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KS1 Poetry Resources Pack (comprehension, vocabulary, composition): An Emerald is as Green as Grass

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This poetry pack, based around the classic poem ‘An Emerald Is As Green As Grass’ by Christina Rossetti, contains lesson ideas that could be completed over a series of five sessions for year 1 and year 2.

Pupils will explore how the author describes the beauty of gemstones, including the use of similes. They will also have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the poem by completing comprehension activities and, finally, create their own poems.

The primary resource is divided into five lessons:

Lesson 1: exploring the poem
Pupils will read the poem and discuss their favourite gemstones.

Lesson 2: performing the poem
Pupils will rehearse a performance of the poem.

Lesson 3: comprehension
The comprehension task asks pupils to match images of gemstones, the gemstone’s name and how it is described in the poem. Written comprehension questions are also available to use with older pupils and can be discussed orally or pupils could provide a written response.

Lesson 4: writing similes
Pupils will explore Rossetti’s use of similes and practise writing their own similes to describe rocks and gemstones.

Lesson 5: writing poems
Using ‘An Emerald Is As Green As Grass’ as inspiration, pupils will have the opportunity to write their descriptive sentences or poems using similes.

What is a simile?
A simile is a figure of speech used to compare one thing to another using the words ‘like’ or ‘as’.

Simile examples
The emerald is as green as grass
His room was like a pigsty
This house is as old as the hills
As fast as lightning

National Curriculum programme of study links

Reading – Comprehension


  • Pupils should listen to and respond to poems … at a level beyond that which they can read independently
  • Pupils should learn rhymes and poems and recite some by heart
  • To explain clearly there understanding of what is read to them


  • Pupils should listen to, discuss and express views about a wide range of contemporary and classic poetry …
  • Pupils should continue to build up a repertoire of poems learnt by heart, appreciating these and reciting some, with appropriate intonation to make meaning clear.
  • Pupils should show they understand the books by answering questions about what they have read independently

Writing – Composition


  • Pupils should be taught to compose sentences orally before writing


  • Pupils should develop positive attitudes and stamina by writing poetry

  • Teacher notes
  • PowerPoint
  • My Favourite Gemstone worksheet
  • Matching cards activity
  • Year 2 comprehension questions (and answer sheet)
  • Gemstones and rocks image cards
  • Themed writing paper
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