Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Rhyme And Reason

This morning’s supply teaching was fun – a group of 5 year olds who have just started a series of lessons about poems and rhyme. Yesterday, with their regular teacher they read a poem about a snail.Today we had to read and consider a poem about a squirrel

squirrelWhisky Frisky,
Hipperty Hop,
Up he goes
To the tree top!
Whirly, twirly,
Round and round,
snailDown he scampers
To the ground.
Furly, curly,
What a tail,
raccoonTall as a feather,
Broad as a sail.
Where's his supper?
In the shell,
Snappy, cracky,
rooOut it fell.


We read it through, and I asked what animal they thought it was about…

“A crocodile” “Why?” “It says snap and crack!”

“A Kangaroo” “Why?” “It goes hipperty hop!”

“A snail” “Why?” “Because of the shell”

“A cuckoo” “A cuckoo?” “No, a COCOON”

“What’s a cocoon?” “Its a black and white furry animal with teeth and it climbs trees and I’ve got a toy one in my bedroom”

“You mean a RACCOON “Oh, yes, that”

By this point I am getting desperate – surely somebody knows!

“I think it’s a squirrel” “Who agrees with Lacy?” [lots of hands up]

“I think its a squirrel too” I say, with great relief.

Then I asked about the squirrel’s supper- any idea what it is?

“It’s in the shell” a bright spark points out.

“So what food might he find in a shell, up a tree?”


I got three answers

A Snail [the one from yesterday??]

A Hermit Crab [up a tree??]

A Baby Chicken



Eventually, after much prompting, and whispers from the teaching assistant sitting on the carpet with them, we got round to nuts.

The next part of the lesson was equally interesting, finding the pairs of rhyming words in the poem

whisky/frisky, hop/top, whirly/twirly

…right through to snappy/craoops!

Do the people who select this stuff for the literacy strategy never think??? Trying not to rant about the fact that I think that first word should actually be ‘whiskery’ and the whole poem is in the present tense until the last line which is in past tense [in order to get the rhyme, presumably]

But I did my duty and followed the lesson plan, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Home for lunch, and a lovely time at the Ladies’ Fellowship [Tom, our Rector, talking about the Glory Of God – obviously the theme for the month]


  1. Mrs Believer immediately said "Squirrel" when I read the poem out and asked what animal it was about. Sadly, she wasn't surprised at snail or even crab as suggestions for the supper he found up the tree!

    Thanks for giving us both a laugh.

    PS - there will be tea bread as well as lemon drizzle cake - hope Bob is OK with that.

  2. How lovely that a child in UK knows what a raccoon is!!There is also a short form which Canadians use but it is a nasty word in the UK, so we don't use it.
    Jane x

  3. RB - thanks, in anticipation

    Jane - there's probably some kids TV programme with raccoons in it! Glad to hear you do not use nasty words [just naval slang!]

  4. Was reading 'The giraffe and the pelly and me' today with a pupil and thought of you - the lit strat would be a lot better if it just gave the children some Roald Dahl! The monkey's window cleaning poem would have suited this lesson well.


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