Poetry

English Year 4 Summer Poetic Forms

Odes and Insults

Explore odes and powerful types of imagery, such as simile, metaphor and hyperbole. Learn about pronouns and determiners. Examine extracts of Shelley's To a Skylark.

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

Core
Unit 1 Core: Introduction to features of odes; language for impact
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Poems
(All in resources)
Spaghetti! Spaghetti!
by Jack Prelutsky
Soggy Greens by John Cunliffe
Ode to an Olive by Anon
Ode to Marbles by Max Mendelsohn
Ode To a Chestnut on the Ground by Pablo Neruda

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Recite the first stanza of Spaghetti! Spaghetti! to some spaghetti! Define the term ‘ode’ and rehearse performing the stanza with children, discussing performance techniques. Create a list of performance tips.
Activity
Distribute Spaghetti! Spaghetti! (see resources). In groups, children read the whole poem and prepare an allocated stanza to perform.

Day 2 Teaching
Display and read Spaghetti! Spaghetti! Discuss poetry features and what makes this an ode. Check for understanding of terms (rhythm, rhyme, stanza, repetition, simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia etc.). Introduce the term ‘hyperbole’.
Activity
Distribute the odes to children in ability groups and display the discussion prompt.
Hard: Read Ode To a Chestnut on the Ground and Ode to an Olive.
Medium: Read Ode to an Olive and Ode to Marbles.
Easy: Read Spaghetti! Spaghetti! and Oh apple pie I love you.

Day 3 Teaching
Reread children's favourite ode. Discuss tips/steps for planning an ode: record ideas on a flipchart. We will need to collect some powerful language for our odes! Introduce the activity using Which Food? (PowerPoint). Choose a food and model developing ideas using the Ideas Bank Builder (see resources).
Activity
In talk partners, children discuss ideas for their own ode to a favourite food. Distribute 'Ideas Bank Builder', explaining how this can be used. Children collect and develop ideas supported by the 'Ideas Bank Builder'.

Day 4 Teaching
Display and reread Ode to an Olive. Review Day 3’s list of tips/steps for writing an ode. Model writing an ode using yesterday's notes on 'Ideas Bank Builder' (see resources for examples).
Activity
Children write first drafts, referring to notes made last session and list of tips.
Easier: Provide with a copy of 'Ode Strips' (see resources).

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Pronouns for cohesion; write an ode
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Poems
(All in resources)
Spaghetti! Spaghetti!
by Jack Prelutsky
The Making of the Gingerbread Man by Rachel Rooney

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Pronouns

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Revise pronouns with Grammar PowerPoint (slides 1-6). Display and discuss the 'Pronouns List'. Read The Cake. Can children spot the pronouns? Share My Apple. Agree that pronouns could be used to replace some of the nouns.
Activity
Distribute 'Pronouns' (see resources). Children identify pronouns in Part A, and replace the nouns/noun phrases in bold with suitable pronouns in Part B. Part C introduces an open-ended writing task, where children write an account of preparing food, using pronouns to avoid repetition.

Day 2 Teaching
Review Grammar PowerPoint (slides 1-7) to revise how pronouns can replace nouns and noun phrases, and then explore the cohesive role of pronouns (slides 8-9). Discuss how pronouns relate back to a noun through a text, drawing it together.
Activity
Distribute 'Making Links' (see resources) In Part A, children circle the linked nouns and pronouns in one colour. They then choose a different noun and colour and repeat the process. In Part B, children edit or rewrite the text, replacing repeated nouns and noun phrases with pronouns.

Day 3 Teaching
Share The Making of the Gingerbread Man, by Rachel Rooney (see resources). Discuss the poem’s features. Agree that, in the story, the Gingerbread Man became alive and ran away. What if we made an ordinary food which did the same? Model an ode to a fishfinger.
Activity
Children discuss poem ideas. Using 'Poem frame', they draft their odes and then reread to assess for impact and underline the pronouns that they have used once finished.
Easier: Work as an adult-supported group to write a collaborative poem.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Grammar PowerPoint: Pronouns
Identify pronouns and revise how they are used to replace nouns. Explore their cohesive function, reducing repetition and making links through a text.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Appreciate and analyse poetry; write new versions
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Poems
(All in resources)
Moon-Mad
by Grace Nichols
Darkness and Light by Grace Nichols
You by Grace Nichols
You! Traditional (Africa)
Vocabulary for Villains by Eric Finney
I'm Telling You by Sean Forbes

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Share Moon-Mad by Grace Nichols (see resources). Discuss why this poem might be considered a type of ode. Reread and ask questions which encourage children to use the displayed 'Poetry Terms' (see resources).
Activity
Distribute copies of poems and a 'Question sheet' for each pair/group. Children read the poems and then discuss and answer the questions.
Most: Read Darkness and Light and You by Grace Nichols.
Easier: Read Moon-Mad and Darkness and Light by Grace Nichols.

Day 2 Teaching
Share You! (see resources). How is this similar/different to an ode? Discuss powerful images created by similes. Write 'frightful' & 'malodorous' on a flipchart. Discuss drawing meaning using root words, prefixes and dictionaries.
Activity
Distribute poems to children working in groups: You!; Vocabulary for Villains; I'm Telling You. Children pick out unfamiliar words and work out the meanings, recording definitions. They then focus on one poem, picking out and discussing powerful words and phrases.

Day 3 Teaching
Display and reread I'm Telling You. Discuss the pattern of the poem, and similes and whether children think the insults are fair. Model developing similarly descriptive and expanded insults for inanimate objects.
Activity
Children work in pairs to develop expanded insults. Encourage children to develop rich language and extended sentences, verbally. When children have had time to develop ideas, remind children how to record them using 'Insults' sheet.

Day 4 Teaching
Reread You!, explaining that children can use the structure of this poem to write their own simile poem. Model drafting an insult poem, using notes from Day 3. Create a list of tips for children to refer to as success criteria.
Activity
Children use their notes and the success criteria to write an insult poem. Pair up children with a writing partner. Ask children to read their writing to their partner and suggest improvements. Poets can choose whether or not to act on advice.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Determiners: specifying and bending meaning
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Hero Dad by Grace Nichols

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Determiners

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Share Grammar PowerPoint (slides 1-4) to discuss determiners and how they can be used to specify nouns. Discuss the 'Determiners List'. Write a noun on a flipchart, e.g. mess. Add different determiners from the list and discuss the impact. Introduce Hero Dad by Grace Nichols.
Activity
Distribute copies of the poem and display the 'Discussion prompt' (see resources). Children read the poem, discussing what it means and some of the images. They then identify and underline all of the determiners.

Day 2 Teaching
Review Grammar PowerPoint (slides 1-4), checking that children are confident in identifying determiners. Reread Hero Dad. Discuss why the writer has chosen one determiner over another. Extend discussion about the impact of determiners using slides 5-7.
Activity
Distribute 'Determiners: Identify, Choose, Use' (see resources). Children work through the differentiated activities.
Easier: Support in an adult-led activity, labelling classroom objects with 'determiner cards' (see resources) and using to build a sentence.

Day 3 Teaching
Reread Hero Dad. Discuss the things that the dad in the poem does not do and the things that makes him a hero. Ask children to think of an everyday hero that they would like to write about. Display the Hero____ frame and discuss the structure.
Activity
Distribute Hero____. Children draft their poems, using the modelled poem for guidance. Children then read to assess for impact and underline the determiners.
Easier: Work as an adult-supported group to write a collaborative poem.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Grammar PowerPoint: Determiners
Identify determiners and revise how they are used to modify nouns. Explore their impact on meaning and sort them from a list of determiners and pronouns.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Detailed study of To a Skylark: write an ode in this style
(suggested as 5 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Display 'Sunset Image' (see resources) and play audio clip (see websites). Explain that a famous poet (Percy Bysshe Shelley) was inspired to write an ode to a skylark and children will be exploring it. Display and read the first stanza of To a Skylark
Activity
Distribute stanzas 2-4 to children, working in three groups, 1 stanza per group. Ask children to take a line and read it with a partner, saying it out loud to listen for meaning and impact. Ask children to prepare to share their stanza, reading each line aloud with expression.

Day 2 Teaching
Display and reread To a Skylark (see resources). Discuss poetry features. Explain that children will be reading To a Skylark with a partner, looking for and discussing features, and thinking about what ideas they can use in their own writing.
Activity
Distribute 'Discussing To a Skylark' and To a Skylark (see resources) to children working in partners. Children read, discuss and annotate the poem, preparing to share ideas discussed in plenary.
Easy: Support as an adult-led group. Choose one bubble at a time, with adult scribing children's ideas.

Day 3 Teaching
Tell children about the 2015 Britain's National Bird vote (see websites). Explain that children are going to research a runner-up bird in order to write their own ode to a different bird. Can they persuade the voting public? Model using 'Bird Research' and 'Bird Research Weblinks' (see resources).
Activity
Distribute 'Bird Research' and 'Bird Research Weblinks' (see resources). Children research a selected bird, using web-based resources and classroom books. They can record notes on the provided resource.
Most: Children research and make notes on bird of choice.
Easier: Children could work in partners/in a group pooling research.

Day 4 Teaching
Display and reread To a Skylark (see resources). Ask children to discuss what features they will try to include in their odes. Record ideas as success criteria. Show your completed notes on blackbirds (see resources), and model writing the first draft of a stanza.
Activity
Children write their first drafts, composing and rehearsing orally to build rich vocabulary, and using success criteria and modelled poem for support.
Easier: Children can use 'Ode Frame' to support writing their drafts.
Harder: Challenge children to write in as authentic style as possible.

Day 5 Teaching
Ask children why editing their poems is important? What are they trying to do? Show why their bird is truly impressive and should be the national bird. With children, create an editing checklist.
Activity
Children work to reread, edit and improve their drafts, referring to the editing checklist and discussing ideas with a writing partner. Once improvements have been made, children read their ode to a different partner, then to a group, aiming to improve reading each time (volume, tone, intonation).