Poetry

English Year 4 Spring Narrative Poetry

Explore Narrative Poetry

Explore a variety of narrative poetry. Use noun phrases and fronted adverbials, also pronouns. Identify features poets use; learn, recite and write poems that tell a story.

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 Unit: Introduction to narrative poems
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener.
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.
-- Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Preparing poems and play scripts to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone, volume and action.

Transcription
None for this unit

 

Composition
-- Compose and rehearse sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- Discuss and record ideas.
-- Assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggest improvements.

Grammar
-- Use conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions to express time and cause.
-- Use adverbs and fronted adverbials.
-- Use and punctuate direct speech (including punctuation within and surrounding inverted commas).

You Will Need

Texts
The Works, chosen by Paul Cookson

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read and talk about the poem Willow Pattern by Tony Mitton. Listen to and evaluate a performance of this poem.
Activity
Work in small groups to practise performing the poem, focussing on volume and on intonation.

Day 2 Teaching
Tell the story of the Willow Pattern to partners. Notice how story-telling leads to embellishment and look at how descriptive sentences can be written.
Activity
Write a narrative version of the Willow Pattern Poem.

Day 3 Teaching
Read the poem How the Tortoise Got Its Shell by Judith Nicholls. Start to notice the features of narrative poems and explore the language of this poem.
Activity
Role-play arguments between Zeus and the Tortoise based on the poem.

Day 4 Teaching
Briefly revise the conventions for punctuating and setting out dialogue.
Activity
Write a dialogue between Zeus and the Tortoise, punctuating as accurately as possible.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPAG: Identifying and using expanded noun phrases
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
None for this unit

Transcription
None for this unit

 

Composition
-- Compose and rehearse sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- Assess effectiveness of their own and others’ writing/ suggesting improvements.

Grammar
-- Noun phrases expanded by the addition of modifying adjectives, nouns and preposition phrases.

You Will Need

Texts
The Works by Paul Cookson

Presentations
SPAG PowerPoint: Noun Phrases

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read How the Bumble Bee Got His Stripes by Nick Toczek and discuss the features of a narrative poem. Find the animals that are mentioned in the poem and use a Powerpoint based on these to explore how noun phrases can be expanded with adjectives.
Activity
Write descriptions of the six animals from the poem, using expanded noun-phrases. Consider why expanded phrases are not used by the poet.

Day 2 Teaching
Read The Dragon Who Ate Our School by Nick Toczek comparing it to the Bumblebee poem and thinking about the features of a narrative poem. Find the objects that were eaten by the dragon and use a Powerpoint based on these to explore expanded noun-phrases using prepositions.
Activity
Write descriptive sentences about the eaten objects from the poem, using expanded noun phrases.

Day 3 Teaching
Re-read both of the poems and make story-maps about each.
Activity
Choose one of the poems and write it as a story, using expanded noun-phrases. Listen to examples and compare these with the poems.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Noun Phrases
This presentation revises nouns, adjectives and prepositions and then explains how to use adjectives and prepositional phrases to expand a noun phrase.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Reading and analysing narrative poems
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.
-- Ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge.
-- Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s).

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Discuss words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination.
-- Identify how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning.
-- Participate in discussion about both books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say.

 

-- Draw inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts, motives from actions, and justify inferences with evidence
-- Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.
-- Prepare poems and plays to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone and volume so that the meaning is clear to an audience.
-- Learn a wider range of poetry by heart.

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
None for this unit

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
Read Me 1 chosen by Gaby Morgan
What is Poetry by Michael Rosen

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read Maggie and the Dinosaur by Dave Ward and introduce the idea of secret strings – the ways that words are connected in poems.
Activity
Work in small groups to practise reading and performing Maggie and the Dinosaur. Perform, record and evaluate the performance. Talk about ways to learn a poem by heart.

Day 2 Teaching
Read The Child Who Was Wild by Michael Rosen. Use secret strings to explore this poem.
Activity
Write questions about the poem and write about the point of view of the character in the poem. Watch Michael Rosen’s performance of the poem.

Day 3 Teaching
Read Miller’s End by Charles Causley, noticing the twist in the story. Make a story-map of the story together.
Activity
Write secret strings on Millers End poem individually and with a partner. Listen to Charles Causley reading the poem.

Day 4 Teaching
Read Cows on the Beach by Matthew Sweeny. Talk together about this poem, comparing it to the others you have read in this unit.
Activity
Choose one poem and start to learn some of it by heart. Talk about favourite poems from this Unit and think about where similar poems could be found.



SPAG
Unit 4 SPAG: Using and punctuating direct speech
(suggested as 3 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Draw inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justify inferences with evidence.

Transcription
None for this unit

 

Composition
-- Compose and rehearse sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- In narratives, creating settings, characters and plot.
-- Assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggest improvements.

Grammar
-- Use and punctuate direct speech (including punctuation within and surrounding inverted commas).

You Will Need

Texts
Read Me 1 by Gaby Morgan
The Works by Paul Cookson

Presentations
SPAG PowerPoint: Direct Speech

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read The Three Little Pigs by Marian Swinger and discuss the features of a narrative poem. Notice the direct speech in the poem and use a Powerpoint based on the story to introduce the rules for punctuating direct speech.
Activity
Practise direct speech punctuation, using sentences based on the story of the three little pigs. Discuss how direct speech can be used to write vivid characters.

Day 2 Teaching
Read The Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear. Use a Powerpoint based on the poem to revise the rules for punctuating direct speech.
Activity
Improvise a scene based on the poem and then write the character’s words as direct speech. Watch a video performance of the poem and capture comments as direct speech.

Day 3 Teaching
Read Overheard on a Saltmarsh by Harold Monro and discuss the poem, its mood and its vocabulary.
Activity
Write a prose version of the poem, with correctly punctuated direct speech. Compare these with the poem and discuss the effect of each.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Direct Speech
This presentation uses a step by step approach to teach children how to punctuate dialogue and add reporting clauses, wherever in the sentence these are placed.

SPAG
Unit 5 Composition: Composing narrative poems
(suggested as 4 days)

Objectives

Spoken Language
-- Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic, initiating, responding to comments.
-- Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s).
-- Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.
-- Give well-structured narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings.
-- Participate in performances.

Word Reading
None for this unit

Comprehension
-- Listen to and discuss a wide range of poetry; Recognise some different forms of poetry.
-- Participate in discussion about both books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say.

 

Transcription
None for this unit

Composition
-- Compose and rehearse sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied, rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
-- Discuss writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar.
-- Assess effectiveness of their own & others’ writing and suggest improvements.
-- Read their own writing aloud, to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear.

Grammar
None for this unit

You Will Need

Texts
You Wait Till I’m Older Than You by Michael Rosen

Presentations
SPAG PowerPoint: Direct Speech

Teaching and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read Eddie and the Supermarket and Robin Hood’s Bay by Michael Rosen discussing their content and their features.
Activity
Group-read and discuss and then annotate more poems by Michael Rosen, noticing the features of a narrative poem that they have.

Day 2 Teaching
Discuss the way that Michael Rosen uses anecdotes for his poems. Read Trousers Down and see the elements of telling an anecdote that he uses.
Activity
Children tell their own anecdotes and then record them in writing.

Day 3 Teaching
Compare Robin Hood’s Bay by Michael Rosen to a written anecdote to see how they differ. Model turning a written anecdote into a narrative poem.
Activity
Children re-write their anecdotes as narrative poems in the style of Michael Rosen.

Day 4 Teaching
Watch Michael Rosen perform his poem, The Torch. Discuss what he does in this performance.
Activity
Children practice performing and improving their poems before performing them to an audience.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Direct Speech
This presentation uses a step by step approach to teach children how to punctuate dialogue and add reporting clauses, wherever in the sentence these are placed.