Poetry

English Year 3 Summer Poetic Forms

Shape Poems

Explore calligrams, poetic portraits and shape poems. Analyse features of poetry. Explore tenses, conjunctions and prepositions. Write, improve and present your own shape 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 Unit – Reading and writing shape poems, including calligrams
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Participate actively in collaborative conversations.
-- Give well-structured explanations expressing feelings.
-- Participate in discussions.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Listen to and discuss a wide range of poetry.
-- Identify themes and conventions in poetry.
-- Recognise some different forms of poetry.

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

 

Composition
-- Plan writing by discussing similar writing to understand and learn from its structure, grammar and vocabulary.
-- Compose and rehearse sentences orally, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
Apes to Zebras: an A-Z of Shape Poems by Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens

Poems
All by Liz Brownlee:
Snowy Egret
Sea Star
Emperor Penguin
Seal

Websites
Bembo's Zoo from www.YouTube.com

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Display calligrams. What do children notice about these poems? Explain they are calligrams. Watch Bembo’s Zoo for examples. Discuss what makes a good calligram and model giving reasons for this opinion.
Activity
Provide groups of children with examples from Bembo’s Zoo. They study carefully, make a copy and decide which one which they think is the best.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap on what makes a good calligram then revisit Bembo’s Zoo. Model how to design a calligram.
Activity
Children plan, design and produce an animal calligram.

Day 3 Teaching
Share poems from Apes to Zebras: an A-Z of shape poems. Define shape poetry. Look at more examples and discuss how the shape of the poem reflects the meaning and how descriptive language is used.
Activity
Provide copies of a selection of animal shape poems for children to read in similar reading level groups. They discuss the poems. Make a Poem Tips checklist together.

Day 4 Teaching
Share more poems from Apes to Zebras: an A-Z of shape poems. Explain that children will produce their own simple animal shape poem today. Discuss strategies to generate good ideas for descriptive language. Model creating a simple animal shape poem.
Activity
Children look back at examples of animal shape poems and decide on the animal and form of shape poem they would like to write. They brainstorm ideas then compose their poem and decide how they will lay it out.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Progressive and perfect forms of past tense
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

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

 

Composition
-- Plan writing by discussing similar writing to understand and learn from its structure, grammar and vocabulary.
-- Compose and rehearse sentences orally, building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- Discuss /record ideas.

Grammar
-- Use the present and past tenses correctly and consistently (Year 2 revision objective).
-- Use the present perfect form of verbs in contrast to the past tense.

You Will Need

Poems
Rolling Down a Hill by Colin West

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Tense

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Share a Portrait Shape Poem. Discuss how children might write their own. Write sample sentences. Use a Powerpoint and these sentences to introduce tenses.
Activity
Children write sentences about a friend using simple present tense verbs.
Make these into a portrait poem. Experiment with changing sentences into simple past tense.

Day 2 Teaching
Display and share Rolling Down A Hill. Discuss the form of the poem and identify its features. Use a Powerpoint to introduce the progressive form of the present and past tense.
Activity
Design and produce a shape ‘action’ poem using either past or present progressive form verbs.

Day 3 Teaching
Use a Powerpoint to introduce the perfect form. Display and share I have had an awful day and identify the perfect form.
Activity
Examine sentences to decide if they are currently written in the past or the perfect form. Convert from one to the other.

Day 4 Teaching
Recap tenses and prepare to write a new version of I have had an awful day.
Activity
Discuss and record four or five possible openers written in the perfect form. They plan and write their poem.

SPAG: Grammar and Punctuation

Tense PowerPoint
Revise simple past and present tenses, and then ensure children can recognise the progressive forms of these. Finally create the present perfect form of the past tense.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Reading and analysing shape poems
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Participate actively in collaborative conservations.

Word Reading
None for this Unit

Comprehension
-- Listen to and discuss a wide range of poetry.
-- Identify themes and conventions in poetry.
-- Recognise some different forms of poetry.

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

 

Composition
-- Compose and rehearse sentences orally, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- Plan writing by discussing similar writing to understand and learn from its structure, grammar and vocabulary.
-- Assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggest improvements.

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
Apes to Zebras: an A-Z of Shape Poems by Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens
Doodle Dandies: Poems That Take Shape by J Patrick Lewis

Poems
All by J Patrick Lewis:
Creep and Slither
First Burst of Spring
Winter
Sky High
Skyscraper

Shower by Moira Andrew
The Spider's Web by Maggie Holmes

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Share a range of animal shape poems. Discuss how the poet has created a visual effect and explore the features of each: repetition, rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, onomatopoeia and figurative language.
Activity
Children re-write Creep and Slither as a straight poem. They then think of different ways of describing the snake, writing words and phrases around a picture to create an alternative snake shape poem.

Day 2 Teaching
Explore First Burst of Spring, Winter and Shower. Explore how visual and written features of the poems help the reader to understand and experience the seasons and weather. Children choose a favourite, giving reasons.
Activity
In pairs children write out either Winter or Shower without the illustrations or shape.
They then come up with two reasons why the poem works much better as a shape poem.

Day 3 Teaching
Discuss Winter, Sky High, Skyscraper and The Spider’s Web. Which do children prefer and why? Look at versions without shape and discuss what they lack. Discuss and model how the use of imagery could improve these poems.
Activity
Children chose either Skyscraper, Winter or The Spider Web written without their shapes. They add description and imagery to the unshaped poem to make it more evocative.

Day 4 Teaching
Give children a few minutes to choose some favourite shape poems from those explored so far. Discuss the ones they think work best. Then model writing an appreciation of a poem for one of these selected poems.
Activity
Children choose a favourite poem. They note down some key visual and written features that they like, then write an appreciation of the poem, in a style similar to that modelled in the teaching.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Conjunctions and prepositions to express time, place and cause
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Participate actively in collaborative conservations.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Discuss writing similar to that planned to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar.

 


-- Discuss and record ideas.
-- Compose sentences, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.

Grammar
-- Use conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions to express time and cause.
-- Write sentences with more than one clause by using a wide range of conjunctions, including when and because.

You Will Need

Texts
All resources are included in this unit.

Presentations
Grammar Powerpoint : Using clauses and phrases to add information

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Share The Dog and ask children how they would describe the shape of the poem. Look at slides 3-9 of the Powerpoint. Discuss how we can add information about time, cause and place by using conjunctions.
Activity
Children complete Conjunction and Clause activities. They identify subordinating conjunctions then practise adding subordinate clauses to main clauses.

Day 2 Teaching
Reread The Dog then explore The Cat, noting its triangular form and the subordinate clause. Explore slides 10 – 17 of the Powerpoint and practise adding information to sentences using prepositional phrases.
Activity
In pairs, children identify prepositions and phrases. They suggest a prepositional phrase to add to a sentence. The other person decides if the phrase adds information about time, place or cause.

Day 3 Teaching
Introduce The Robin, noting the subordinate clause and prepositional phrase. Share slides 19-21 of the Powerpoint to rehearse placing and punctuating phrases and clauses. Model writing a triangle poem.
Activity
Children write their own triangle poem. They start with a simple sentence then add clauses and phrases.

SPAG: Grammar and Punctuation

Using Clauses and Phrases to Add Information PowerPoint
Teach subordinate clauses, revising the concept of an active verb, and then discuss phrases. Show how both add information about time, cause and place.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Reading and creating shape poems
(suggested as 5 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Participate actively in collaborative conversations.
-- Give well-structured explanations expressing feelings.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Listen to and discuss a wide range of poetry.
-- Identify themes and conventions in poetry.
-- Discuss words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination

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

 

Composition
-- Discuss and record ideas.
-- Compose sentences, building a varied and rich vocabulary.
-- Assess effectiveness of writing and suggest improvements.
-- Proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors.

Grammar
-- Write sentences with more than one clause by using a wide range of conjunctions, including when and because.
--
Use conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions to express time and cause.

You Will Need

Texts
Apes to Zebras: an A-Z of Shape Poems by Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens
Doodle Dandies: Poems That Take Shape by J Patrick Lewis

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Recap on what shape poems are. Show and read a range of shape poems around a theme, discussing the way in which the shape of the poem reflects the meaning. Also look at the type of descriptive language used.
Activity
Children read and analyse a selection of shape poems, identifying what makes them effective. They choose their favourite and record why they think it is good.

Day 2 Teaching
Explain that children will compose and form a descriptive shape poem. Remind them of previous poems read and brainstorm ideas for good topics. Model the planning process, focusing on the use of highly descriptive and interesting language.
Activity
Children choose their topic and start to plan the words and sentences for their shape poem. Remind children to use a range of devices such as subordinate clauses to expand meaning, alliteration, onomatopoeia, imagery, figurative language.

Day 3 Teaching
Look at sample plans from Day 2 and discuss the final shape. Consider how the language already drafted will fit with this shape. Model experimenting with the words so that it will work visually.
Activity
Children continue planning their shape poem. They consider how to develop their language further and how their description should be organised. They start laying out their descriptive poem in a relevant shape.

Day 4 Teaching
Enlarge two or three children’s poems in draft form. Discuss the shapes of the poems and how effective they are. Explain that children will edit and improve their poems before writing them up in best handwriting.
Activity
Children redraft their poem as appropriate, editing and making improvements. They then write it out in best using very neat and accurate handwriting.