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Poetry for Upper Key Stage 2

Suzie Hunt By Suzie Hunt

Read poetry with your UKS2 class to develop spoken language, practise memorisation, try out performance skills and inspire powerful writing.

You can find all of our poetry blocks for Year 5 and Year 6 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 5 Poetry Planning

Poetic Language: Making the Ordinary Extraordinary!
Make the ordinary extraordinary! Enjoy modern and classic poems. Explore apt word choices and imagery (simile, metaphor, personification), expanded noun phrases and relative clauses.

Extra-ordinary poems to inspire your children in this block include:

  • 'The Words of Poems' by Carol Ann Duffy
  • 'Sky-Artist' by Grace Nichols
  • 'Nightwriter' by Tony Mitton
  • 'Quicksilver by Roger McGough

Explore Poetic Language for Year 5.

Poems on a Theme: Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
In this block, the classic Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats is studied to develop mastery of descriptive language, to teach relative clauses and parenthesis and to kick start poetry writing in your class.

Poems from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot and Axel Scheffler to read include:

  • 'The Naming of Cats'
  • 'The Old Gumbie Cat'
  • 'Old Deuteronomy'

Explore Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats for Year 5.

Poetic Language: Poems about the Sea
Read and write powerful poems about the sea and the Titanic, including Hardy’s 'Convergence of the Twain'. Revise word classes, noun phrases and adverbials.

Sea poems introduced in this block include:

  • 'The Convergence of the Twain' by Thomas Hardy
  • 'Sounds of the Sea' by James Berry
  • 'Long, Lone' by Russell Hoban
  • 'The Kraken' by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Explore Poems about the Sea for Year 5.


Year 6 Poetry Planning

Narrative Poetry: The Highwayman
Read, discuss and perform, 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes. Write a new ending. Revise adverbials and relative clauses and study the perfect form to mark time and cause.

Poems that tell stories in this block include:

  • 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes
  • 'The Listeners' by Walter de la Mare
  • 'The Smuggler's Song' by Rudyard Kipling

Explore The Highwayman for Year 6.

Performance Poetry: Choral and Performance Poems
Have fun reading, writing and performing poetry (flash-mob anyone?). Explore poetry features and bust fairy tale stereotypes. Study expanded noun phrases and the subjunctive form.

Perform these poems and more in this block:

  • 'All of Us Knocking on the Stable Door' by David Harmer
  • 'Jack and the Beanstalk' by Roald Dahl
  • 'Goldilocks on CCTV' by John Agard
  • 'The Language of Cat' by Rachel Rooney
  • 'Gran, Can You Rap?' by Jack Ousbey

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 key stage one or for lower key stage two.