Depending on how confident children feel with drama activities, this activity can be done in a group or as individuals.
If working in a group ask children to choose an animal – living, extinct or fictional. Working together they have to create the animal using their bodies, working together to move around the space. Once they feel confident moving as a team encourage them to add sound effects, then give them different challenges to act out. How would your animal eat? Sleep? Interact with other animals in the room?
Once you’ve had fun exploring the animals, create word banks using the drama to guide you. To extend the activity think about what the animal might represent (Lions = bravery, Foxes = sly etc) can you add those characteristics into the poem? What happens if you reverse them – write a poem about a shy lion or a kind fox.
Use “If I were a…” as the poem’s starting prompt.