Poetry

English Year 1 Summer Poems on a Theme

Nature Poems

Read, discuss and recite nature poems. Study sentence punctuation including questions & answers, and adjectives. Build descriptive vocabulary and use senses to write poems.

We recommend that you start with the core unit, the heart of this English block of study. This introduces key textual material and sets the tone for any further units you wish to teach. These can be selected on the basis of the needs of your class – look at the green icons to identify the unit’s particular focus: SPAG, Composition or Comprehension. Whichever units you choose, we suggest teaching them in order, as there is a built-in progression indicated by the numbering.

‘UNIT PLAN’ gives you a text version of all parts of the unit to use in your school planning documentation. ‘DOWNLOAD ALL FILES’ gives you that unit plan plus all of the associated documents.

Core
Unit 1 Core: Read, discuss, recite and memorise nature poems
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers.
-- Speak audibly and fluently; Participate in performances.
-- Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listeners.
-- Give well-structured descriptions.
-- Develop understanding through exploring ideas.

Word Reading
-- Re-read books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading.

Comprehension
-- Learn to appreciate poems and to recite some by heart.
-- Participate in discussion about what is read, taking turns and listening to what others say
-- Become very familiar with poems and considering their particular characteristics.

 


-- Explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them.
-- Link what they hear read to their own experiences.
-- Draw on what they already know or on vocabulary provided by the teacher.

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Say out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Compose orally before writing; Re-read what they have written to check that it makes sense.

Grammar
-- Use the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 in discussing their writing [adjectives].

You Will Need

Poems
(All in resources)
Nut Tree by Julia Donaldson
What do you do on a Nature Walk? by Kate Williams

Optional Texts
Wriggle and Roar by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt
A First Book of Poetry by Pie Corbett and Gaby Morgan

Website
How to bind single pages together from www.wikihow.com

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Display and read Nut Tree. Notice it describes the life cycle of a tree. Identify the features of the poem. Discuss how to produce an effective group performance of the poem; write the children’s suggestions on the whiteboard. Demonstrate how to implement each strategy.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability groups, with each group being given a different stanza from Nut Tree. Children read the stanza, ensuring they know and understand each word and then use the strategies from the Input to develop and refine an effective group performance.

Day 2 Teaching
Display Nut Tree. Read the poem together, encouraging the children to join in. Remind the children the poem describes the life cycle of a tree. Identify each stage and draw a suitable illustration. Discuss each stage of the life cycle and generate descriptive vocabulary.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs. They read Nut Tree, identify each stage in the life cycle of a tree and draw a picture suitable for each stage. Together they discuss and write appropriate descriptive labels for each picture.

Day 3 Teaching
Display and read What do you do on a Nature Walk? Identify the descriptive vocabulary. Display a range of natural objects from the outdoor environment. Generate and write a range of descriptive words and phrases appropriate for each object.
Activity
Children work independently. Lead the children on a nature walk to look at and discuss a range of interesting animate and inanimate objects. Children choose their favourite three objects, draw them and write a selection of appropriate descriptive vocabulary.

Day 4 Teaching
Display a selection of natural objects and a range of descriptive language appropriate for each. Select a variety of objects and orally explore different ways of combining the vocabulary into short phrases. Model writing each idea as a vertical list.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs. They identify and discuss each item they selected on yesterday’s nature walk, before orally exploring how to compose short descriptive phrases. Children write their best ideas as a vertical list.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Build and punctuate questions and answers
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through imagining and exploring ideas.
-- Participate in discussions.
-- Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.
-- Listen and respond appropriately to peers.

Word Reading
-- Re-read books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading.

Comprehension
-- Explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them.
-- Listen to and discuss a wide range of poems

 

-- Participate in discussion about what is read to then, taking turns and listening to others.

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Say out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Re-read what they have written to check it makes sense.

Grammar
-- Leave spaces between words.
-- Punctuate sentences with a capital letter, full stop & question mark.

You Will Need

Poems
The Secret Song by Margaret Wise Brown (see resources)

Optional Texts
Read Me First: Poems for Younger Readers for Every Day of the Year, Macmillan Children's Books

Website
How to bind single pages together from www.wikihow.com

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Display The Secret Song. Notice each stanza begins with a question. Emphasise the question mark. Read the poem aloud, using the correct intonation for each question and response. Use two different colours to highlight each question and response.
Activity
Children work in pairs, with two different coloured highlighter pens. Children read through the poem, several times, and highlight each question and response. They re-read the poem taking turns to use the correct intonation to read each question and response.

Day 2 Teaching
Display and read The Secret Song. Discuss which animal responds to each question. Identify alternative native animals. Select an animal and orally compose a suitable question. The adult models answering in the role of the animal.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability groups of three. Each child takes a turn to role play being a native British animal and to respond to appropriate questions asked by the remaining children in the group.

Day 3 Teaching
Display a range of question sentences. Notice they each begin with a capital letter and end with a question mark. Model writing additional question sentences. Select a question and orally prepare a response. Use correct punctuation to write the response.
Activity
Children work independently. They orally prepare a question sentence and a suitable response. Children use correct punctuation to write each sentence. They re-read their writing to check it makes sense and is correctly punctuated.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Read and discuss nature poems
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through exploring ideas;
-- Participate in discussions;
-- Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication;
-- Listen and respond appropriately to peers;
-- Give well-structured descriptions

Word Reading
-- Re-read books to build their fluency and confidence in word reading.

Comprehension
-- Listen to and discuss a wide range of poems;
-- Participate in discussion about what is read to then, taking turns and listening to others.
-- Explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them.

 

Transcription
-- Begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place.

Composition
-- Say out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Discuss what they have written with the teacher or other pupils
-- Compose a sentence orally before writing it.
-- Re-read what they have written to check it makes sense

Grammar
-- Leave spaces between words.
-- Punctuate sentences using a capital letter, full stop, exclamation mark and a question mark.
-- Use a capital letter for names of people, places and the personal pronoun ‘I’.

You Will Need

Poems
(All in resources)
The Nature Table by Karen Costello-McFeat
What we Found at the Seaside by Kate Williams
In My Garden by Moira Andrew
Follow Me by Petonelle Archer
Out in the Dark and Daylight by Aileen Fisher

Optional Texts
A First Book of Poetry by Pie Corbett and Gaby Morgan
My First Oxford Book of Poems compiled by John Foster

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Display The Nature Table. Clarify unfamiliar words. Discuss additional items that could be included; for each suggestion compose a short descriptive phrase. Identify and discuss the features of the poem.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs, with a selection of nature poems and a set of discussion questions. Children read through all the poems, select their favourite and use the question prompts to discuss it.

Day 2 Teaching
Display and read What we Found at the Seaside. Discuss the features of the poem. Identify favourite words and phrases. Locate pairs of rhyming words. Say that words rhyme if they have the same end sound, but not necessarily the same end spelling. Write a rhyming string.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability pairs, each with a copy of In My Garden. They read the poem and highlight the pairs of rhyming words in each stanza. Children write additional words for each rhyming string.

Day 3 Teaching
Display and read The Nature Table. Recognise the autumn imagery. Identify the most powerful words and phrases. Discuss what natural objects could be placed on a summer nature table. Write ideas as a vertical list, exploring a range of descriptive vocabulary.
Activity
Children work in ability pairs. They consider which natural objects would be suitable for a summer nature table. They discuss a range of appropriate descriptive vocabulary. Children draw their favourite ideas and write a descriptive phrase appropriate for each.

Day 4 Teaching
Display and read a range of descriptive phrases. Discuss how to use additional adjectives to extend each phrase. Consider ideas, which are more abstract. Select your favourite ideas and use correct punctuation at write them.
Activity
Children work in small mixed ability groups. They discuss a range of descriptive ideas, suitable for a summer nature table. Children select, rehearse and refine their favourite ideas, before using correct punctuation to write them in a fluent style of handwriting.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Writing sentences with adjectives
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Give well-structured descriptions.
-- Participate in discussions.
-- Listen and respond to adults and their peers.
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through imagining and exploring ideas.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them.

Transcription
None for this unit

 

Composition
-- Say out loud what they are going to write about.
-- Compose a sentence orally before writing.
-- Sequence sentences
-- Discuss what they have written with other pupils.
-- Read aloud their writing clearly enough to be heard by their peers.

Grammar
-- Use the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 in discussing their writing [adjectives].
-- Begin to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop.
-- Use a capital letter for the personal pronoun ‘I’.

You Will Need

Poems
(All in resources)
Ladybird
by Liz Brownlee
Who Am I? by Paul Cookson

Optional Texts
A First Book of Poetry by Pie Corbett and Gaby Morgan

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Display and read Ladybird and Who Am I? Highlight each adjective. Display a picture of a ladybird or bumblebee. Identify different body parts and discuss suitable adjectives. Write the children’s suggestions. Orally explore how to combine ideas into descriptive phrases.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability groups. Display photographs of different mini-beasts around the classroom. Each group takes a turn to look at each picture and compose suitable adjectives. Children orally explore combining the adjectives into descriptive phrases.

Day 2 Teaching
Display and read a range of adjectives appropriate for a minibeast. Orally explore combining the adjectives into a descriptive phrase, and then convert the phrase into a statement. Model writing the sentence, using correct punctuation.
Activity
Children select their favourite minibeast and work together as a mixed ability group. They read through the adjectives and orally explore how to build them into sentences. Children write each sentence, using correct punctuation.

Day 3 Teaching
Display and read Who Am I? Notice how the personal pronoun ‘I’ replaces the identity of the minibeast. Say that ‘I’ is always spelt with a capital letter. Select a minibeast and orally compose a range of descriptive sentences, in the first person.
Activity
Children work independently. They orally compose, refine and rehearse a range of descriptive sentences about their favourite minibeast. When they are confident, the children write their ideas as correctly punctuated sentences in the first person.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Write nature poetry using the senses
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers.
-- Give well-structured description.
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through exploring ideas.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Composition
-- Say out loud what they are going to write.

 


-- Read aloud their writing clearly enough to be heard by their peers and the teacher.
-- Discuss what they have written with the teacher or other pupils.
-- Compose a sentence orally before writing

Grammar
-- Use the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 [adjectives].
-- Leave spaces between words.
-- Begin to punctuate sentences correctly.

You Will Need

Poems
In My Garden by Moira Andrew (see resources)

Optional Texts
A First Book of Poetry by Pie Corbett and Gaby Morgan

Website
How to bind single pages together from www.wikihow.com

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Display and read In My Garden. Notice the poet has structured each stanza around on their senses. Consider how each stanza could be developed, using adjectives. Tell the children they will gather ideas for the own sense poem, inspired by nature.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability pairs to explore a range of natural objects. They identify objects appropriate for each sense and compose, refine and write descriptive words and phrases.

Day 2 Teaching
Say the children will write the first two stanzas of their sense poem, inspired by nature. Display a range of descriptive ideas, appropriate for sight. Read each phrase and develop it into a descriptive sentence. Repeat with hearing.
Activity
Children work independently, to write the first two stanzas of a sense poem, inspired by nature. They orally prepare appropriate descriptive sentences. When they have orally refined and rehearsed each idea, they write it using correct punctuation.

Day 3 Teaching
Display the sense poem written during the Input of Day 2. Identify specific words and discuss how they can be improved. Remind the children how to prepare appropriate descriptive sentences orally for the final two stanzas of the poem.
Activity
Children work independently, to write the final two stanzas of a sense poem, inspired by nature. They use descriptive words and phrases and check their punctuation.

Day 4 Teaching
Display and read the sense poem, written during the Input of Day 3. Today children will think carefully about their poem and review it. Model how to do this, using the review frame provided.
Activity
Children work in mixed ability pairs, with their finished poem. They take turns to read the poem aloud and then discuss what they have enjoyed and found challenging about the process of writing it.