Day 1 Teaching
To prepare for reading a famous poem about the sinking of Titanic, children will research the facts. Discuss and list research questions. Allocate questions to children working in small groups, explaining how they will record and present their findings.
Children research their allocated questions and record their findings in brief notes. They then prepare a short role-play/drama to present their findings to the class.
Day 2 Teaching
Introduce the poem, explaining that it is quite tricky. Today children will be exploring the mood of the poem, rather than worrying about the meaning of every word. Read The Convergence of the Twain using the Animated Tale (see websites).
Keep the class together. Read the poem again, this time talking about key elements of each stanza, while children respond through art. Use Notes on The Convergence of the Twain to support teaching.
Day 3 Teaching
Reread The Convergence of the Twain. Focus on the first stanza. Discuss the sound (rhythm, rhyme, alliteration). Pick out words and phrases that children think create a strong image. Explain that looking closely at a poem helps us appreciate it more.
Allocate individual stanzas to children working in small groups. They read, discuss and practise reciting their stanza, guided by a prompt.
Day 4 Teaching
Share The Convergence of the Twain. Discuss and model how to pick out a powerful phrase and reuse it in a new context, e.g. The space monster emerged out of the gloom of the crater in the desert. It loomed up before us, grotesque, slimed..., etc.
Provide copies of the poem. Children choose an evocative phrase. They underline it and talk to their partner about what new context they will use this phrase in. They then write individually, building a descriptive paragraph around that phrase.