Poetry

English Year 3 Autumn Humorous Poems

School Poems

Enjoy reading and writing humorous poems about teachers and school life. Study the use of powerful verbs, adverbs and prepositions to create impact.

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

Core
Unit 1 Core: Introduction to humorous poetry; performance; verbs for impact
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Poems
At the End of School Assembly by Simon Pitt (see resources)

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Verbs

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read At the End of School Assembly by Simon Pitt, expressively. Discuss the humour and any patterns that children notice before noting the structure: 4 lines in each stanza with each line beginning with a teacher’s name. Agree that a good performance requires expression that reflects the meaning of the words.
Activity
Children learn by heart as much of the poem as they can. They use expression and performance techniques in recitations.

Day 2 Teaching
Display and perform At the End of School Assembly before revising verbs, simple past and present forms using slides 1-6 of PowerPoint: Verbs. Use this to also introduce the idea that some verbs are more powerful than others. Explore the poem for nouns and corresponding verb pairs.
Activity
Children complete differentiated activity sheets (see resources), composing new lines for the poem using powerful verbs.

Day 3 Teaching
Revise powerful verbs and simple present and past tense forms. Children will today write their own stanzas for the poem. As a class, come up with a range of nouns to build new teacher names. Then model matching a powerful verb to a noun in order to create a stanza.
Activity
Children write a new stanza for the poem, using nouns and powerful verbs. They perform their compositions and note their most humorous line.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Verbs PowerPoint
Identify verbs and how they can be written in simple past and present forms. Explore the impact of powerful verbs.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Adverbs for time, manner and place
(suggested as 2 days)

You Will Need

Poems
Ghoul School Rules by Sue Cowling (see resources)

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Adverbs

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Share Ghoul School Rules by Sue Cowling, asking children which rule they think is the funniest. Explore adverbs using PowerPoint: Adverbs then ask children to modify the verb phrase: ‘line up’ using a range of adverbs. Children perform the verb each time according to the chosen adverb.
Activity
Children use adverbs to modify the verbs in a ghoul school rules list (see resources) in order to create their own poem. They write their rules neatly, focusing on handwriting.

Day 2 Teaching
Revise adverbs using PowerPoint: Adverbs. Discuss alternative school ideas and list. Then model writing some rules for one of these schools, using adverbs to modify the verbs or whole clause.
Activity
Children create a set of rules for an alternative school, using adverbs to modify the verbs or whole clause.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Adverbs PowerPoint
Explore how adverbs can be used to modify verbs, adjectives and clauses adding detail about time, place and manner.

SPAG
Unit 3 SPAG: Prepositions for time, place and cause
(suggested as 2 days)

You Will Need

Poems
Where Teachers Keep their Pets by Paul Cookson (see resources)
We Lost our Teacher to the Sea by David Harmer (see resources)

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Prepositions for Time, Place and Cause

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read Where Teachers Keep Their Pets by Paul Cookson discussing the pattern: each stanza describes a teacher and their pet: the name of the teacher, the pet and the place it is kept rhyme. Explore prepositions of time, place and cause using PowerPoint: Prepositions and note the use of prepositions in the poem.
Activity
Children find all prepositions in Where Teachers Keep Their Pets then replace the prepositions, ensuring the line still makes sense. Discuss impact.

Day 2 Teaching
Read We Lost our Teacher to the Sea by David Harmer, noting that this poem tells a story (a narrative poem). Discuss with children what happens in this narrative, and then use PowerPoint: Prepositions to revise prepositions.
Activity
Children compose new prepositional phrases for selected stanzas of We Lost our Teacher to the Sea.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Prepositions for Time, Place and Clause PowerPoint
Teach children about prepositions and how they can front prepositional phrases giving information about time, place and cause.

Comprehension
Unit 4 Comprehension: Structure, language and plot in narrative poetry
(suggested as 2 days)

You Will Need

Poems
A Sea Creature Ate our Teacher by Brian Moses (see resources)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read the first two stanzas of A Sea Creature Ate our Teacher. Note that it is a narrative poem. Identify the form and language that tell us this is a poem rather than a story.
Activity
Children read A Sea Creature Ate our Teacher. They discuss and analyse the poem, guided by a prompt sheet (see resources).

Day 2 Teaching
Reread A Sea Creature Ate our Teacher with expression. Discuss the setting, characters and plot then look at the ‘Storyboard’ resource and fill in the first box together. Note powerful description and action.
Activity
Children record the plot of the poem on a blank Storyboard, including examples of powerful language. Children then discuss ‘Questions to Think About (see resources).

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Extended writing: write and perform a funny poem
(suggested as 5 days)

You Will Need

Poems
A Sea Creature Ate Our Teacher by Brian Moses (see resources)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read A Sea Creature Ate our Teacher. Children think, pair, share ideas for another school trip they could go on where the teacher is eaten, for example a shopping mall. Agree on a location for your poem.
Activity
Children roleplay and explore the event when the monster ate the teacher, set in an alternative version, in an agreed location.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap on plan from Day 1 and ask children to imagine what the new monster looks like. Share ideas then complete a class ‘Notes on your Monster’ activity sheet (see resources). Model writing.
Activity
Children complete own ‘Notes on your Monster sheet’. They think of and record ideas for powerful verbs, adverbs, adjectives and prepositions to describe the monster.

Day 3 Teaching
Use A Supermarket Creature Ate our Teacher (see resources) as an example of the poem adapted for the supermarket. Display shared plan and model writing the first stanza of the poem, taking suggestions and following the poem structure.
Activity
Children use shared plan to draft new stanzas for their poem. While they will use parts of the original poem by Brian Moses, they should look for opportunities to use their own ideas for powerful language.

Day 4 Teaching
Share good examples of children’s writing and select one to model improving. Create an editing list for children to refer to.
Activity
Children complete their stanzas and then edit them.

Day 5 Teaching
Explain that children will share their work through performance. Discuss ideas for how to make a poetry reading engaging for the audience and come up with a list of tips (criteria).
Activity
In groups, children practise reading their poem aloud to themselves then to their group. They choose one tip from the list to work on to improve their poetry reading.