This lesson is about poetry in prison.  It provides students with three authentic poems first published in Inside Time – the National Newspaper for Prisoners. The lesson is aimed at high level learners. If your learners are lower level for example, Entry 3 / National 4, it might be better to use just 1 of the poems and accompanying activities.

Topic: Reading and talking about poetry

Level: Entry 3 (National 4) to Level 2

Time: minimum 110 minutes


  • To develop learners’ ability to read different texts such as poems.
  • To give practice of extracting information from a text.
  • To develop learners’ vocabulary of prison life.
  • To improve learners’ stress and intonation.


All learners will be able to:                                                           

  • predict what poems could be about
  • read and understand at least one poem
  • discuss what the poem means
  • write some sentences using colloquial English.

Level 1 and 2 learners will be able to:

  • read and understand at least 2 poems
  • write a simple poem.