Poetry

English Year 5 Summer Poetic Language

Poems about the Sea

Read and write powerful poems about the sea and the Titanic, including Hardy’s Convergence of the Twain. Revise word classes, noun phrases and adverbials.

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

Core
Unit 1 Core: Introduction to imagery techniques in sea poems
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Poems
(All provided in resources)
Sounds of the Sea
by James Berry
Seashell
by James Berry
Song of the Seashore
by Daphne Lister
Little Fish
by D.H. Lawrence
The Sea’s hands
by George Szirtes
The Cave's Mouth
by George Szirtes
Who Makes Her Own Bed?
by Grace Nichols
The Sea
by James Reeves
The Ocean’s Blanket
by Carol Ann Duffy

Website
Sea sounds from www.YouTube.com

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Play sea sounds as children listen with their eyes shut. What images appear in their minds? Discuss Poetry Terms and explain that children will be thinking how these techniques and other types of language can be used to build images in poetry.
Activity
Children read a range of sea poems and discuss them, guided by the Discussion Prompt. They use the poetry terms in their discussions and make notes, ready to feed back to the class.

Day 2 Teaching
Recap ‘metaphor’ from Day 1 and use Sounds of the Sea by James Berry, to introduce personification as a type of metaphor. Read and discuss the poem, considering the impact of personification on the image built.
Activity
Most: Children choose from two poems by George Szirtes, The Sea’s Hands and The Cave's Mouth, identifying and discussing words and phrases which personify the sea.
Easier: In a group, discuss Who Makes Her Own Bed? by Grace Nicholls.

Day 3 Teaching
Share a poem from Day 2. Agree that any technique that helps to build an image through words can be called imagery. Display and read the first stanza of The Sea by James Reeves. Discuss the metaphor.
Activity
In pairs or individually, children read The Sea by James Reeves and answer questions, thinking about how the image is developed through different techniques.

Day 4 Teaching
Share The Ocean’s Blanket by Carol Ann Duffy, discussing the images and use of language. Discuss the pattern of the poem and explain that today children will write new lines in a similar style. Model how to do this.
Activity
Children use the modelled example to write lines in the style of The Ocean’s Blanket. They can use the same line opening or choose a new one each time, e.g. The ocean’s hair is…The Ocean’s eyes are… etc.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Revise word classes: sea myths
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Poems
Long, Lone by Russell Hoban (see resources)

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Word Classes

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Use the PowerPoint: Word Classes (slides 1-9) to revise each word class. Distribute Word Classes – A Spotters’ Guide and display the top of the resource, Selkies. Ask children to read this and find examples of each word class in the text.
Activity
Children read Sea Myths in pairs. They identify and record examples of each word class in the text (in the supplied table). Encourage children to reach a consensus before recording, explaining why they have classified the word in this way.

Day 2 Teaching
Review PowerPoint: Word Classes (slides 1-9) and then read Long, Lone by Russell Hoban. Discuss impressions of the poem, using discussion to revise word classes in a meaningful way. Introduce today’s activity: describing a new mythical sea creature.
Activity
Children develop sentences using the Description Builder, discussing and trying out different words to see which will fit in of the correct class. Once they have a bank of ideas, they write a paragraph about the creature, adding pronouns and conjunctions.

Day 3 Teaching
Reread Long, Lone, discussing the mood the children think the poet was trying to achieve. What if we wanted to change the mood? Could we make it exciting, or threatening? Explore changing words and assessing the impact.
Activity
Children choose a mood they want to create and go through the poem, replacing words for new ones of the same class. They read their new version, assessing the impact and making changes.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Word Classes PowerPoint
Revise the function of different word classes: noun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, pronoun, conjunction, determiner, in the context of myths about the sea and practise identifying them.

SPAG
Unit 3 SPAG: Expanded Noun Phrases: Shipwrecks
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Poems
The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson (see resources)

Presentations
Grammar PowerPoint: Noun Phrases

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Use the PowerPoint: Noun Phrases (slides 1-8) to revise noun phrases. Discuss expanding nouns in a given sentence, encouraging partner discussion. Discuss the impact of the noun phrases and agree that noun phrases can create strong images.
Activity
Children read and discuss given sentences with a partner. They annotate and develop each noun into expanded noun phrases, reading aloud to check the impact, and then record the new impactful sentences in books.

Day 2 Teaching
Discuss The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Review PowerPoint (1-8) to briefly revise noun phrases, before extending to using noun phrases to evoke emotion concisely (9-13). Display images of shipwrecks and introduce today’s activity.
Activity
Children work in groups to build a bank of rich vocabulary, including expanded noun phrases, about the shipwreck images.

Day 3 Teaching
Reread The Kraken. Review slides 9-13 of PowerPoint noting the use of personification to evoke emotion. Choose an image from Day 2 and model writing a description of it, using the descriptive language developed on Day 2.
Activity
Children write an evocative description of one of the shipwrecks (or a combination of them) using and building on the noun phrases they developed on Day 2. Encourage children to use other imagery techniques: personification, for example.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Noun Phrases PowerPoint
Revise how to construct, identify and use expanded noun phrases to convey detailed information concisely. Consider the impact on the images created.

Comprehension
Unit 4 Comprehension: The Titanic and Hardy’s The Convergence of the Twain
(suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

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.
Activity
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).
Activity
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.
Activity
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.
Activity
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.

SPAG
Unit 5 SPAG: Adverbials to link paragraphs about the Titanic
(suggested as 3 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Use the PowerPoint: Adverbials to Link Paragraphs (slides 1-10) to revise adverbials and explore how they can be used to link paragraphs and create cohesion. Introduce today’s activity: identifying, punctuating and inserting adverbials.
Activity
Children complete Adverbials: A & B identifying and punctuating adverbials which link paragraphs and then inserting adverbials into given paragraph starters.

Day 2 Teaching
Revise PowerPoint (slides 1-10) and then discuss slide 11, how the adverbials bring clarity to the organisation of writing. Remind children how the Titanic’s story has inspired poetry and films. Pick out contrasts explored in these.
Activity
In pairs, children use the Contrasting Images resource to develop ideas, for content, language and adverbials to link and describe contrasting images associated with the Titanic. Children collect and develop ideas to be used in Day 3.

Day 3 Teaching
Demonstrate how children can use their notes from Day 2 as prompts for a series of descriptive paragraphs, introduced by adverbials. Explain that today children will create a series of images, each paragraph containing a different focus.
Activity
Children follow the process modelled, writing a series of descriptive paragraphs which open with an adverbial which informs of time, place or number. As they write, remind children to employ other image techniques.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Adverbials to Link Paragraphs PowerPoint
Revise adverbials and discuss how they can be used to link paragraphs, giving information about time, place and number. Consider the impact, and role in cohesion and clarity.

Composition
Unit 6 Composition: Write a poem about the sinking of the Titanic
(suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Recap what children know about the Titanic. Read the survivor’s account. Explore how eye-witnesses might recount the event through hot-seating. Children will plan their own poem about the sinking of the Titanic from a different viewpoint.
Activity
Children use Planning my Poem resource to discuss and plan a poem about the sinking of the Titanic.

Day 2 Teaching
Discuss how Hardy plays with word order for impact in The Convergence of the Twain. Display Interesting line openers and compose some impactful lines together. Today children will write the first drafts of their planned poems.
Activity
Children use their planning sheets from Day 1 and the opening lines sheet to stimulate ideas to write their poem.

Day 3 Teaching
Share a confident child’s draft poem from yesterday. Use the Polishing your Poem sheet to model how children will revise and edit their poems today, including reading aloud to assess impact.
Activity
Children review and improve their poem, using the Polishing your Poem sheet. Remind children to read their writing aloud to listen for impact.

Day 4 Teaching
Today children will prepare their poems for sharing. They will produce a final version which can be read by others and then rehearse performing it. Agree on the publishing process and expectations.
Activity
Children produce neat copies of their poems, thinking carefully about presentation, layout and handwriting. Once finished, they rehearse performing their work, ready to share with an audience.