Valerie Bloom

writer and performance poet


Welcome to my homepage! See news and updates here and through the blog. You can find out more about me (and my availability to come to a school or event), or get in touch through the pages to the right. All the best!


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Last Night I Saw A Hedgehog

It’s time for #poemoftheweek! We’re going back to Jaws and Claws and Things with Wings today for another animal poem, this time about a hedgehog.

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The newest #poemoftheweek is read by Valerie herself. Before you listen, can you tell what the fruit in the featured image is?

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I Don’t Think Sheep Like Me

We have a young guest appearing in the latest #poemoftheweek; Valerie’s grandson joins in the reading of this one from Jaws and Claws and Things with Wings. Featured image by Sam Carter on Unsplash.

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The Wild Geese

Today’s #poemoftheweek is another one from Jaws and Claws and Things with Wings. Why are the geese on the move? Listen to find out! The featured image is again from the book’s illustrations by Matt Robertson.

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The Lion Lay Still in the Zoo

The latest #poemoftheweek is from Jaws and Claws and Things with Wings, a collection of animal poems. This one is a lovely poem to read aloud – you can almost picture the lion’s dreams as you read or listen. Featured image from the book’s colourful illustrations by Matt Robertson.

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Classroom activity – Autumn Gilt

Our next classroom activity is out! This time based on the poem Autumn Gilt, which is the first poem featured in the Let Me Touch the Sky collection. We actually featured this poem recently as a #PoemOfTheWeek, so as well as downloading the poem text and activity sheet below, you can also listen to an audio recording of it being read aloud.

The next resource in the pipeline will be a comparison activity for this poem and the one previously covered, Don’ Go Over There. Let us know how you found this one and keep an eye out for that instalment, coming soon!

Photo credit: we had a very nice featured photo for this poem already. But when we found Pedro Ferreira’s lovely image on accompanied by a copy of the poem, it felt fitting to use it! CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Poetry tips…

Wanting to write your own poetry? In this week’s #poemoftheweek Valerie shares her top tips for writing and performing your own. What other advice would you add?

This poem was recorded several years ago for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE).

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Autumn Gilt

It’s perhaps a bit early in the year for our next #poemoftheweek, “Autumn Gilt” (from the collection Let Me Touch the Sky), but we hope you enjoy listening anyway! There’ll be some activities for schools using this poem in an upcoming Scheme of Work freebie, so keep an eye out for that!

Photo by Dan Price on Unsplash

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Ashlyn performs “Pet Shop”!

We loved this video of 11-year-old Ashlyn Tombs from Zimbabwe performing “Pet Shop” with great style and energy for her National Eisteddfod! “Pet Shop” is one of the poems included in Jaws and Claws and Things with Wings and we’re delighted that Ashlyn chose to recite it for her entry. Well done, Ashlyn and good luck! Reproduced with permission.

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Classroom activity – Don’ Go Ova Dere

We promised you resources, and the first of them is hot off the press. A free lesson activity to go with Valerie’s poem Don’ Go Ova Dere, which can be found in the collection Let Me Touch the Sky. We’ve also included a copy of the poem for those who haven’t got the book. This activity is part of a wider Scheme of Work created by a practising teacher and has been successfully used with year 7 classes. It can, however, be adapted to other age groups or tweaked for any needs. If you do play around with it, let us know what you come up with!

We’re also looking to start sharing a poem of the week with you over the next few weeks; some of these may even be recorded by Valerie herself. Feel free to vote for a favourite and we’ll see if we can include it in the shortlist – and maybe give you a mention!

Hope you find these useful!

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