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With lots of children out of the habit of poetry writing, we’ve got 3 helpful ideas to help get your class buzzing and raring to write.
- Give your pupils a specific poetry style to write in. An acrostic or sense poem is a great starting point for the beginning of term, or for those who would like a challenge why not try a haiku or limerick?
- Get pupils thinking of different techniques they can use when writing their poems. Alliteration, rhyme, and similes are techniques that go well with the Peculiar Pets theme.
- Get creative ideas flowing by sharing examples of other peculiar pets poems, we’ve picked these videos which may help; A.F. Harrold – The Ambitious Spider, Steve Attewell – The Worm that Wouldn’t Wiggle, and Roald Dahl – Crocky Wock the Crocodile. Once you have watched them discuss them with the class and see if you can spot the different techniques they have used.
Acrostics are a fun, simple way to engage students with poetry. Ask students to pick an animal and write it out vertically on a piece of paper. Explain that the lines don’t all need to be the same length, and it doesn’t need to rhyme!
Your pupils can generate words that describe their chosen animal, and put them on the lines that begin with the same letters, or think of similar words to fit in the poem. Thinking about which words will fit and alternatives is a great way to kick-start your pupils’ creativity!
This year’s National Poetry Day theme is ‘vision’ you can use this theme alongside Peculiar Pets, here are some suggestions to help inspire you:
• Pupils can create their pet inspired by eyes – big eyes, one eye, multiple eyes, telescopic eyes, antenna, glasses, a monocle, goggles…
• Let pupils’ peculiar pets be inspired by what they can see. This could be in the classroom, at home, in a book, from a photo or scene…
• Go to the future, what are your pupils’ visions of what a futuristic pet would be like?
• Let your pupils be visionaries – creating their perfect peculiar pets!
Imagery is writing with very descriptive language that appeals to all of the reader’s senses. When imagery is written well, the reader can see, hear, taste, touch, and feel the text! What a fantastic way for your pupils to bring their peculiar pets to life in a poem!
Here is a quick class activity to get your pupils familiar with imagery before they write their poem:
Show your pupils a picture of a peculiar pet. (You can create or source your own image or use one from the teacher folder.) What does it make your pupils wonder...? Now ask them to write down three sentences:
• One to describe what it looks like
• One to describe what it smells like
• One to describe what it sounds like
Let pupils share their observations! Then they are ready to get creating and writing about their own peculiar pet!
Why not write an Alphabet poem! Your pupils need to write the alphabet as a list down the left-hand side of their page. Then, using their peculiar pet for inspiration pupils need to write a sentence for each letter. E.g:
A ngelic Mr Mould is the name of my peculiar pet,
B ig, hairy, yellow, stripey, kind and funny,
C auliflower is his favourite food, even though it makes him stinky.
D oesn’t sleep in a bed, but a compost heap instead!
X -ray vision to spy through the walls
Y ellow and stripey, like a stick of rock
Z zzzzz, Mr Mould snores as he sleeps at the end of my bed.
Ask your pupils to each pick 3 animals. These can be insects, sea creatures, pets, farm animals, wild animals or mythical beasts.
E.g. snake, T-rex and chicken.
Now your pupils need to decide what animal parts go where; chicken head and feet, T-rex body with snake tail and tongue.
Next, your pupils need to think about where it lives, its diet, camouflage, what it does etc. They now have created a peculiar pet to write their poem about!
To make the activity interactive for home learning, why not invite your pupils to explain or do an impression of their peculiar pet! You could also encourage your pupils to read their poems to the class too!
Animals have lots of natural superpowers...
• Super speed
• Breathing underwater
• Super strength
A porcupine can fire its spines, a lizard can regenerate a limb and an elephant can use its trunk as a hand and straw!
Why not try writing riddle poems to see if we can guess the superhero animal!