The Clown Punk Structure Analysis Essay

  • 'Checking Out Me History' - a reading

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    Read by John Agard.

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  • Explore 'Checking Out Me History' in Wordbox

    Launch activity

    Click on the icon to launch the poem in Wordbox.

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  • 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard

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    A copy of the poem.

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  • Teaching ideas

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    A series of suggestions for exploring 'Checking Out Me History' with your students.

    Related resources: Character and voice | Agard, John | Contemporary poetry | 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard

  • Words, words, words

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    Pre-reading ideas for exploring key features of 'Checking Out Me History' using a word cloud or a collapsed version of the poem.

    Related resources: Character and voice | Agard, John | Contemporary poetry | 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard

  • Checking out the 'other' history

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    Students research the historical figures mentioned in Agard's poem.

    Related resources: Character and voice | Agard, John | Contemporary poetry | 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard

  • Agree or disagree?

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    Evaluate statements about the poem's themes and ideas and find evidence to prove or disprove each. Aimed at Higher Tier students.

    Related resources: Character and voice | Agard, John | Contemporary poetry | 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard

  • What they don't teach you

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    Identify the relationship between what 'dem tell me' and what 'dem never tell me'. Suitable for Foundation Tier students.

    Related resources: Character and voice | Agard, John | Contemporary poetry | 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard

  • Drama activities

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    Drama activities to help students explore the key themes of the poem, including agreement lines, devised scenes and a 'split screen' technique.

    Related resources: Character and voice | Agard, John | Contemporary poetry | 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard

  • Metaphor mapping

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    Activities to explore the use of metaphor in the poem. There are two differentiated versions of this resource: the first is for Higher Tier students, while the second is intended for Foundation Tier.

    Related resources: Character and voice | Agard, John | Contemporary poetry | 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard

  • Exploring form and structure

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    Consider the effectiveness of different versions of the poem. Two differentiated versions of this resource are included: pages 1-6 are for Higher Tier students and pages 7-9 are for Foundation Tier.

    Related resources: Character and voice | Agard, John | Contemporary poetry | 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard

  • Line and name match

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    Move the Magnet tiles on-screen to put the right names with the right lines from the poem, and answer the questions about the patterns of meaning that arise. The Word document has instructions and teaching suggestions.

    Related resources: Character and voice | Agard, John | Contemporary poetry | 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard

  • Like your style

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    Use the original poem as inspiration for students' own poems.

    Related resources: Character and voice | Agard, John | Contemporary poetry | 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard

  • Comparing 'Checking out Me History' and 'Casehistory: Alison (head injury)'

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    A series of statements for students to test against these two poems. The html file is an on-screen alternative: once you have sorted the statements, double-click on the shaded tiles for some questions.

    Related resources: Character and voice | Agard, John | Contemporary poetry | 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard

  • Social and historical context

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    Background information on John Agard and the poem 'Checking Out Me History'. This information is also available as a web page in the 'Social and historical' section.

    Related resources: Character and voice | Contemporary poetry | 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard

  • Simon Armitage explores and explains the themes, ideas, feelings and attitudes behind 'The Clown Punk' and considers the language, structure and form of the poem linked to its central ideas. His reading of the poem is combined with visual images and documentary footage of the punk era, alongside an explanation and analysis of some key words and phrases. He considers the ways the poem can be interpreted as an exploration of the effects of the passage of time.
    This clip is from:
    Simon Armitage: Writing Poems
    First broadcast:
    9 March 2012

    This clip can be used to explore the use of imagery in the poem. Students could be given a pile of magazines, newspapers, junk mail or access to web images and asked to produce a punk style cut 'n' paste collage of the images in the poem (leaving no white spaces on their A3 piece of plain paper). One student is chosen at random to visit the collages in 'exhibition' in the classroom, and choose the collage which best brings the poem to life. This collage is photocopied for all the students and used to help students write a brief analysis of their 'five most effective images in the poem'.

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