Armchair Action Man – Fun with poems

Here’s a nice idea we picked up from Herbert Puchta and Marion Williams. Great for getting students to think creatively.

First choose a poem with lots of imagery. Ask the students to have a piece of blank paper and a pen at the ready and then read it slowly. Whilst the students listen they should make as many lightening quick sketches as they can. The drawings shouldn’t be in any order but should be all over the page. The students should let their imaginations run riot.

The poem is then read a second time and students sitting in pairs can look at their partners drawings pointing out the appropriate sketch. If the drawing is correct it’s a thumbs up, if not a thumbs down.

‘Armchair Action Man’  contains lots of extreme sporting images and superhero references and  it’s is also a great performance poem. The chorus lends itself to being acted out, bending the knees up and down on the ‘ooooh haaaa ooooh haaaa’ to imitate bungee jumping, for example. Have fun!

Armchair Action Man

I’m a front room extreme sports fan
An armchair comfy action man
Avoiding all danger it’s thrills that I seek
In pyjamas and slippers lounge lizard chic

Skimming the waves on my speedy jet ski
Diving with sharks on the barrier reef
Skiing off piste leaping from planes
Bungee jumping from riverside cranes

With a flick of a switch the adrenalin’s pumping
Change the channel I’m bungee jumping
OOOOH HAAAA OOOOH HAAAA
Look at me Mum I’m really somethin’

Canoing down rapids dropping from heights
My focus is blurred so I switch off the lights
Down in the depths of a pot-holing cave
The walls closing in I’ve got to be brave

It’s a roller-coaster a white knuckle ride
I’m worried I’m nervous there’s still time to hide
Behind cushions curtains doors and chairs
I wish I was fierce as grizzly bears

With a flick of a switch the adrenalin’s pumping
Change the channel I’m bungee jumping
OOOOH HAAAA OOOOH HAAAA
Look at me Mum I’m really somethin’

I’m stong as the Hulk a fly silver sufer
A superhero combatting inertia
My weapon’s remote a thrill seeking wand
My tuxedo is ironed I’m smoother than Bond

Would I do it for real no fear I’m not crazy
I’m burdened by weight and ever so lazy
I’ll stay in my chair and think like a hero
Instead of a jelly spined knee wobbling zero

With a flick of a switch the adrenalin’s pumping
Change the channel now I’m bungee jumping
OOOOH HAAAA OOOOH HAAAA
Look at me Mum I’m really somethin’

PHZ

‘Teaching Young Learners to Think’ – Herbert Puchta and Marion Williams – Cambridge University Press.

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About The Henry Brothers

We are English teachers involved in ELT publishing in Turkey, and also touring the country giving workshops and presentations to English teachers, mainly on the use of poetry, storytelling and other lively activities in the classroom. We can be contacted by e-mail to istanbuljohnm@hotmail.co.uk.
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