What? Two posts in ONE day? Well, it IS National Poetry Day after all so we need to celebrate it!
Today, our year 6 children had a go at a difficult task. I printed off random images from the internet, popped them into a bag, and asked them to choose one. The selected picture would be their visual prompt for a poem they had to write in ten minutes.
You should have heard the groans of despair. The ‘I can’t do this, Miss!’ and the ‘Do I have to?s’. But THEY DID! And these are some of the results. I am dead impressed and hope you are too.
The Shining Ball, by Alfie
Off the delicate
Charlie Cooper, by Duke
National Galleries of Scotland
Was a skater
But he had to go to tea a bit later.
He was off in a hurry
To get some coffee
Before he was off to the ice rink.
Like an elegant swan he skated
Stopping for a break, he gloated
About how great he was.
Pufferfish, by Luke
Human in the
Top of the food chain, they eat
All over the
Today is National Poetry Day, and I’m pretty excited about it. I love poetry, from the dreaminess of the Romantics to the silliness of Spike Milligan and Edward Lear.
Children love poetry, too, particularly poems that rhyme. In fact, sometimes we have to gently encourage them not to always write a poem around the rhyme as it can sound a little forced! That was why last week’s read of Michael Rosen’s ‘Chocolate Cake’ was so great – the children learned that there are other ways of writing poetry and it can be just as effective! (The children are STILL begging me to read that book this week.)
However, rhyme is important in other ways. It helps children learn the rhythm and cadence of language and it’s also wonderful for helping with their prediction skills. Yesterday, I introduced our new Reception children to the delights of Peter Bently’s Dustbin Dad and, even though none of them had read it before, they accurately guessed the end rhymes much of the time (and had a great laugh in doing so).
Poems are a wonderful way to share emotions with children, too. Sadness, silliness, happiness and joy can be found everywhere in children’s poetry, as can wonder at the natural world and consolation when times are tough. Pop into our library and take a look at our poetry collection and tell me your favourites!
I’ll leave you now with some poems and excerpts to enjoy. Happy National Poetry Day!
A lovely, hilarious rhyming couplet from Roald Dahl’s Revolting Nursery Rhymes (Little Red, in case you didn’t know!)
From Love That Dog, by Sharon Creech
And finally, one of my all-time favourites:
We’re a couple of weeks in to our new school term and the Library has been really busy! We’ve had new books and a new time slot for children and adults to come in after school on a Wednesday to see the library and share books. Yesterday, we had several children proudly showing what the Library has to offer to their adults and it was so lovely to see how they knew where everything was! Thank you to everyone who came in and I look forward to seeing more of you in the weeks to come.
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been sharing some funny books together. Last week, to coincide with Roald Dahl Day, we started reading the new edition of Billy and the Minpins, illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake.
The children enjoyed the thrill of Billy’s disobedience into the rather scarily named Forest of Sin and helpfully reminded me of its name when I kept saying Forest of Doom instead this week! Being a Dahl book, there were plenty of funny names to listen to and the excitement of a child being a bit naughty. We will keep reading this in the weeks to come.
This week, I have enjoyed reading Michael Rosen’s Chocolate Cake.
If there was ever a book to be read aloud, it’s this one, with its cheeky storyline and its joyful exclamations. Nearly everyone loves chocolate cake (only one person in each group said they didn’t) and the children thought it marvellous how little Michael got up in the middle of the night to raid the cupboard. Some hid behind their books when ‘the terrible thing happened’ (no spoilers please!) although for most it was their favourite part! Naughtiness combined with cake is a perfect combination, and Rosen’s words have a natural appeal for the young.
There were plenty of belly laughs, and not just from me! And when I opened the library yesterday after school, the children made a beeline for the book – all of them – waiting in turn for their chance to show their adults what they had been reading, and begging for a second or third helping!
You can see Michael Rosen performing Chocolate Cake on YouTube here. The children loved it – it’s definitely worth a watch.