
Avec la petite cuiller
Il a tourné
Il a bu le café au lait
Et il a reposé la tasse
Sans me parler
Il a allumé
Une cigarette
Il a fait des ronds
Avec la fumée
Il a mis les cendres
Dans le cendrier
Sans me parler
Sans me regarder
Il s’est levé
Il a mis
Son chapeau sur sa tête
Il a mis
Son manteau de pluie
Parce qu’il pleuvait
Et il est parti
Sous la pluie
Sans une parole
Sans me regarder
Et moi j’ai pris
Ma tête dans ma main
Et j’ai pleuré.

The activity

I read the poem to the delegates three times. During the first reading the delegates were asked to to nothing other than sit and listen, with their eyes closed if they felt comfortable doing this. During the second and third readings delegates were asked to take notes about the thoughts and feelings they experienced during the readings. Finally, delegates were asked to discuss, in small groups, the notes they had taken.

In the resource below I explain the rational for this activity and the ways in which it might be used to support learning and teaching.


Have you used poetry to support student learning? If so, in what ways?

How might you use the activity outlined above in your classroom?