Asking the children in your class to write a poem using rhythm and rhyme with little preparation and inspiration can often yield nonsensical and unsatisfying results. However the following poem by Charles Thomson demonstrates a simple and fun method of writing an exciting poem using rhythm and rhyme that DOES make sense!
I’ve Never Seen
(After John Rice)
I’ve never seen a fridge climb a tree.
I’ve never seen a dog as small as a bee.
I’ve never seen a lamp-post shake my hand.
I’ve never seen a tiger play in a band.
I’ve never seen a pigeon smoke a pipe.
I’ve never seen an elephant learn to type.
I’ve never seen a television dance a jig.
I’ve never seen a pillar-box swallow a pig.
I’ve never seen a feather that weighed a ton.
I’ve never seen an igloo built in the sun.
I’ve never seen a mountain wear a hat.
I’ve never seen a caterpillar catapult a cat.
Have a go at writing your own lines and you’ll find it’s quite simple. Challenge your children to use a similar rhythm and the same AABB rhyme scheme. Using animals is a great way of getting your children started on their own verses. e.g.
I’ve never seen a warthog fly a plane. (could change ‘fly’ to ‘crash’ on redraft)
I’ve never seen a budgie drive a crane. (could change ‘drive’ to ‘control’ on redraft)
I’ve never seen a jellyfish bake a cake. (could change ‘bake’ to ‘nibble’ on redraft)
I’ve never seen a rabbit fry a steak. (could change ‘fry’ to ‘slice’ on redraft)
After a few tries the children will find generating the ideas and the rhymes will become easier and they’ll come up with some fine examples of animals doing the strangest of things. A good way of improving the poems is asking them to change their verbs for more POWERFUL verbs that will give the poems more impact.This particular piece is great for illustrating and would make a wonderful class anthology so get get that laminator warmed up!
Download the poem here I’ve never seen a…poem
Download the pre-prepared writing framework for this poem here I’ve never seen a writing framework
Feeling inspired? Click on my Go To The Head Resource Pack image below to download loads more poetry ideas for primary children!