Grammar through poetry

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By Christine Jenkins – education writer

Using poetry writing to explore different aspects of grammar, children can deepen their understanding and enrich their writing.

Boy writing

Understanding noun phrases

Read children the poem ‘The Door’ by Miroslav Holub (available online as in video form from the BBC ).

‘The Door’ and similar list poems provide an excellent stimulus for securing children’s understanding of nouns and exploring how to expand them into noun phrases. Begin by reading the poem aloud and identifying the examples of nouns in the poem itself. If necessary remind children that a noun is a thing, person, place or feeling.


Discuss the use of the determiner (a, the, my, those and so on) which go before a noun, to create a noun phrase. Give children copies of the Activity sheet , ‘Determiners’, and ask them to experiment with how changing the noun phrase can vary the meaning within the poem.

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