Poetry lesson one

This lesson can be adapted to suit children aged 5 to 10 years.

Poetry Lesson One (key stages 1 and 2)

Celebrating World Poetry Day 21st March.

World Poetry Day began in 1999, with the aim of promoting poetry around the world.

It’s an opportunity to appreciate the power of poetry and how it captures the creative spirit.

Poetry is one of our most treasured forms of expression. It can be simple or complex, challenge traditional ideas or convey love and loss.

Two poems for children
Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant—
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone—
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I’ve got it right.)
Howe’er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee—
(I fear I’d better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)

By Laura Elizabeth Richards

I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one,
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one! 

By Gelett Burgess


Things to do:

What do you notice about the words in the poem about the elephant?

Is the poet ‘getting it right?’

Can you circle the rhyming words? (quite and right; cow and anyhow)

Draw a picture for one of these poems (you could do this in one of your Art sessions)



Limericks are funny and silly.

They’re made up of five lines.

Lines 1, 2, and 5 rhyme with each other.

Lines 3 and 4 rhyme with each other.

D481B3EF-0C53-4146-B7D8-30810A4E7EA3 Edward Lear was born in 1812. That’s over 200 years ago.

He wrote a famous book called The Collected Nonsense Songs of Edward Lear.



I’m sure you recognise this poem?  Read – The Owl and The Pussy Cat


Draw a picture to illustrate The Owl and the Pussy Cat (you could do this in one of your Art sessions)

Edward Lear also wrote lots of limericks:

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, ‘It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!’
There was a Young Lady whose chin,
Resembled the point of a pin;
So she had it made sharp,
And purchased a harp,
And played several tunes with her chin.

There was a Young Lady whose eyes,
Were unique as to colour and size;
When she opened them wide,
People all turned aside,
And started away in surprise.


There was an Old Man in a tree,
Who was horribly bored by a Bee;
When they said, ‘Does it buzz?’
He replied, ‘Yes, it does!’
‘It’s a regular brute of a Bee!’


Which of Lear’s limericks do you like best? Why?

What do you notice about Lear’s rhyming words?

The limerick about the old man with a beard has been illustrated. Can you draw a picture to go with one of the others?

Watch this

Now have a go at writing your own limerick.



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