Main Poetry Index Web Index

USING THE SENSES  -

 POEMS FOR YOUR CLASSES

USING THE SENSES - TWO WEEKS

 

Please read the following web pages:  YEAR 1 - POETRY

 

Children read and respond to poems and other simple texts that capture sensory experience in words. They then explore their own senses, observe details and find words to describe their own first-hand experience. The subject matter of the texts and the nature of the experiences explored can be drawn from across the curriculum or relate to cross-curricular themes.

 

As shared reading, the class read and respond to a range of poems and other simple texts that capture sensory experience in words. They practice and read the poems in unison, following the rhythm and keeping time. They identify and discuss the words that describe what we can see, hear, feel (touch), smell and taste. They imitate and invent actions when reading/reciting the poems to emphasise these.

 

The children play a range of games to explore their own senses (e.g. identifying familiar objects when inside a 'feely bag'), and begin to identify details and find simple words and phrases to describe what they can see, hear, feel (touch), smell and taste.

 

Images of familiar objects or situations are found and discussed, identifying details. Children begin to identify simple words and phrases to describe what they can see, hear, feel (touch), smell and taste. Teacher models adding simple words and phrases to the image (on paper or on screen), and children follow this up independently in pairs or small groups.

 

Some of the children's familiar everyday activities (e.g. playing in the sand) are identified and explored, preferably through first-hand experience. Simple words and phrases to describe what they can see, hear, feel (touch), smell and taste are found and discussed. Teacher models fitting these descriptions into a very simple poetry frame, and children follow this up independently in pairs or small groups.

 

I have tried to give you a wealth of poetic material for your classrooms, and I, and many others, think children will remember facts easily when they are wrapped in a good poem, especially one that rhymes.  For children of this age it is also important that they have illustrations.  Although my E-book at the moment doesn't have illustrations in it, I have an excellent children's illustrator from Cambridge who is working to make the poems come to life with lovely illustrations.  I am so pleased to be able to link "art" to my poetry in such a delightful way.

 

"Simply Sensational" will give you poems about all of the senses.  Some of the poems are just fun poems and one of the funniest, so I'm told, is "Daddy's Sneezing Habit".  He embarrasses his family so much that they (probably mistakenly but with tongue in cheek humour) decide to ditch poor Dad and buy a rabbit next time.  But do rabbits also sneeze?  Dogs do I know for I've had a few who do.

 

I have tried to teach children also that associated with the sounds, the smells, the tastes etc are many words which we use to accurately describe each one.  So vocabulary  extension is very much in my mind when I have been writing.

 

I've been a teacher all my working life and I know how very important it is to use a wide range of vocabulary.  Sometimes I have hesitated about using this word or that word when writing for five and six year olds, but when I have read poems to them with what I sometimes think is a rather unusual or old-fashioned word, I have been pleasantly surprised to see them just soak up these words.  So I just use them and children absorb them sooner rather than later, ha ha.  Children, from different homes,  may not be exposed to the same vocabulary as I've used in some of the poems.   For example children coming from the city may not have heard that cockerels "crow" or that a brook "babbles" or that owls "hoot" or bulls "bellow" - but what a delightful way  to learn about these sounds through poetry.  Days in the country can be delightful and the sounds of the natural world are not drowned by city sounds of traffic and people talking.  I know.  I live in a very picturesque landscape - the Yorkshire Dales.

 

In my poem "Chocolate - Enticingly Tempting" I describe how you use your senses when being tempted and succumb to chocolate, but I miss out one of the senses and the game is for the children to discover which one is omitted.

 

There are many colour poems here, and in my "Colour Me Blue" I tell the children how often we associate colours with moods.  I discovered many interesting facts when I wrote these poems and I'm sure it can lead on to discussion in the classroom.  The largest mammal in the world is blue.  Do you know which one?  Did you know that people who like yellow are often contented people?  Well, this is what I learnt.  One strange thing I learned was from a friend from Italy.  She showed me her daughter's wedding photograph and she, the mother, was wearing a black suit.  Here in England you would never see that as we would keep the black suit for a funeral.  In Italy, I was told, it is considered smart and that is why she wore it to a wedding.  

 

I have covered the five senses over and over again in the 45 poems I've written.  Has any children's poet written more?  I've approached the subject scientifically and in a fun way in the poems and these poems, written in rhyme and rhythm/metre as they are serve another purpose also:  They are excellent performance poems for your children just to enjoy and perform.

 

I am often invited to skype into school classrooms where children love to meet the author of their favourite poems, but they also LOVE to perform one or more poems for me and for me to read them a poem too.  I've travelled worldwide in my skype visits to classrooms and have met children in many continents of the world.  The visits make for a memorable reason for learning the poems and for me I have some of the best memories a poet could ever have from meeting the children.

 

I hope you like my senses poems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Josie Whitehead