Creating a Book of Poems

Joanna Wilson's drawing of a dry stone wallerJoanna Wilson's drawing of a dry stone waller
© Settle Stories

The W.R. Mitchell Archive can be used as a stimulus to create fantastic dialect poems.

In 2012 we used the recording by John Geldard, talking about dry stone walls, to create poems with KS3 students at Settle Middle School.

We started out by thinking about how our language had changed over the years from the Celts to the Normans and the different sorts of words we used. We also discussed what dialects were and how they differed from accents. You might like to use the Dialect sheet to think about Yorkshire dialect words. We also have a handy Teacher Dialect sheet.

Then we listened to the recording by John Geldard and thought about the stones and the creatures living inside the stone walls, before creating our poems. You might like to use the Dialect Poems sheet with poems from Char March, Norman Nicholson and Helen Cruikshank as inspiration.

We wrote our poems and when we had finished we thought we would make them in a small book! We had a lot to think about from the title to the blurb on the back. You might like to use our Worksheet on Publishing if you would also like to create your own book of poems.

Here's one of our favourite poems by Jade Owens and Emily Panter:


Torn out o’ t’ river,
T’old battered, chapped, ’ands,
T’ stone wa’ picked, pulled and pushed
Slime slippin’ darn t’ back,
Top o’ t’ wall is mi place,
Out o’ t’ water, the view is great.
Nobody t’ talk t’,
Everywhere full o’ sheep.