I Love Lists: Part 2

08 Sep

If you have been following Monday’s Muse, you’ll know I love lists! I have used Alan Ahlberg’s list poem, ‘Things I Have Been Doing Lately’ to insire many a writing workshop. (You can see the poem and read my earlier post here.) This term at The Writer’s Club, we’re exploring personal writing with a focus on developing a daily writing practice. Personal writing gives us a chance to to celebrate our unique style and writer’s voice so I thought I’d share last week’s workshop with you.

As part of our journalling experience, I have introduced a range of writing activities that capture a moment in time, so ‘Things I Have Been Doing Lately’ seemed the perfect starting point. We read the poem together. It has just the right amount of humour and truth to capture the life of a typical nine year old. How could we use words to do the same? Capture our life, right here and now? The results were wonderful. What I love most about this sort of poetry is the opportunity it provides to play with humour which can be a difficuly writing skill to master.

Hudson kindly let me share his poem on the blog. We loved it.

Things I have Been Doing Lately

Writing this poem.

Picking up my pen.

Opening my pen lid.

Picking up my pen lid again.

Moving my arm.

Raising my eyebrow.

Swinging on my chair.

Back and forth.

Side to side.

Looking at the time.

Day dreaming.

Spinning my pen.

Thinking about what I had to eat last night.

Tapping my note pad.

Flicking the pages.

Do I have A.D.D.?


After an opportunity to share our poems, I gave out sentence strips and each club member created a title for a new list poem. We collated them on the noticeboard- such a great collection of writing possibilities such as:

  • Things That Make Me Happy
  • 15 Things I Want For Dinner
  • Things I’m Good At
  • Things That Make Me Different
  • 10 Things I Couldn’t Care Less About
  • Things I Love Doing On The Weekend

I’ll give each writer a ┬ácopy of the list titles for their journals. I would have loved the opportunity to have students choose a random title and use it to inspire a piece of writing but we ran clear out of time. This might be possible in your classroom. Things I Love Doing On The Weekend may be an alternative to your usual Monday morning recount.

Happy writing!

Beth Cregan




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