Interpret poetry

Look at the poem to see how it is set out on the page. Identify the shape of the poem and compare the length of the lines.

Listen to the poem being read by an accomplished reader. Pay attention to its sound qualities created by rhythm, rhyme, alliteration (repetition of consonant sounds) and assonance (repetition of vowel sounds).

Activities to identify sound and word patterns

Activities to identify the initial sound:

  • students sort cards according to initial sound
  • 'I’m going shopping,' the teacher says, 'I’m going shopping and I want to buy something starting with ...' Students select real items or pictures of items from a collection
  • scavenger hunt – In a bag have a collection of pictures of things that start with known sounds and have enough to give groups of two or three students. Take each picture out and discuss that the picture is, taking care to enunciate clearly and emphasise the initial sound. If the picture is a star ask students: what is the first sound in star. Give each group a bag with a picture previously discussed in it. Explain that the group’s task is to find other things in the classroom with the same initial sound. After a set time, each group shows their objects to the rest of the class for confirmation. A phonics component can be added by putting the letter of your target sound in the bag with, or instead of, the picture
  • three words in my pocket (Tune: Grand Old Duke of York) – Encourage students to contribute words for the song and different actions to accompany each verse:
Three words in my pocket. Book and dog and baby.
One word is not the same. Which one should I name?
The starting sound is different. The different word is dog.
I'll clap and say its name. That word doesn't start the same.

The same activities can be used with a focus on final sounds and then rhyming words.

After students have studied rhyming patterns they could consider the seatbelt safety advertisement, “Click! Clack! Front and back,” and the health motto, “Munch and Crunch”, identify the patterns in these mottos and then contribute patterns to create a relevant class motto.


Australian curriculum

ACELT1592: Examining literature: Identify, reproduce and experiment with rhythmic, sound and word patterns in poems, chants, rhymes and songs.

NSW syllabus

EN1-1A: Identify, reproduce and experiment with rhythmic, sound and word patterns in poems, chants, rhymes and songs.

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