Poetry

English Year 2 Summer Poetic Language

Really Looking at Birds

Using a wide range of poems about birds, look at poetic language and imagery. Learn favourite poems off by heart. Study noun phrases; use correct punctuation in writing about poems.

Start with the core unit to introduce key texts. Then select from comprehension, SPAG and composition units.

Core
Unit 1 Core: Read poems and appreciate poetic language and imagery
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Poems
(All in resources)
The Day of the Gulls by Jennifer Curry
Little Trotty Wagtail by John Clare
To the Cuckoo by William Wordsworth
Additional poems (see resources)

Weblinks
How birds use their wings from www.bbc.co.uk

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Watch BBC clip about birds flying then ask children to imagine what it would be like to be a bird, swooping around in the sky. Use a thesaurus to find and list powerful verbs to describe ways of flying. Activity
Give children the sentence starter ‘If I were a bird I would...’. They use synonyms for flying, finding their own or using words generated in teaching, to write several sentences about how and where they would go.

Day 2 Teaching
Children again imagine they are birds, flying. List additional powerful verbs to describe this flying. Repeat for birds coming into land. Introduce and read The Day of the Gulls and highlight powerful verbs and imagery. Shared write a new version.
Activity
In pairs, children brainstorm ideas for words, imagery and powerful verbs to incorporate into a new version of The Day of the Gulls. They use the class list for reference and the original poem and shared version to inspire.

Day 3 Teaching
Read Little Trotty Wagtail and discuss powerful verbs and detailed descriptions. Highlight them on the poem and pick one or two that are particularly effective, explaining why. Then highlight something that you didn’t think worked very well. Repeat for To the Cuckoo.
Activity
Children read Selected Poems in pairs. They highlight good poetic language and imagery using a marker, then use a different marker to highlight aspects that they didn’t like. Children then compare the poems.

Day 4 Teaching
Reread some of the poems and discuss the most and least favourite poem from Day 3. Use a grid to record and compare the two poems. Discuss words to use in sentences for comparison and model using these to compose a sentence.
Activity
Children reread poems and complete a grid, comparing two poems. They write a comparison of the poems using the grid for reference and language for comparison.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG Understand and use noun phrases in writing description
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Poems
Bird poetry (in resources)

Presentations
SPaG – PowerPoint on Noun Phrases

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Use Noun Phrases PPT to first recap nouns and adjectives, then to explore noun phrases. Share the image of the Berwick swan landing and describe it in detail. Model how to write interesting descriptive words and phrases.
Activity
Children read The Swan poem, highlighting nouns and adjectives. They then turn over a bird card, add an adjective and describe the bird and its action to a partner. Children record their descriptions.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap noun phrases using the Noun Phrases PPT, then explore prepositions. Read The Stork identifying noun phrases, then take a bird card and pass it round three children. In turn the children add a noun, an adjective, and an additional piece of information using a preposition.
Activity
Children complete noun phrases sheet, identifying and generating noun phrases using prepositions. They record their sentences.

Day 3 Teaching
Read and explore the Haiku poems about birds. Shared write and model simple phrases about weather using an ‘adjective, adjective, noun’ or another pattern. Generate a list of descriptive phrases or sentences
Activity
Children work with a chosen partner, or alone or in threes to generate descriptive vocabulary. They compose a list of descriptive phrases and sentences using expanded noun phrases and prepositions. Tomorrow they will shape some of these into a Haiku.

Day 4 Teaching
Read and display some descriptive phrases and sentences from Day 3. Recap on how to compose Haiku lines. Then model shaping one of the descriptions from yesterday into a line for a Haiku. Stress that they should include one line about their chosen bird and one about the weather. They can decide what the third line is about.
Activity
Using their descriptive phrases and sentences from yesterday, children start to shape three of these to form a Haiku poem. They read their work carefully and change it if they want to, before copying it out in accurate neat handwriting.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Noun Phrases PowerPoint
Children revise nouns and adjectives. Then they move on to create noun phrases, using prepositions to add further description.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Read and compare poems; learn poems by heart and recite these
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Poems
(All in Resources)
A Bird by Emily Dickinson
Little Robin Red Breast by Anon
Time to Rise by Robert Louis Stevenson
Ducks Ditty by Kenneth Grahame

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read The Sparrow and discuss the narrative and imagery. Re-read the poem a few times using differing intonation each time. Explore rhyme and rhythm and decide how to read the poem. Share and fill in the comparison chart for The Sparrow.
Activity
Children read A Bird in pairs. They discuss the narrative, rhyme, rhythm and overall mood of the poem. Children discuss its imagery then make a list of similarities and differences between A Bird and The Sparrow.

Day 2 Teaching
Read Little Robin Red Breast and Time to Rise. Compose a summary for each of these, thinking about the mood, narrative, rhyme, rhythm and imagery. Discuss and model how to recite a poem, marking up the poem to show how you would recite it.
Activity
In groups, children choose either Little Robin Red Breast or Time to Rise to learn and recite. They mark-up copies of their chosen poem, indicating mood, emotion, intonation and speed. Children then recite their poem to the rest of the class.

Day 3 Teaching
Recap on The Sparrow and The Bird, rereading them with children using intonation, speed and rhythm appropriate to the content. Introduce Ducks Ditty and consider how it compares to the others. Explore the imagery and how it should be read.
Activity
Children reread Ducks Ditty and then complete the grid from Day 1, comparing poems. In groups, children discuss and compare the three poems, saying which they like/dislike the most and why. They learn and recite their favourite one.

Day 4 Teaching
Reread some of the poems explored so far and discuss the recitals. Discuss how children might introduce a poem before they recite it. Model composing a short introduction to A Bird, giving some background to the poem and why you chose it to recite.
Activity
Children reread the poems that they learnt to recite and choose one to introduce. They write a brief summary of what the poem is about, the general mood, rhyme and rhythm of the poem, any imagery and why they chose it to recite.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG Use correct sentence punctuation: capital letters, full stops, question marks, exclamation marks, commas
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Poems
(All in Resources)
The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro
Owl by Pie Corbett
Owl on the Nursery Window Sill by Katherine Gallagher

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Explore an image and video clips of starlings before reading The Starlings. Highlight the line about punctuation then explore three key rules for sentence punctuation. Revise start/end of sentence punctuation with just full stops and question marks.
Activity
Explain that children will create a resource to accompany the poem. They will create it in the form of FAQs. Children punctuate the starling questions, then they add in a couple of their own. They write some answers to the questions as statements.

Day 2 Teaching
Share Pie Corbett’s Owl. Ask questions, using a question word and a ?, then model writing an answer. Children imagine they are a mummy mouse and need to tell their mouse-children what to watch out for, where owls are concerned. Show example, identifying the commas. Model making a characteristics list.
Activity
Each child uses an owl picture to inspire them to write a list of owl characteristics, separating each one with a comma. Children then write a list of wild birds and animals they would love to see, using commas to separate each item.

Day 3 Teaching
Share Owl on the Nursery Window Sill. Ask children what they would do if an owl perched on their window sill. Discuss exclamations then model writing a conversation about a wild bird encounter in play script form that includes questions and exclamations.
Activity
In pairs, children write their own conversation about a bird encounter, using questions, statements and exclamations. Children use the play script layout template.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Plan and write a poem based on Tennyson’s Eagle
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Poems
The Eagle by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (see resources)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Watch a clip about eagles then read Tennyson’s The Eagle. Explore and explain the unusual vocabulary before revising similes. Talk through possible similes for the eagle’s wings.
Activity
Children use given questions to stimulate discussion. They go through the questions as a pair/group and then write the answers individually in their books.

Day 2 Teaching
Watch a YouTube version of The Eagle before rereading the poem. Explore the idea that the poet wants to create a vivid picture in our mind using words. Show children the Ospreys Fishing PPT and describe these birds using adjectives and simile.
Activity
Children have a picture of an Osprey. They brainstorm a list of descriptions, using both adjectives and simile before using these ideas to write phrases and sentences around their picture.

Day 3 Teaching
Children imagine they have been blindfolded as you reread The Eagle. Explore the lengths of the lines and look at the rhymes. Discuss the need for rhythm and rhyme in children’s poems before showing the Ospreys Fishing PPT again.
Activity
Children shape their descriptions from Day 2 into a poem. They incorporate rhymes and ensure it has a uniform and effective rhythm.

Day 4 Teaching
Look at some children’s work from Day 3. Model editing part of a poem, changing words, or lines as appropriate. Explain that children will write their poem in neat. Recap any joins or handwriting focus you have been working on.
Activity
Children re-draft their poem. They alter/move any words or lines before writing out their poems in neat, accurate handwriting.