Wriggly words

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Explore the natural world with some playful shape poems

Learning objectives: to listen to and enjoy the rhymes and rhythms of words; to write shape poems using ‘word pictures’.

You will need

Illustrations of garden creatures; an enlarged copy of the poem Snake (see back of A1 poster); for Ages 6-7 activity Creepy-crawly poetry garden 1 and 2 (back of A1 poster); pencils; coloured pencils; unlined A4 sheets; whiteboard; frieze paper and paste.

Whole class

Tell the children that they are going to look at a poem that uses words to make a picture. Copy out the Snake poem onto a large sheet of paper. Show it to the class quickly and then hide again, without giving them the opportunity of actually reading it. Ask them to guess from its shape what the poem is about – a winding path, a stream, a coil of rope… Then read the poem aloud and find out if anyone has guessed correctly.

On a second reading, explore the way in which ‘Snake’ makes a word picture and ask the children to think about what makes it a poem. For example, it rhymes, has two verses, doesn’t use a lot of words and so on. Encourage them to think about the story it tells. Ask: How does the snake hunt its prey? What might it be aiming for? What does it do after it misses? What kind of weather is described?

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