Year 5 Black Hole Poetry Workshops

The first year 5 Black Hole Poetry was a held at Ludlow Junior School in Southampton in October 2021.

Dr Sadie Jones and Astronomy PhD student Madeline-Mai Ward ran the workshop for the whole of the year 5 in the school hall. Both Sadie and Maddie are Black Hole experts so the year 5 students were definitely in good hands, even though this was the first time the black hole found poetry session had ever been run with actual students.

This first workshop was also a bit of a baptism of fire firstly because it was the first in-person workshop Sadie had been able to run in 2021 ‘cos of that whole pandemic thing and then secondly, Sadie had initially planned for the workshop to be with a single class of 30 students, so for the teachers to trust that it would work with the whole of year 5 (over 100 enthusiastic 5 children) on the first ‘outing’ was very brave of them.

However, the students really seemed to embrace the idea of making found poetry from text about black holes after listening to a short presentation on what black holes are and why the University of Southampton researches them.

A selection of Found Poems the children made in the the first workshop are shown below (to see more examples go to the Found Poems page).

Over 50 children came up to the front of the hall to read their poetry aloud and each received an xkcd stickers that said ‘stand back I’m going to do science’.

credit: xkcd

As with all primary school visits where astronomy and space is involved the children had A LOT of questions so Sadie and Maddie answered their questions about all things black holes and beyond for over 30minutes till it was the end of the school day!

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