Michael Rosen – Dancing a Poem


“It’s all a matter of doing and thinking.”

Throughout Michael Rosen’s  adult life, his mother’s words been a Pole star that has guided him. His brother loved to play with words and their mother’ s words changed and become “It’s all a matter of being and seeing, or talking and walking. . .”

Michael is a poet, novelist, performer and broadcaster. He has written over one hundred books, among them the well-known classic story We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and funny and thought-provoking poetry books like Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly and Gravy and his newest book Even My Ears Are Smiling.

In the RSA video below, he talks about education and the Activist thesis. I love the idea behind this thesis, which is that an activity of any kind, throwing a ball or squeezing a sponge, will get our minds and bodies go through action. This action involves our minds by involving memory, recall, observation, evaluation and synthesis of all these.

Michael says that if children are interested and involved in whatever they are doing, their thinking will develop. He highlights one important ingredient for this to happen and that is that children need to be allowed to experiment. Experiment with what they could talk about and with what they could think. “It’s all about Talking, Doing and Thinking.”

The talk is rather long and it consists of a short introduction by Matthew Taylor, and then the talk by Michael. After that there is a rather long discussion. In the talk Michael says that poems should be danced. You read a  poem with your whole body. And if you dance poems to children they will do poems, says Michael.

But first let’s listen to Michael dancing his book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.



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