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LKS2 Poetry Resources Pack (comprehension, vocabulary, composition): The Eagle

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This poetry pack, based around the classic poem ‘The Eagle’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, contains lesson ideas that could be completed over a series of five sessions for year 3 and year 4.

Pupils will explore the author’s use of language, including figurative language, and how this is used to describe. They will identify examples of adjectives, similes, personification and alliteration. 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 explore Tennyson’s use of descriptive language and its structure.

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

Lesson 3: comprehension
The comprehension questions can be answered through discussion as a class or as a written task.

Lesson 4: describing animals
Pupils will practise describing an animal using figurative language, collecting ideas before writing their final poems.

Lesson 5: writing poems
Using ‘The Eagle’ as inspiration, pupils will have the opportunity to write their own poems describing other animals.

What is figurative language?
Figurative language uses words and ideas to suggest meaning and creates a vivid image for the reader. Similes, metaphors, personification and alliteration are all examples of figurative language. It is commonly used in fiction and poetry.

What is personification?
This is a figure of speech where you apply human or natural characteristics to objects.

Personification examples
The painting glared back at me.
The vines were choking the life out of the house.
The moon and stars were smiling down at us.

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
His room was like a pigsty
This house is as old as the hills
As fast as lightning

What is alliteration?
Alliteration occurs when different words that start with the same sound are used together.

Alliteration examples
Plump pillow
Heavy hammer
Tasty toffee
Slippery slide

National Curriculum programme of study links

Reading – Comprehension

  • Pupils should prepare poems to read aloud and perform, showing understanding though intonation, tone, volume and action
  • Pupils should discuss words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination
  • Pupils will recognise different forms of poetry (classic, rhyming)
  • pupils understand what they read by: checking the text makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and explaining the meaning of words in context; drawing inferences; predicting what might happen from details stated and implied; identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning

Writing – Composition

  • Pupils will plan their writing by discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar
  • Pupils will draft and write by composing sentences orally, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary

  • Teacher notes
  • PowerPoint
  • Exploring the Poem worksheet
  • Comprehension questions (and answer sheet)
  • Animal image cards
  • Collecting ideas worksheet
  • Themed writing paper
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