Activity 1: Spoken word poem

  • Introduce learners to spoken word poetry
  • Learners will write a short-spoken word poem on the topic of “work”
  • Learners will explore their personal values
  • Learners will be able to express their thoughts and feelings through poetry writing and performing
  • Acting according to values
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Addressing problems and issues
  • Conveying and exchanging information and ideas


  • Pieces of paper for each participant
  • Pens for each participant
  • Laptop or projector with audio capabilities

Participants will individually write and perform a short-spoken word poem addressing the topic of “work”

This activity can be done alone or in groups of up to 4.

A time of collective feedback can be planned: each one presents his/her work and especially part 5 which allows to think collectively on the links with current events.

Introduction of Spoken Word Poetry 5-7 Minutes

Host asks participants to get seated and play one of the following videos.

Phil Kaye // Repetition (Poetry Observed) – YouTube

Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter - YouTube

>Please note to access this video with subtitles switch on the cc at the bottom right of the screen and then go to settings > subtitles > auto-translate and select your language of choice.

What is Spoken Word Poetry? 10-12 Minutes

Ask learners to share their thoughts on what spoken word poetry is after watching the video. After a short 3–5-minute discussion explains the following points to participants:

  • Spoken word poetry is word-based performance art
  • It is a way of self-expression allowing the poets to share their views on their chosen topics
  • Rhythm is a foundational element ; poets utilize rhythm to help the poem flow and avoid monotone performance
  • Although many spoken word poems include rhyme, it is not necessary, and most poets use rhyme to emphasize points
  • Sound and presentation are equally important to body performance and a physical presence

Topic Setting 5-10 Minutes

Let participants know they will be writing their own spoken word poem on the topic of “work”. There are no other rules or guidelines; participants can write whatever they wish. Use your judgment if you will allow explicit language.

To assist participant writing share the following tips for writing good spoken word poetry.

First Draft 20 minutes

Participants should spend about 15-20 minutes working on their first draft. Host may play some instrumental music as background.

Pair & Share 10-15 minutes

Participants pair up and listen to each other’s spoken word poem. Instruct participants to share to each other a  “Rose”( something they liked from the poem) and a “Thorn” ( something they would suggest changing, add to or remove). Host should ensure to remind participants about the topic of “Work”. Participants spend another 15-20 minutes polishing their poem.

Presentations 30+ minutes depending on the size of the group

Participants take turns in performing their spoken word poem. As a group give at least one “Rose” feedback to each performer.

  • Do you consider yourself as someone who has values?
  • How did it feel like to write about the topic of work?
  • Have you previously thought about work and how it relates to your values?
  • What kind of feelings or thoughts came up for you?
  • How would you rate the difficulty of this project and why?

Mixed age groups.

How does each participant understand the topic of ‘work’. Does age affect how we contextualize ‘work’?