Feel Most Free When

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First, listen to this group poem which was created by poet Dean Atta’s First Story Group at Hampstead School in London.

Click to play:

7 minute free write
We would like you to think about times when you feel most free.

  • Set a timer and when you press start write down the words, “I feel most free when…” and continue the sentence. Don’t overthink it! Just let your pen follow wherever your thoughts lead you, which could be anywhere!
  • Don’t put down your pen until the timer stops. Try not to worry about perfecting your writing, just get the words on the page – trust your mind and imagination! If you get stuck, try using one of the prompts on the next page.
  • Once the timer finishes, read your free write aloud and think carefully about what you have written. Either with a partner, or on your own, think about which lines you particularly like and why. What is your interpretation of freedom?

Prompts

  • Are there any activities that you associate with freedom?
  • Are there any objects that you associate with freedom?
  • Are there any feelings that you associate with freedom?
  • Are there any memories that you associate with freedom?

Use your imagination here and add detail from the senses.

  • What does freedom taste like?
  • What does freedom smell like?
  • What does freedom sound like?
  • What would freedom feel like to the touch?

Extension
If you are in a group, collect everyone’s favourite lines in order to compose a poem like Dean Atta’s group did.

You could try two variations:

  • One in which you keep the “I feel most free when…” refrain at the start of each line
  • One where you just have a list of the things themselves.

Decide which one you prefer.

If you chose to do this activity by yourself, pick your favourite line from your free write. Now using this line as a starting point, develop this into an individual piece building on the themes and images.