A poetry challenge based on an iconic short poem is drawing some beautiful truths from our children, with hilarious results.

The activity asks that children make anonymous confessions to times they have misbehaved, in the form of classic piece of poetry.

A Kiwi teacher has taken to social media to share her Intermediate-aged pupils' contributions to the challenge, which is organised by Schoolkit and ask children to recreate William Carlos Williams' 1934 poem This Is Just To Say. The original poem reads:

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold


The responses from the class will be familiar to parents across NZ, revealing a catalogue of petty theft, minor violence and sibling rivalry.

The teacher, who wanted to remain anonymous to protect the anonymity of her charges, has been teaching for six years and said she wasn't surprised by some of the confessions, but more surprised by the children who claimed they had nothing to confess.

"Some of the absolute funniest stories came from the most squeaky clean, student leader type children!

"And one student confessed a story that even Mum hadn't known about," she told the Herald.

She said that, while it took some time to get them interested, they enjoyed the exercise.

"It took a few naughty stories of my own to break the ice and get them going, but once they were there they had a fantastic time.

"My class love writing, but yesterday they really loved writing".

The exercise is being replicated across the country through the Schoolkit programme, which provides free resources for teachers. This activity is part of a unit which matches city schools to their country counterparts and encourages the children to write postcards to their peers.


The original poem is one of the most well known by William Carlos Williams, an American poet and doctor who published work in the Imagist school and released collections from 1909 until his death in 1963.