Poetry

English Year 5 Autumn Classic Poems

Narrative Poems

Lewis Carroll's Walrus and the Carpenter and Hilaire Belloc's Cautionary Tales stimulate performance, debate, persuasive writing and poetry writing. Revise adverbs and modal verbs.

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

Core
Unit 1 Core: Study a classic narrative Poem: The Walrus and the Carpenter
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
All poems for this unit are provided in the Resources

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Speculate about possible connections between a walrus, oysters and a carpenter. Introduce Lewis Carrol and make a list of poetic features. Read the Walrus and the Carpenter together.
Activity
Prepare a performance of a section of the poem. Perform these to the class. Reflect on performances and on children’s understanding of the poem.

Day 2 Teaching
Introduce the idea of the Walrus and the Butterfly, watch the animated tale and then read the poem.
Activity
Work with a partner to read, discuss and then answer questions about the Walrus and the Butterfly. Decide whether a butterfly, carpenter or baronet makes the best companion for the walrus. Talk about the warning or moral of the poem.

Day 3 Teaching
Read a newspaper report based on the Walrus and the Butterfly. Discuss the features of a newspaper report and annotate the text together. Introduce the idea of a follow-up report from the point of view of one of the characters. Model how to hot-seat the Walrus.
Activity
Work in pairs hot-seating characters and making notes about their points of view.

Day 4 Teaching
Look at synonyms and shades of meaning, in particular how the choice of vocabulary can give a different perspective to a report of an event.
Activity
Write newspaper reports about the Walrus and the Butterfly, using notes from Day 3 and choosing vocabulary carefully.

Animated Tale

This is a rhyming poem, written by Lewis Carroll for Alice through the Looking Glass. The two friends, Walrus and Butterfly, meet some oysters on the beach and invite them to their picnic. The oysters are too trusting, and the picnic turns out to be a trick. Click on the jam tart for discussion and activity prompts. Try composing a nonsense verse, or write a newspaper article about Walrus’s Oyster binge. Is this just a poem or is there a hidden message? What sort of characters are these two friends?

SPAG
Unit 2 SPaG: Adverbials for adding information about time, cause and place
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
The Walrus and the Carpenter – by Lewis Carroll
A Strange Wild Song – by Lewis Carroll
You are Old, Father William – by Lewis Carroll

Presentations
SPaG PowerPoint: Adverbials

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Re-read The Walrus and the Carpenter. Discuss the word ‘sulkily’, thinking of alternatives and identifying it as an adverb. Use a Powerpoint to revise adverbs and adverbials. Use verbs from the poem to make sentences which include adverbials.
Activity
Read sentences about The Walrus and the Carpenter. Identify adverbials and their function in the sentence. Collect other examples of adverbials. Explore the positioning of adverbials within a sentence.

Day 2 Teaching
Match words and pictures from A Strange Wild Song by Lewis Carroll. Speculate about possible links before reading the poem together. Discuss adverbial phrases from the poem and use a Powerpoint to teach the use of prepositions and conjunctions for adverbials.
Activity
Add adverbials to six sentence stems about A Strange Wild Song. Experiment with the effect of placing adverbials in different places in the sentence.

Day 3 Teaching
Look at and talk about John Tenniel’s illustrations for You are old, Father William. Read the poem together and look for examples of adverbials. Use a Powerpoint to revise punctuation of fronted adverbials.
Activity
Write sentences about Father William that use adverbials, punctuating these correctly. Finally talk about the three poems and decide which is the class favourite.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Grammar Presentation: Adverbials
Revise adverbs and adverbials including using and punctuating fronted adverbials. Learn how adverbials can be a single word or a phrase.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Exploring Hilaire Belloc’s Cautionary Tales
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
All poems for this unit are provided in the Resources

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce and read Matilda by Hilaire Belloc. Listen to a spoken performance of the poem, noticing the careful pronunciation, pace, expression and use of punctuation.
Activity
Prepare a performance of a section of the poem. Perform these to the class. Discuss whether the poem is meant to be taken seriously. Learn about Hilaire Belloc and compare this poem to The Walrus and the Carpenter.

Day 2 Teaching
Re-read Matilda by Hilaire Belloc. Use the list of Poetic Features from Unit 1, to analyse and annotate the poem. Work to answer five questions about Matilda, looking at the different types of question that can be asked.
Activity
Read further Cautionary Tales, either Jim or Henry King/Algernon. Write questions about these poems. Start to learn some favourite lines by heart.

Day 3 Teaching
Re-read all four poems. Make a recording of one of them and listen to it to evaluate and improve your class performance. Answer questions about all four poems, modelling how to use full sentences and make reference to evidence in the text.
Activity
Answer questions written on Day 2 in full sentences. Reflect on the quality of these questions. Spend time working with a partner to learn further lines by heart.

Day 4 Teaching
Read a modern-day Cautionary Tale, mimicking Hilaire Belloc. Analyse its structure and language features. Explore the characters from the poems so far: their names, sub-headings and introductory couplets.
Activity
Invent new characters that could make Cautionary Tales. Create names, sub-headings and introductory couplets. Choose to either act out their story, draw the character or draft a poem in the style of Hilaire Belloc.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPaG: Understanding and Using Modal Verbs and Adverbs of Possibility
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
All texts are included in the resources:

George - by Hilaire Belloc
Franklin Hyde - by Hilaire Belloc
Python - by Hilaire Belloc

Presentations
SPaG PowerPoint: Degrees of possibility

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read and discuss George by Hilaire Belloc. Look at three sentences about the moral of the poem which include different adverbs of possibility. Use a Powerpoint to teach about using adverbs of possibility.
Activity
Read sentences written about the poem. For each sentence try adding different adverbs of possibility, listening to the change in meaning. Look at serious advice about Balloon Safety and make sentences using adverbs of possibility.

Day 2 Teaching
Read and discuss Franklin Hyde by Hilaire Belloc. Compare its moral with the one from George, underline the modal verbs in each poem. Use a Powerpoint to teach about using modal verbs.
Activity
Read sentences written about the two poems. Try different modal verbs in these sentences, finding which work and choosing one. Look at arguments for and against playing in mud and make sentence from these using modal verbs and adverbs of possibility.

Day 3 Teaching
Read and discuss Python by Hilaire Belloc. Find the modal verb in the first line of this poem. Display lists of Modal Verbs and Adverbs of Possibility and use these to write sentences about the poem.
Activity
Read serious information about keeping a snake as a pet and write sentences based on this information using adverbs and modal verbs. Use these to show the relative importance of the information. Talk together about these three poems, deciding personal favourites.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Grammar Presentation: Degrees of Possibility
Learn about adverbs of possibility and modal verbs and consider appropriate word choices for different degrees of certainty, ability and obligation.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Writing a poem based on The Adventures of Isabel by Ogden Nash
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
All poems for this unit are provided in the Resources

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Find out about Ogden Nash, comparing him to Lewis Carrol and Hilaire Belloc, then read the start of The Adventures of Isabel. Listen to two performances of the poem and compare them. Make a list of Performance Tips.
Activity
Explore vocabulary in the Adventures of Isabel. Then practise reading the poem. Perform to the class. Compare this poem with the Walrus and the Carpenter and the Cautionary Tales.

Day 2 Teaching
Read The Adventures of Isabel again and make up questions about the poem. Look at the elements and structure of each verse and start to think of new verses that could be added.
Activity
Use a planning sheet to create ideas for new verses for the poem. Look at other Ogden Nash poems, noticing the way that he uses rhyme. Start to learn some of these poems by heart.

Day 3 Teaching
Perform a choral reading of The Adventures of Isabel, emphasising the regular beat and length of each line. Look at rhyming words from Ogden Nash poems and model how to use a spider diagram to generate lists of rhyming words.
Activity
Use scenarios from Day 2, a skeleton diagram and a writing frame to draft a further verse for The Adventures of Isabel.

Day 4 Teaching
Model making further improvements to a draft poem. Revisit Performance Tips from Day 1.
Activity
Improve and finalise poems then prepare a performance in groups of three. Share finished poems with a chosen audience.