History Festival Schools Poetry Takeover

Let’s change the way students and teachers participate in South Australia’s History Festival in May 2020!

Students years 4-11

Throughout May, all schools throughout South Australia are invited to participate in a poetry-developing activity.

We encourage you to engage with museums and interpret museum collections in a different way. What does local history mean to you? Why are objects important and why should we care? Why would a museum have that particular object on display? What’s the story?

Targeting HASS and English students from Years 4-11, students will be invited to pick a museum object, digital or non-digital, and write a poem relating to the theme ‘changing identities’. It could be a haiku, a stanza, a verse, or a slam, written or recorded. Whatever form is most interesting.

Submissions can be written, or audio or video files, along with a picture of the object. At the end of May, the History Trust will share the poems through the History Festival Facebook and Instagram page (@historyfestival).

Visit your local museum and engage with their collections objects or access digital objects from the History Trust collections. To book a museum visit, please contact your museum of choice directly.

Please note, Poetry Takeover sessions do not need to be registered as an event for the program.


Guidelines for teachers (PDF)

Guidelines for museums and galleries (PDF)

Download Poetry Takeover flyer (PDF)

General info:

This activity is open to students in South Australia from years 4-11.

Age groups will be split into three categories:

  1. Years 4-6
  2. Years 7-8
  3. Years 9-11

Poems will be inspired by a museum object. Students can engage with objects by either visiting  a museum, or exploring collections online.

The theme of the poem is 'changing identities' (this sits with ACARA English years 4-11).

Up to a maximum 300 words per poem.

Only one entry per student. Teachers can select their 10 best poems from the class to submit.

Teachers can submit poems by direct message on the Poetry Takeover Facebook page or by email.

Each poem to be accompanied by an image of the object (please ensure you have permission to capture and share the image).

Entries to be submitted by Friday 29 May.

More info: How to participate and Terms and Conditions (PDF)

Contact us for further enquiries.

Connect with your local school or museum

Download a list of schools, community museums & galleries by council area (PDF)

Check out the Explore History website

Poetry Takeover Resources:

Reflection cards (PDF)


More handy resources:

Rules for a Playful Museum (PDF)