Legbourne East Wold Primary School – Mr Watson's Blog

A place where we can share what we are doing in class, find out more and reflect on our learning!

Posts Tagged ‘Literacy’

The Titanic – A Brief History

Posted by eastwoldblog on January 17, 2011

As we have been looking at Thomas Hardy’s poem ‘Convergence of the Twain’ and you seemed enthusisatic and interested, I thought that you might like a bit of additional information.


The Titanic

Before the age of passenger aircraft, ships were the only means of crossing the Atlantic and the journey took several days. Although the White Star Line’s ships were famed for their comfort, their rival Cunard’s liners, with their new turbine engines, had won speed records for the Atlantic crossing.

 In 1907 the White Star Line decided to produce three new ships which would outdo their rivals in terms of size, speed and luxury. They were to be built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast and over 15,000 workers were employed to build the first two ships. When the first of these, Olympic, was launched in 1910, she was the largest moving object ever to be created by human beings. But in 1911, when the Titanic was launched, she took over this record. However, before the Titanic could be put into use she needed to be fitted out. This was done in such a luxurious fashion that she was known as a ‘floating palace’ and described by a periodical of the time as having ‘accommodation superior to anything previously seen afloat’.

She was built with a double-bottomed hull and a complex system of watertight compartments, which meant that, even with several of her compartments flooded she could still remain afloat. For this reason she was described by the periodical, The Shipbuilder, as ‘practically unsinkable’. She also had on board a Marconi wireless, the most powerful of any other passenger vessel of the day, allowing her to transmit distress calls in event of an emergency.

On April 10th 1912 she finally set sail from Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York. As she set off she narrowly missed colliding with the liner New York which had broken her moorings. She crossed the channel and stopped at Cherbourg and then in Queenstown, Ireland to collect more passengers before setting off on 11th April to New York.

At first the crossing was calm, and the Titanic began to build up speed. By Sunday April 14th the weather had turned cold. Normally, the Sunday church service would be followed by a lifeboat drill, but today it was cancelled.

Three ice warnings had come in across the telegraph and these were taken to the captain. The White Star Chairman, J. Bruce Ismay, who was on board, suggested that the Titanic should speed up to get out of the ice field. Another ice warning came in at 7.30pm, but as Captain Smith was at a dinner party, he never received it. Further ice warnings were delayed by private transmissions.

At 11.40pm lookouts noticed an iceberg right ahead and raised a warning. The Titanic turned to avoid it, but it just scraped the starboard side of the ship. The captain inspected the damage and realised that five or six of her watertight compartments were damaged and that, with more than four damaged, she could not stay afloat. The passengers were instructed to put on their lifebelts and come up on deck. The lifeboats began to be filled, with women and children first. Many refused to leave their husbands and some lifeboats were launched half empty. Distress rockets were fired at 12.45am as the seriousness of the situation became apparent. As the water rose in the ship, the orchestra continued to play.

Even after the last of the lifeboats had been launched, hundreds of passengers were still trapped on board. At 2.10am the bow of the ship dropped further and then at 2.17am the stern rose into the air, spun round, and then slid down below the surface of the water.

(Thanks to ‘Hamilton Trust’ for the body of text)


Hope the information is of interest!

Mr W.


Posted in A Bit of Fun, History, Learning Resources, Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates, Think about this... | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Writing in Runes

Posted by eastwoldblog on September 22, 2010

After today’s lesson writing messages of good luck and praise to a Viking crew about to bravely venture on a new raid.

We then tried to translate the messages into Viking Runes.

It was a great chance to use positive language to describe Vikings where we are more used to them being described in a negative way.

At Kristian’s request here is the sheet containing the translation of the Runes – Runes Sheet

Mr W.

Posted in History, Literacy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Simon’s Cat – Kennings

Posted by eastwoldblog on September 20, 2010

As an introduction to Kennings, today in Literacy Class 4 watched the short animation of “Simon’s Cat – Cat Man Do”

We then though about the cat, what it did, what it sounded like, how it behaved etc… to write a simple Kenning.

This is what we wrote together:

Simon’s Cat

Early Riser

Annoying Singer

Sleep Disturber

Face Scratcher

Ear Puller

Bat Swinger

Pain Bringer

Light Sleeper

Well done Class 4 – very good work!

I really enjoyed your Kennings from the lesson too!


As a reward why not make your very own “Simon’s Cat” here: Simon’s Cat – Cutout

Visit: www.simonscat.com for the NEW Simon’s Cat episode “The Box”

Please note that all ‘Simon’s Cat’ artwork remains the property of Simon’s Cat Ltd.

(All links refer to Original Simon’s Cat links)


Mr W.

Posted in Children's Work, Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Poetry Competition! Submit your Kennings!

Posted by eastwoldblog on September 17, 2010

What is a Kenning?

A kenning is a poem where the subject is described without being named.

It comes from the Norse/Viking era, where swords had names like “death-bringer” or “wound-maker”.

You can create a great “riddle poem” by describing something in different ways on the different lines.

Here are some examples:


Great runner
Food chaser
Flesh eater
Good climber
Evil predater
Brilliant killer
Day sleeper
Amazing starer

Lewis (Age 9)

Vampire Bat

Night swooper
Blood drinker
Midnight watcher
Sharp toother
Cow ripper
Gruesome fiender
Outstanding flyer
Cave dweller

Bailey (Age 9)


Sofa Ripper
Night Gardener
Cat Chaser
Fast Swimmer
People Licker
Water Drinker
Deep Sleeper
Amazing Runner

Ellie-Mae (Age 10)


Table chewer
Meat eater
Cat chaser
Loud barker
Sheep chaser
Sock ripper
Teddy stealer
Feet licker

Jaden (Age 10)

These examples were written by a couple of years ago by my old class.

The benchmark is set HIGH – Can you beat it?

Yes, you can!


So this is the competition:

1. Choose and animal

2. Write a kenning and post it here. It must be no more than 8 lines.

3. After half term we will have a look and judge the best and it will win a prize!

You can enter as many as you like!


Have fun, think creative, THINK WOW Words!

Mr W.

Posted in A Bit of Fun, Big Writing, Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

BBC – “Questionaut” game

Posted by eastwoldblog on May 1, 2010

If you are one of those ‘Puzzle Game’ fans then I think you will enjoy this!

The BBC Revisewise site has this entertaining puzzle game – can you help the character to solve the puzzles and answer the questions?

Lots of different topic based questions for Literacy, Maths and Science (especially good for you Y6’s!)

BBC Revisewise – Questionaut

There are 8 levels to get through and some are much trickier than others!

Have fun – and tell me what your favourite level is and why!

Mr W.

Posted in A Bit of Fun, Literacy, Maths, Mr Watson's Updates, Science | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Highwayman – Alfred Noyes

Posted by eastwoldblog on April 29, 2010

Over the next couple of weeks we will be studying Classic Narrative poems like ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’, ‘The Walrus and The Carpenter’ and Alfred Noyes classic tale of thieves, romance, love, bravery and death in ‘The Highwayman’.

We will also be looking at some slightly different versions, like in this video:

The music and lyrics are by a Canadian singer/songwriter called Loreena McKennitt.

She ha taken the words of Alfred Noyes poem and set them to music. She has missed little bits out and changed the words very slightly in places – but the poem still has the same story.

I am not sure who made the animation but they have done a pretty good job.

Enjoy the video:

What is your opinion of the poem?

Do you like it or not? Why?

Which version do you prefer – the Poem or the Song? Why?

Share your thoughts in a comment…

Mr W.


Update 01-05-10:

Here is the link that we didn’t have time to look at on Friday:

BBC – Myths & Legends – Dick Turpin

Posted in History, Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Piano by Aidan Gibbons: An Audio Commentary

Posted by eastwoldblog on April 22, 2010

Over the past few weeks, we have been working on “The Piano” by Aidan Gibbons.

We have looked at how the film uses Setting, Sound, Sequence, Story and Symbols to tell it’s story without words.

The children have written description, speech, narrative and captions for a range of Key Moments throughout the animation. They have even used the video as inspiration for Artwork, when we painted different scenes.

The last part of the unit was to record a DVD-style commentary for the animation, using the ‘Record Narration’ feature in PowerPoint.

This commentary should encompass much of the elements that we had worked on across the unit. Trying to achieve maximum impact in just 2 or 3 really effective sentences for each Screen shot.

Having written a storyboard style script, the children used microphones to record their DVD Commentary into PowerPoint.

Here are a selection of the work they have produced:

The Piano AM

The Piano PD

The Piano AB

The Piano LF

I was really impressed with the quality of the writing.

What do you think?

Let us know in a comment.

Mr W.

Posted in Children's Work, Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Literacy: The Piano – Aidan Gibbons

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 23, 2010

Our next unit of Literacy is “Film Narrative”.

In it we will be using this short animation called “The Piano” by Aidan Gibbons.

We are going to use key points in the film to discuss features and themes in film narrative.

Explore the approaches made by the film maker to create moods, pace and viewpoint.

We will also try to develop your film vocabulary by identifying how colour, light, sound and camera angles have been used to tell the narrative.

The original music for Aidan Gibbons’ film is ‘Comptine d’un Autre ètè; l’Apres-Midi’ , (or ‘Rhyme of Another Summer; Afternoon’), by Yann Tiersen. The music formed part of the soundtrack to the film ‘Amelie’, by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (not
suitable for children, but a fabulous film.)

A version of ‘The Piano’, with its original music, can be seen on Aidan Gibbons’ own site. Aidan Gibbons Website
Other versions of the film, however, features music composed by Stephen Jones, especially for it. Both pieces have a similarly haunting quality, which adds greatly to the mood of the film.

Have a watch and comment with any thoughts, ideas, feelings, emotions, questions etc… that the film raises in you mind.


Mr W.

Posted in Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Should UFOs be taught in Schools?

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 22, 2010

After using David Wiesner’s book “Tuesday” as inspiration for our Literacy over the past few weeks – we took it a step further and decided to think about whether or not the topic of UFOs should be taught in school.

Initially we tried to use the Internet as a source of information, but we quickly realised that there is SO MUCH information, and no way of judging if that information is factual or made up, we had to try something else!

So, after a rethink! I provided the children with a selection of reports from this website: http://ufosinschool.blogspot.com/

Created by Chestnut Literacy Set – Year 5. A class from Wellington Primary School, in Hounslow, England in 2008.

We read these reports and used a checklist of features for Discussion Texts (Arguments): Balanced Argument Checklist

We could then judge the quality of these texts and use them as a source of information for our writing.

We then planned and wrote our reports over 2 days, ensuring that we used the correct text language and features, and that we had edited and improved them.

As a way of publishing these Discussion Texts, I created our own blog to share our writing: http://theufotopic.blogspot.com/

I hope you think that they are as good as we do!

Perhaps they might even persuade you that it would be a great topic to teach!

Mr W.

Posted in Children's Work, Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

“The Truth Is Out There!” – Reports into UFOs

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 15, 2010

This week in Literacy we will be finding out more about UFOs before preparing a report on the topic.


The Government Department for Schools, Children and Families (DSCF) wants to know if they should include a section on UFOs in the science curriculum –to be taught in schools.

They want a report on UFOs to help them decide.

The report should be as unbiased as possible.

It should seek to answer the following questions:

1. Are there such things as flying objects which are not of earthly origin – i.e. cannot be explained by our science or geography as we know it?

2. How good is the evidence? What are the most compelling bits of evidence?

3. Is there a good case for teaching this topic in schools?

Remember that you have 2 days in class and any homework time that you want to use (UFO Research is your Homework this week) to research information for the topic.

There are links in the “UFO” category on the right (some might not work in school).

REMEMBER: This should be an unbiased report! No matter what you believe, you must look at both sides of the arguement!

Good luck with the research and think about how you can help others, if you find a really useful website that you think other people could use – paste the URL into a comment and I’ll it to the link list.

Mr W.

Posted in Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Publish Your Own Newspaper – Online!

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 12, 2010

MTN – Publish Your Own Newspaper

In Literacy we have been writing newspaper articles based on David Wiesner’s “Tuesday”.

We used the Tabloid Templates on the MTN (Making The News) Website to make them look like real newspapers.

We had to decide whether we were skeptical about the “Flying Frogs” or whether we were excited about it.

There have been some very “creative” results.

(Sorry girls! No matter what I do – I can’t get it to name your work! I will persevere and sort it as soon as I can!)

(Ben & Luke – There seems to be a problem with the images which you edited and they won’t load – I am on that case too!)

(Once I sort the problems – I’ll upload your work as well)

In the meantime if you want to create your own newspaper here is the link (requested by Stephen):

MTN – Publish Your Own Newspaper

Mr W.

Posted in Learning Resources, Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“Tuesday” by David Wiesner

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 1, 2010

Our latest Literacy unit is Non-Fiction texts – Recounts.

This week Y5 will be taking the role of a Detective investigating the strange occurrences in the night in David Wiesner’s Tuesday.


Today’s task was to gather evidence and take notes for a Police Report on the ‘incident’.

Thinking about:

Witnesses, who claim to have seen ‘things’.

Potential Witnesses, who might have seen or heard odd things in the night.

Evidence, things that have been left behind.

Other Strange Happenings, things that people might have reported which could be connected.

There were lots of good pieces of information taken from the wordless text and some very creative ideas dreamed up by the children!

I was especially impressed with Philippa’s work. So here it is!

I was really impressed with her organisation of her work.

She has used great word choices to fit the style and purpose, as well as including loads of really good ideas for her to ‘investigate’ later.

Well done – I thought I would celebrate your work on here!

In this video David  Wiesner talks about how he was inspired to create his latest book – I think the art work is amazing!


I today’s literacy we played character’s from the book and some not from the book but from our imagination!

We used “Sound Recorder” in the ICT Suite to record the ‘Police Interviews’.

One person took on the role of the investigating detective and another, took on the role of the witness.

We were able then to collect them together as evidence for our case report that we will be writing later in the week.

There were all sorts of ‘interesting’ interviews, from the Sleeping Granny and The Man eating his supper, to fishermen, astronomers and even a recording from RAF radar stations (very creative Luke and Ben!)

Tomorrow we will look at changing the direct speech, in the recordings, to reported speech in the form of a Police Interview Report.

Mr W.

Posted in Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

David Wiesner – The Art of Visual Storytelling

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 1, 2010

It is time for a new topic in Literacy.

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be looking at some of the work by the American author David Wiesner.

He writes his book in an unusual and I think really effective way!

We will be doing something unusual too! But I will save that for a surprise!

Here is some information about him.

From: Houghton Mifflin Books

Mr W.


David Wiesner

During David Wiesner’s formative years, the last images he saw before closing his eyes at night were the books, rockets, elephant heads, clocks, and magnifying glasses that decorated the wallpaper of his room. Perhaps it was this decor which awakened his creativity and gave it the dreamlike, imaginative quality so often found in his work.

As a child growing up in suburban New Jersey, Wiesner re-created his world daily in his imagination. His home and his neighborhood became anything from a faraway planet to a prehistoric jungle. When the everyday play stopped, he would follow his imaginary playmates into the pages of books, wandering among dinosaurs in the World Book Encyclopedia. The images before him generated a love of detail, an admiration for the creative process, and a curiosity about the hand behind the drawings.

In time, the young Wiesner began exploring the history of art, delving into the Renaissance at first — Michelangelo, Dürer, and da Vinci — then moving on to such surrealists as Magritte, de Chirico, and Dalí. As he got older, he would sit, inspired by these masters, at the oak drafting table his father had found for him and would construct new worlds on paper and create wordless comic books, such as Slop the Wonder Pig, and silent movies, like his kung fu vampire film The Saga of Butchula.

Wiesner has always been intrigued by and curious about what comes before and after the captured image. His books somehow convey the sequence of thoughts leading up to and following each picture, and that quality explain why they are frequently described as cinematic.

David Wiesner has illustrated more than twenty award-winning books for young readers. Two of the picture books he both wrote and illustrated became instant classics when they won the prestigious Caldecott Medal: Tuesday in 1992 and The Three Pigs in 2002. Two of his other titles, Sector 7 and Free Fall, are Caldecott Honor Books. An exhibit of Wiesner’s original artwork, “Seeing the Story,” toured the United States in 2000 and 2001. Among his many honors, Wiesner holds the Japan Picture Book Award for Tuesday, the Prix Sorcières (the French equivalent of the Caldecott Medal) for The Three Pigs, and a 2004 IBBY Honour Book nomination for illustration, also for The Three Pigs. Flotsam, his most recent work, was a New York Times bestseller and was recently named winner of the 2007 Caldecott Medal, making Wiesner only the second person in the award’s long history to have won three times.

Wiesner lives with his wife and their son and daughter in the Philadelphia area, where he continues to create dreamlike and inventive images for books.

Posted in Literacy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Write your name in Cuneiform – Just like a Mesapotamian!

Posted by eastwoldblog on February 24, 2010

Write Your Name in Cuneiform

In today’s Literacy, we will be looking at Cuneiform, an ancient form of writing from Mesapotamia (now Iraq).

You can use this site to write your “Monogram” or initials in Cuneiform.

Like in many languages, there isn’t just one type of Cuneiform – here are some different ones.

It is almost like a secret code!

Can you write your name? Or a message to someone in Cuneiform?

Mr W.

Posted in Literacy | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments »

Who was “Gilgamesh”?

Posted by eastwoldblog on February 1, 2010

As you know we are looking in literacy at Stories from Other Cultures.

Today I began reading “The Epic of Gilgamesh” retold by Geraldine McCaughcrean.


Here is some information about Gilgamesh from Novaonline – Gilgamesh Notes


Uruk (modern day Warka) is in southern Iraq between Basra and Baghdad; photo from British Museum

The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the world’s oldest surviving pieces of literature.

Only incomplete versions of the epic survive, with the longest being twelve clay tablet pieces (with cuneiform writing) found in the nineteenth century.

The first translation of a portion of the epic was the flood story deciphered from one of the clay tablets in 1872.

The stories that comprise the epic had long been transmitted orally before being written down sometime in the seventh century BC by one Sin-Leqi-Unninni.

The epic relates the exploits of Gilgamesh.

Gilgamesh was the son of Lugalbanda and the fifth king of Uruk, ruling around 2700 BC, according to the Sumerian king list.”  That means that it is generally accepted by historians that Gilgamesh was an actual historical figure, a king who reigned over the Sumerian city-state of Uruk in the third millennium BC and who was probably responsible for constructing the city walls, which archaeologists later determined had a perimeter of almost six miles.

The ruins of Uruk (also believed to be the city of Erech as mentioned in Genesis) lie near the town of Warka, in southern Iraq.

Uruk was one of the most important and powerful of the Mesopotamian city-states before 2000BC.

The modern name “Iraq” is thought by some to come from the name Uruk. Between 4,000 and 3,000 BC, the city emerged as one of the first major urban cities in the Near East.

So, do we know a lot of details about Gilgamesh?

No.  We don’t know what he really looked like, or how strong he was.

We don’t know what kind of ideas he had about being the ruler of a great city.

We don’t know what he sounded like when he spoke.

And we don’t know what he ate and drank or when he slept or how he interacted with priests, slaves or traders.


Can you research Gilgamesh?

Share what you find here…

Mr W.

Posted in Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by eastwoldblog on January 25, 2010

As we are now looking at Stories from Other Cultures, particularly the Middle East and Bahrain, I thought that we would look at Idioms as a feature of writing.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words:
It’s better to actually do something than just talk about it.

Get Up On The Wrong Side Of The Bed:
Someone who is having a horrible day.

Keep your chin up:
To remain joyful in a tough situation.

Idioms are those little phrases that get used alot by native speakers that might be difficult to understand to someone learning the language new.

Can you think of any other Idioms that you or your parents/grandparents/family members/friends use?

There are some new links on the right of the page to help you find out more.

Share them as comments.

Mr. W.

Posted in Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

VCOP Big Writing Pyramid

Posted by eastwoldblog on January 25, 2010

Why not make yourself a BIG Writing VCOP Pyramid at home?

We are doing BIG Writing in school as a way to help your children develop their writing skills, by working on the basic skills of writing.

They are:

V – Vocabulary (WOW words)

C – Connectives (Words to join sentences: but, and, so, because, although etc.)

O – Openers (Different ways to start a sentence: Suddenly, Eventually, It felt as etc.)

P – Punctuation (Full stops, Capital Letters, Commas, Exclamation Marks!, Question Marks?)

Put it on your wall, desk, kitchen table, on top of the TV anywhere and use it to support your homework, and any other writing that you might do!

VCOP Pyramid

Here is an another version of the VCOP Pyramid.

VCOP Pyramid v.2Here is a link to a demonstration of the Punctuation Pyramid.

It  gives all the different types of punctuation marks and examples of sentences containing them.

Mr W.

Posted in Big Writing, Learning Resources, Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Dangle – Short Film

Posted by eastwoldblog on January 24, 2010

In literacy I am trying to use an increasingly  Visual Approach, using films, images, movie stills and short clips to inspire writing.

In BIG Writing this week we watched this short film from the BFI (British Film Institute), and talked about how you can create different sentences by looking at the different camera angles.

The children then were given a series of ’stills’ from the film and asked to write the story, thinking about what happened in the film and the different types of camera angle:

Long Shot – Looking at alot of scenery and characters in the background.

Medium Shot – A shot which shows the relationship between characters or a character and an object.

Close-Up – To show an emotion by looking at the characters face or an important detail.

EXTREME Close-Up – To show an EXTREME emotion or very fine detail.

High Angle Shot – Looking Down to look at what others are doing.

Low Angle Shot – Looking Up to demonstrate size.

Aerial Shot – Looking directly down from above

The children (especially Y6) really enjoyed it and did some brilliant writing!

Mr W.

Posted in ICT, Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Up-level your sentences!

Posted by eastwoldblog on January 20, 2010

Open it by adding more detail and making it interesting.

You could play this game with a friend or family member.
Start with a boring sentence such like:
Terry went to the park.
Can they add more detail and make it more interesting?
  • Terry trudged angrily to the park.

If you think they can do better ask them to try again!

  • Long-haired Terry, who had a chocolate-chip ice cream, trudged angrily to the park because she had a meeting with an alien, to discuss something important.
Try to improve some of  these sentences

  1. I went to the park.
  2. I walked to the castle.
  3. We played at the fair.
  4. I walked the dog.
  5. Mum went to the shops.
  6. I ate Christmas dinner.
  7. Josh was late for school.
  8. Maisie walked across the playground.
  9. Fred spoke to the policeman.
  10. Alex played on his PSP.

Post your “improved sentences” as comments!

Can you do better than your friend?

Mr W.

(Thanks to VCOP Teacher for this activity.)

Posted in Literacy | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Performance Poetry

Posted by eastwoldblog on January 13, 2010

One of the things that we have agreed on this week is that Michael Rosen creates poems that are better when performed.

Here are some tips for you to practice Performance Poetry for yourself.

Here is some information to try  to help them understand how they can use their voice to create different effects – we will be doing some of this in school too!

Have fun – that is what this kind of Poem is all about!

Performing Poetry: A Study Guide for Teachers, Parents and Children!
by Kathy Norris (adapted by Mr Watson)

Voice Emphasis Exercises
Purpose: To have students learn the importance of varying the pitch, rate and volume of their voices. Emphasizing different words will alter the meaning of the poem that the students are reading.

Exercise 1:
1. Use the following poem by Bruce Lansky for this exercise.

My Baby Sister
My baby sister’s
really swell.
I love her smile,
but not her smell.

(Note: All poems used in this study guide are copyright by Bruce Lansky.)

2. Have students take turns reading the poem emphasizing one word over the others. For example the first student reads it emphasizing “My” and the second student reads the poem emphasizing “baby,” and so on until the last student has read the poem emphasizing the last word “smell.”
3. Reading the selected word with emphasis means to say it louder, slower and more dramatically than the other words in the poem. If you emphasize “My” it means my baby sister as opposed to yours. If you emphasize “baby” it may mean your baby sister as opposed to your older sister.
4. Discuss how the meaning of the poem changes as different words are emphasized.
5. Teach your students that as they practice other poems to present in class that they can decide which words to emphasize. They can underline these words so that they can identify these words as they practice their poems.

Exercise 2:
Many students speak too quickly when presenting poems in front of the class or an audience. Your pitch and volume can vary more when you slow down your rate of speech.

1. Use the following poem by Bruce Lansky for this exercise:

I’d Rather
I’d rather wash the dishes
I’d rather kiss a frog.
I’d rather get an F in math
or run a ten-mile jog.
I’d rather do my homework.
I’d rather mow the lawn.
I’d rather take the garbage out.
I’d rather wake at dawn.
I’d rather dine on Brussels sprouts
or catch the chicken pox.
I’d rather do most anything
than clean the litter box.

2. Have a student volunteer to read the poem slowly, much slower than she/he would if they were actually presenting to the class.
3. Now have a student volunteer to read the poem quickly. Tell then to read it as quick as she/he possibly can.
4. Discuss the effectiveness of both readings.
5. Lastly, have a student read the poem at a rate between fast and slow. Quick enough to maintain an interest of the listeners yet slow enough to enunciate each word clearly and at a pace which enables the reader to ad emphasis through his/her pitch, volume, and rate.
6. You can have students read the poem in pairs. The reading should take approximately seconds.

Feeling confident? Try some of these Giggle Poetry – Poetry Theatre

Mr W.

Posted in Literacy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »