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Poetry for Key Stage 1

Suzie Hunt By Suzie Hunt

Read poetry with your KS1 class to develop spoken language, practise memorisation, try out performance skills and inspire powerful writing.

You can find all of Hamilton's poetry blocks for Year 1 and Year 2 by using the poetry filter at the top of the page and exploring Autumn, Spring and Summer blocks. We have also picked out a few of our favourite poetry blocks below for you to try.

Year 1 Poetry Planning

Humorous Poems: Express Ideas Creatively
Read a range of humorous poems. Learn to use capital letters for names and to start sentences. Explore how 'and' can be used. Start writing sentences to express ideas creatively.

Funny poems that will amuse and inspire your children in this block include:

  • 'Dad and the Cat and the Tree' by Kit Wright
  • 'The Vulture' by Hilaire Belloc
  • 'If You Should Meet a Crocodile', Anonymous
  • 'Twas Midnight', Anonymous
  • 'Where Teachers Keep Their Pets' by Paul Cookson

Explore Humorous Poems for Year 1.

Poems on a Theme: Nature Poems
Read, discuss and recite nature poems. Study sentence punctuation including questions and answers. Build descriptive vocabulary and use your senses to write poems.

Nature poems that will stimulate your children in this block include:

  • 'Nut Tree' by Julia Donaldson
  • 'What Do You Do on a Nature Walk?' by Kate Williams
  • 'The Secret Song' by Margaret Wise Brown
  • 'The Nature Table' by Karen Costello-McFeat
  • 'What De Found' at the Seaside by Kate Williams

Explore Nature Poems for Year 1.

Classic Poems: Traditional Poems
Have fun with traditional action rhymes, rounds, songs and nursery rhymes. Explore verbs and sentence punctuation. Improvise dramas based on nursery rhymes. Write in roles.

Classic poems that your children can perform in this block include:

  • 'Here’s the Lady’s Knives and Forks'
  • 'Grandmas Glasses'
  • 'Two Little Dicky Birds'
  • 'Here’s the Church and Here’s the Steeple'
  • 'Foxy’s Hole'

Explore Traditional Poems for Year 1.


Year 2 Poetry Planning

Classic Poems: Poems of Edward Lear
Using Edward Lear’s celebrated poetry, including 'The Owl & the Pussycat', children are stimulated to write and explore nouns, adjectives, prepositions and expanded noun phrases.

Lear poems you children can get stuck into in this block include:

  • 'The Owl & The Pussycat'
  • 'The Quangle Wangle’s Hat'
  • 'The Pobble Who Has No Toes'

Explore Poems of Edward Lear for Year 2.

Poems on a Theme: Monster Poems
Using poems about monsters, children read, discuss and write poems about one of their favourite subjects. Revise grammatical terminology and have a go at expanding noun phrases.

Monster poems that will get your children's blood going in this block include:

  • 'It's Behind You!' by David Harmer
  • 'Question Time' by Michaela Morgan
  • 'Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf' by Roald Dahl
  • 'Worse Than Half a Maggot' by Paul Cookson

Explore Monster Poems for Year 2.

Poetic Language: Really Looking at Birds
Look at poetic language and imagery with the help of poems about birds. Learn favourite poems off by heart. Study noun phrases. Use correct punctuation in writing about poems.

Avian poems encountered in this block include:

  • 'The Day of the Gulls' by Jennifer Curry
  • 'A Bird' by Emily Dickinson
  • 'Ducks Ditty' by Kenneth Grahame
  • 'Owl' by Pie Corbett

Explore Really Looking at Birds for Year 2.


Hamilton provides a diverse range of planning around multiple texts to give teachers a wide choice for their English teaching. With Oftsed's focus on making sure your planning is representative and relevant to the children in your class, we want to make sure you have plenty of choice - with poems that have diverse characters, settings and cultural backgrounds that can be matched to your class, whatever your particular context looks like.

Explore more poetic inspiration for lower key stage two or for upper key stage two.