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Year 2 Poetry Unit 2 – Really looking

Really looking (2 weeks)


  • Children hear, read and respond to poems and write their own simple poems or passages of descriptive prose based on closely observed experience. They focus on adventurous language and its effective use, without necessarily being constrained by particular poetic forms or rhyme. Subject matter for poems both read and written could well be drawn from across the curriculum or related to cross-curricular themes.
  • As a class and in groups, children hear and read a range of poems where the writer is responding to some closely observed or recalled experience. They perform some of the poems, individually or together, using actions and sound effects where appropriate to add to the poems' meaning. They are encouraged to respond to these poems in a variety of ways, for example through dance, drama and art. They discuss what the poems are about. Building from the work on using their senses in Year 1, they think about the way the writer has chosen and used words to describe the details of his/her experience/observation.
  • With extensive contribution from and involvement by children, the teacher models and explores writing which describes some closely observed first-hand experience (in this case a shared one), for example seeing snow fall outside the window, watching a tadpole swimming, studying a flower with a magnifying glass (or an electronic microscope image projected onto an interactive whiteboard). This could be expressed either as simple poetry or as descriptive prose, with the emphasis on careful selection of words and phrases to describe and communicate the experience rather than or pattern or rhyme. Opportunity is taken to focus on imaginative and adventurous language choices, further developing children's vocabulary and their word reading and writing skills in the process.
  • Following on from this modelling, children in pairs or individually (possibly then working with a response partner) write their own simple poetry or short prose texts (on paper or on screen), developing their writing in response to direct observation of the same or a different direct experience. Time is given to children exploring the experience and their reaction before and during writing (observational drawing is an excellent way of focusing 'seeing') and this is extended through talk into writing. Outcomes are then shared, discussed and possibly performed or published on paper or on screen.

1998 Framework objectives covered:

Year 2, Term 2: T8, T9 read own poems aloud; identify and discuss patterns of rhythm, rhyme and other features of sound in different poems; T10 comment on and recognise when reading aloud of a poem makes sense and is effective; T11 identify and discuss favourite poems and poets, using appropriate terms; T15 use structures from poems as a basis for writing.