Poetry in Year 2!

In English our focus over the last two weeks has been poetry.

First we read ‘At the Zoo’ by William Makepeace Thackery (1811-1863). We recited this together with our teachers and noticed how at the end of each line was a comma.

At the Zoo

First I saw the white bear, then I saw the black,
Then I saw the camel with a hump upon his back,
Then I saw the grey wolf, with mutton in his maw,
Then I saw the wombat waddle in the straw,
Then I saw the elephant a-waving of his trunk,
Then I saw the monkeys—mercy, how unpleasantly they smelt!

We thought about the animals we might see at a zoo and made a class list poem, using commas.  We then had a go at writing our own:


Next, we listened to Autumn Woods by James S. Tippett. After that, we brainstormed the different nouns we see during autumn time and thought about suitable adjectives to describe them. We then had a go at writing our own autumn poem. Finally we wrote out our poem in best, we felt very proud of our work!


This week we have focused on performance poetry, thinking in particular about the poet Benjamin Zephaniah and his poem called ‘Talking Turkeys’. We listened to him recite his poem-it really made us think! We thought about the characters in his poem, his tone- how it made us feel and the actions and gestures he used as he recited it.


We learnt the first verse together, using a copy of it and drawing pictures to help us remember what was coming next. Then the children worked in five groups and each child took one verse to read. They really enjoyed practising together and adding tone and gesture. As they became more confident, they became less reliant on their printed version- well done!

We all really enjoyed performing ‘Talking Turkeys’’ to our friends this week!

How you can help at home: 

  • Encourage  your child to recite some of our class poems to you and refine their performance
  • Visit the library, look online and read a variety of poems. Discuss the language used and how the poem makes you feel.