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.

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

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Participate in performances.
-- Gain and maintain the interest of the listener(s).

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Identify themes and conventions.
-- Prepare poems to read aloud and perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone, volume and action.

 

Transcription
-- Use further suffixes and understand how to add them.

Composition
-- Discuss writing similar to that which they are planning to write, in order to understand and learn from its structure, grammar and vocabulary.

Grammar
-- Use and understand the grammatical terminology in Appendix 2 accurately and appropriately (verbs, simple past and present forms).

You Will Need

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

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Verbs

Teaching 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)

Objectives

Spoken language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

 

Transcription
-- Increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting.

Composition
None for this unit

Grammar
-- Use adverbs to express time and cause.

You Will Need

Poems
Ghoul School Rules by Sue Cowling (see resources)

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Adverbs

Teaching 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)

Objectives

Spoken Language
None for this unit

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Read poems that are structured in different ways.
-- Identify themes and conventions.

 

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
None for this unit

Grammar
-- Use prepositions to express time, cause and place.

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

Teaching 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)

Objectives

Spoken Language
None for this unit

Word Reading
-- Apply growing knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes to read aloud and to understand the meaning of new words.

Comprehension
-- Discuss words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination
-- Recognise some different forms of poetry.
-- Check that the text makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and explaining the meaning of words.
-- Draw inferences such as inferring characters' feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justify inferences with evidence.

 


-- Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.
-- Identifying main ideas.
-- Identify how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning.

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
None for this unit

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

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

Teaching 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)

Objectives

Spoken language
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations.
-- Use spoken language to imagine and explore ideas.
-- Participate in performances.
-- Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s).

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Discuss writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar.

 


-- Discuss and record ideas.
-- Compose and rehearse sentences orally, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary.
-- In narratives, creating settings, characters and plot.
-- Assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggest improvements.
-- Propose changes to grammar and vocabulary.
-- Read aloud their own writing, to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear.

Grammar
-- Use adverbs to express time and cause.
-- Use prepositions to express time, cause and place.
-- Use and understand the grammatical terminology in Appendix 2 accurately and appropriately (adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions).

You Will Need

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

Teaching 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.