Poetry

English Year 6 Autumn Performance Poetry

Choral and Performance Poems

Have fun reading, writing and performing poetry (flash-mob anyone?). Explore poetry features and bust fairy tale stereotypes. Study expanded noun phrases and subjunctive form.

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: Introduction to performance poetry
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken language
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments.
-- Speak audibly and fluently.
-- Participate in discussions, presentations, performances.
-- Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s).
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations.
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.

 

Comprehension
-- Read and discuss an increasingly wide range of poetry.
-- Identify and discuss themes and conventions.
-- Identify how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning.
-- Discuss and evaluate how authors use language, including figurative language, considering the impact on the reader.
-- Draw inferences, justifying with evidence.
-- Learn a wider range of poetry by heart.
-- Prepare poems to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone and volume so that the meaning is clear.

You Will Need

Texts
(
All provided in resources)
All of Us Knocking on the Stable Door
by David Harmer
Jack and the Beanstalk by Roald Dahl
Jack’s Tale by Judith Nicholls
Goldilocks on CCTV by John Agard
Fuss Fuss Fuss or The Goldilocks Rap by James Carter

Websites
‘Clever Trevor’ by Benjamin Zephaniah from bbc.com
‘Detention’ by Dominic Macdonald from YouTube.com
‘The Visitor’ by Ian Serraillier from bbc.co.uk
‘Whose Dem Boots?’ by Valerie Bloom from bbc.co.uk
'The Dragon Who Ate...’ by Nick Toczek from bbc.co.uk

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Discuss the terms ‘choral and performance poetry’ and watch some clips of poetry being performed. What makes a poem good for performance? Discuss and list ideas. Introduce the poem All of Us Knocking on the Stable Door by David Harmer.
Activity
In pairs, children read and discuss the poem, highlighting features which make it good for performance. They refer to the class list and note elements to add. Remind children that reading aloud is a good way of testing a poem’s potential.

Day 2 Teaching
Discuss and list key terms used to talk about poetry. Introduce Jack and the Beanstalk, by Roald Dahl. Children will read this poem and one other and compare them. Display a discussion prompt and explain how this can be used.
Activity
In groups, children read, discuss and compare Jack’s Tale and Jack and the Beanstalk using poetry terminology. They make notes, guided by the prompts, ready to feedback at the end of the session.

Day 3 Teaching
Introduce the opening of a mystery poem. Which fairy tale is the poem retelling? Discuss how the poem could be performed. Explain that today children will read this and possibly another and answer questions about language, style and performance.
Activity
Children read Fuss Fuss Fuss or The Goldilocks Rap and Goldilocks on CCTV. They answer formal comprehension questions on each.

Day 4 Teaching
Put children in groups. Play a video of Michael Rosen giving performance advice. Children make notes and choose areas to apply in their own performance. Each group chooses a poem they will prepare to perform to the children in the school.
Activity
Children read their poems aloud, developing and noting performance ideas. They aim to learn the poems and to create an engaging performance.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Expanded Noun Phrases
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Composition
-- Describe settings, characters and atmosphere.

 

Grammar
-- Use and understand the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 accurately and appropriately in discussing their writing and reading.
-- Use expanded noun phrases to convey complicated information concisely.

You Will Need

Texts
(Both included in resources)
Jack and the Beanstalk by Roald Dahl
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Roald Dahl

Presentations
Grammar Presentation: Noun Phrases

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Reread a poem from Revolting Rhymes. Discuss vivid images and how these can be created with noun phrases. Share Grammar PowerPoint: Noun Phrases (slides 1-8) to revise noun phrases, how they can be constructed and identified in a sentence.
Activity
Children choose nouns to expand from given sentences about fairy tales. They develop expanded noun phrases to create vivid images. They underline the words which make up the expanded noun phrase in their new sentences.

Day 2 Teaching
Revise Grammar PowerPoint and explore how expanded noun phrases can convey information concisely (slides 9-11). Model this on the board, generating lots of information about a noun and then combining it into an expanded noun phrase.
Activity
Children work in pairs to generate lots of information about given nouns and then combine these into expanded noun phrases. They record these in their books as sentences and then rewrite replacing the expanded noun phrase with a pronoun.

Day 3 Teaching
Discuss how fairy tales often present stereotypical characters. Use Grammar PowerPoint (slides 12-14) to show how perceptions can be altered by adding extra information through expanded noun phrases.
Activity
Children bust some stereotypes by choosing starter sentences and adding expanded noun phrases which cast a new light on well-known characters and situations.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Noun Phrases
Revise how to construct, identify and use expanded noun phrases to convey detailed information concisely. Consider the impact on the images created and how changing the noun phrase can change the image evoked.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Sound elements in poetry
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken language
-- Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.
-- Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.

Comprehension
-- Discuss and evaluate how authors use language, including figurative language, considering the impact on the reader.
-- Explain and discuss their understanding of what they have read, including through formal presentations and debates, maintaining a focus on the topic and using notes where necessary provide reasoned justifications for their views.
-- Read and discuss an increasingly wide range of poetry.

Transcription
-- Use dictionaries to check the spelling of words.
-- Use the first three or four letters of a word to check spelling in a dictionary.

 

Composition
-- Identify the purpose of the writing, selecting the appropriate form and using other similar writing as models for their own.
-- Note and develop initial ideas, drawing on reading.
-- Select appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning
-- Describe settings, characters and atmosphere.
-- Assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing.
-- Propose changes to vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to enhance effects and clarify meaning; Proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors.

You Will Need

Texts
(All provided in the resources)
Russian Doll by Rachel Rooney
The Language of Cat by Rachel Rooney
Gran, Can You Rap? by Jack Ousbey
The Sound Collector by Roger McGough

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Explain that today the class will be exploring poems which utilise onomatopoeia and alliteration. Read the opening lines of The Language of Cat and Russian Doll. Ask children to identify the onomatopoeia and alliteration and discuss their impact.
Activity
Children read both poems aloud in pairs, discuss them and highlight examples of alliteration and onomatopoeia. They write about a good example of each technique, ready to present and explain their thinking to the class.

Day 2 Teaching
Today the class will focus on rhythm and rhyme. Read Gran, Can You Rap? Explore the rhythm and rhyme schemes, linking this to the fact that it is a rap. Discuss the impact of making changes. Could the poem be about someone else?
Activity
Children read the poem aloud, to appreciate the rhythm and rhyme schemes. They then discuss and explore making changes, testing them out to check they still fit the rhythm and rhyme schemes and assessing the impact.

Day 3 Teaching
Read The Sound Collector. Pick out the sound techniques. Read a second time and ask children to look out for lines which seem to belong to an earlier time (e.g. whistling kettle). Challenge them to think of ideas which would modernise the lines.
Activity
Children use a resource guide to plan a new version of the poem, set on a modern-day morning or in another setting, e.g. futuristic, historical or fantasy. Challenge more able children to aim to create a deliberate atmosphere with their word choices.

Day 4 Teaching
Model improving a stanza for rhythm and impact of language. Explain that children will finish and improve their poetry lines in the same way and then proofread for spelling. Remind children how to check spelling using a dictionary.
Activity
Children continue working on their poetry until they have stanzas which they are happy with which fit into the style of The Sound Collector. They should read their poems aloud to assess impact and then check spelling.

SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Explore the subjunctive form
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Composition
-- Perform their own compositions, using appropriate intonation, volume, and movement so that meaning is clear.
-- Select appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning.

 

Grammar
-- Understand the difference between structures typical of informal speech and structures appropriate for formal speech and writing, including subjunctive forms.
-- Use and understand the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 accurately and appropriately in discussing their writing and reading.

You Will Need

Texts
(
All provided in resources)
If I Were a Shape by Brian Moses
If I Were the Leader by Nick Toczek
Jack and the Beanstalk by Roald Dahl
Goldilocks on CCTV by John Agard

Presentations
Grammar Presentation: Subjunctive Form

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read If I Were a Shape by Brian Moses and If I Were the Leader by Nick Toczek. Discuss that these poems express hypotheticals and wishes. Define these terms. Share Grammar PowerPoint: Subjunctive Form (slides 1-6) to explore this form.
Activity
Children work through structured exercises which help them to identify and use the subjunctive form for wishes and hypotheticals.

Day 2 Teaching
Remind children of the fairy tale twisting poems they have read. Revise Grammar PowerPoint (slides 1-6) and then explore (slides 7-10). Model using subjunctive form for requests and commands linked to the fairy tale mishaps.
Activity
Children work through structured exercises which help them to identify and use the subjunctive form for requests and commands.

Day 3 Teaching
Review Grammar PowerPoint and rehearse building some sentences in subjunctive form. Reread If I Were a Shape and write a new stanza together, using subjunctive form. Make a list of other shapes for children to write about today.
Activity
Children write new stanzas for the poem, using the subjunctive form, hypothesising about what they would be if they were different shapes. There is a writing frame available in the resources for those that need support.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Subjunctive Form
Explore the very formal register which is created by the subjunctive form. Identify and use the form for hypotheticals and commands, understanding how to apply the sentence structure and select the correct verb forms.

Composition
Unit 5 Composition: Write performance poetry
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken language
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments.
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.
-- Participate in performances.

Comprehension
-- Identify the purpose of the writing, selecting the appropriate form and using other similar writing as models for their own.
-- Note and developing initial ideas, drawing on reading and research where necessary.

 

Composition
-- Select appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning.
-- Describe settings, characters and atmosphere and integrating dialogue to convey character and advance the action.
-- Note and develop initial ideas, drawing on reading

Grammar
-- Understand the difference between structures typical of informal speech and structures appropriate for formal speech and writing, including subjunctive forms.
-- Use expanded noun phrases to convey complicated information concisely.

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Discuss why fairy tales make such good sources for performance poetry. Make a list of tales and discuss how they could be adapted to create a performance poem with a twist. Display Ideas for Fairy Tales and explain how children will generate ideas.
Activity
Children discuss ideas and make notes on the sheet for how they might develop poetry ideas around a range of tales. They then choose their favourite idea as a group and prepare to present their idea to the class.

Day 2 Teaching
Today children will draft their poems. Discuss some of the decisions they need to make before starting and model how to start drafting the poem once these have been decided on.
Activity
Children begin to draft their poems focusing on language choice for impact and how their narrative will be twisted.

Day 3 Teaching
Remind children of the features of a good performance poem and model improving the shared poem, focusing on sound features. Discuss and display steps for improving poems to support children as they improve their own today.
Activity
Children complete drafts and read them through to assess the impact so far. They use the listed steps to help them work through their poems, identifying areas to improve and then tackling them one at a time.

Day 4 Teaching
Share your finished poem and discuss the possible reaction from the characters in the poem. Model writing a formal letter of complaint in role, using subjunctive form to create a formal register and expanded noun phrases for vivid images.
Activity
Children pair up and perform their poems to a partner. Once they have finished, children discuss each poem in turn, deciding who might write a letter of complaint in response. They write the letters using subjunctive form and expanded noun phrases.