Package 1-5: Poem – My Country – Part 2

In this package your child will watch a video of a lesson about a poem and will complete a series of activities to develop their understanding of the poem. The teacher will guide your child as they learn to find answers within a text.

Week 2 - Package 5 - Year 5 & 6 English - My Country by Dorothea Mackellar - Part 2

Things your child will need

Have these things available so your child can complete this task

Ideal Back up

My Country comprehension video

My Country Comprehension PowerPoint presentation - printed

Activity sheet 1

Activity sheet 2

Activity sheet 3

Activity sheet 4

Paper

Pencil or pen


Before your child starts

This lesson focuses on developing comprehension of the poem ‘My Country’ by Dorothea Mackellar.

Your child would have explored the poem in package 4. Reading aloud together can help to develop rhythm and pronounce words that are unfamiliar. There are many versions online of people reading the poem aloud, including Dorothea Mackellar.

What your child needs to do

Your child will watch a video of a lesson about the poem and will complete a series of activities to develop their understanding of the poem. The teacher will guide your child as they learn to find answers within a text.

Throughout the lesson, your child will be asked to pause the video to complete an activity on the activity sheets.

By the end of the lesson, your child will have activities to support them to be able to:

  • I can find information in a poem.
  • I can answer literal comprehension questions.
  • I can use evidence in a text to help me answer.

What your child can do next

Your child will be reading stanzas from a poem and answering a range of comprehension questions.

Options for your child

Activity too hard? Activity too easy?

Work with your child to explore one poem.

Your child might like to read a familiar poem and answer similar questions such as “who, where, when” questions.

Your child might read other Dorothea Mackellar poetry to find similarities in the topic, such as Australia or nature.

Extension/Additional activity

Your child might enjoy reading the poem aloud as a monologue. This could be recorded and shared.

Activity sheet 1: My Country poem by Dorothea MacKellar

The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze ...

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Activity sheet 2: About the author

Information about the author:

  • Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar was an Australian poet and fiction writer. Her poem ‘My Country’ is perhaps the best known Australian poem. She wrote a version of it that she called ‘Core of My Heart’ when she was homesick on a visit to England. She was a young woman at the time, and writing pieces that she sent to magazines for publication. ​
  • The Mackellar family owned several properties in the Gunnedah area in New South Wales, and it is this country that inspired her writing.​

Sourced: http://resource.scholastic.com.au/resourcefiles/Teacher_Notes/9269830_36892.pdf

Answer the following questions with a complete sentence and evidence from the text:

  1. What is Dorothea Mackellar’s full name?
  2. What nationality is Dorothea Mackellar?
  3. What can we infer Dorothea Mackellar’s family did to earn money for the family?
  4. What made Dorothea Mackellar write her first version ‘Core of my Heart’?
  5. Why do you think the title changed?

Activity sheet 3: I see, I think, I wonder

Activity sheet 4: Stanza study

Learning intention: I am learning to use clues in the text to determine what is happening.

Success Criteria:

To be successful I will:

  • highlight interesting parts of the stanza
  • use the clues and my background knowledge to write down my ideas about what is happening
  • use a dictionary or online resource to help if I am unsure.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

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