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John Clifford Primary & Nursery School ‘Be your best. Celebrate success. Together we will be successful.’

Summer 2 Week 4

English 22.06.20 


The Shape of Poems 


This week, we are continuing to look at some opetry from the National Trust anthology ‘I am the seed that Grew the Tree’. We are looking at two different poems and how the writers have arranged the words of the poem on the page. We are looking at how organisation, structure, shape and presentation creates meaning. 


Look quickly, then closely, at the two poems that have been ‘filled in’ below. The poets have chosen the shape or structure of their poems very carefully. What can we infer about the poems by looking only at the shape of them, and not at the words themselves? Consider the following things and make notes: shape, stanzas (mini paragraphs in the poem), and line lengths. 



Now consider what the two poems might be about. Do you think they will explore different subjects? What subjects might they be about? What might be happening? You could discuss your ideas with a grown-up. 


Below are the two poems whose shapes you just analysed: ‘Diamond Poem’ by John Foster and ‘The Autumn Leaves’ by Wes Magee. Now that you can properly read each poem, answer the following questions: 


1. What is each poem about? 

2. What is happening in each poem? 

3. How do the shapes of the poems help to show what they are about? 

Extension Task: Can you see any examples of sentences ‘running on’ from one line to the next, so your eyes have to follow the words onto the next line? This is called enjambment. What do you think writers might use this technique? 



Now it’s your turn. Think of a subject that you would like to write a poem about. You don’t need to use any words yet, just draw the shape of the lines that you would like to use. Make sure that you can explain why you’ve chosen your particular shape or structure. 


Extension Task: Don’t forget to consider the following features when you come to create a shape for your poem: stanza divisions, punctuation, line length, and line run-on (enjambment).