Friday, 3 June 2011

Words, words, words...

I like words. This is something that I am hoping to pass on to my children. So I have been 'doing' some English with The Meister and The Boy. We started by looking at literary terms; to date we have covered imagery, metaphor, simile, symbolism, and personification. So we have been doing a lot of poetry, which is something they like playing around with anyway. I don't want to ruin poetry for them, by taking it apart, but we do little things, like looking at Robert Frost's Birches and picking out the metaphors and similes.

Whenever we look at poems though, we always go off on tangents. This is the thing that reassures me that I am not coercing them - that even though I am introducing a bit of structure into our weekly learning, they are still interested in it. The Meister and The Boy each have been looking at poems by different authors, comparing American and British poets, looking at 19th C and 20th C poetry, and really just gaining a familiarity with poets and their popular works. The Meister undertook to memorise The Road Not Taken (and we hear it whenever we are out walking and come to a fork in the road) and The Boy has undertaken to memorise all 18 stanzas of Poe's The Raven. He is up to 6 or  7 now. I am already impressed. I was supposed to do Edward Lear's The Jumblies, but I copped out with The Owl and The Pussycat, which The Babe really likes. :-)


Our main resource is Classic Poetry, a collection by Michael Rosen and various books I have around the house.  We see things we like, and I usually search the internet for related topics or poems or examples. We read to each other, and last time we talked about personification, we wrote some as well.

 The Boy and The Meister working (at the kitchen table!) writing their poems.



The Changeling, who decided what we were doing was interesting enough to join in. 


And The Babe, who wouldn't be left out, and had to have her own notebook and pen.


But I am not allowed to post their compositions on here. :-) So instead,  I will treat you to  A. A. Milne's Disobedience, which we have all memorised.

Disobedience



A A Milne



James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
James James Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he;
"You must never go down
to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me."

James James
Morrison's Mother
Put on a golden gown.
James James Morrison's Mother
Drove to the end of the town.
James James Morrison's Mother
Said to herself, said she:
"I can get right down
to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea."

King John
Put up a notice,
"LOST or STOLEN or STRAYED!
JAMES JAMES MORRISON'S MOTHER
SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN MISLAID.
LAST SEEN
WANDERING VAGUELY:
QUITE OF HER OWN ACCORD,
SHE TRIED TO GET DOWN
TO THE END OF THE TOWN -
FORTY SHILLINGS REWARD!"
  
James James
Morrison Morrison
(Commonly known as Jim)
Told his
Other relations
Not to go blaming him.
James James
Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he:
"You must never go down to the end of the town
without consulting me."

James James
Morrison's mother
Hasn't been heard of since.
King John said he was sorry,
So did the Queen and Prince.
King John
(Somebody told me)
Said to a man he knew:
If people go down to the end of the town, well,
what can anyone do?"

(Now then, very softly)
J.J.
M.M.
W.G.Du P.
Took great
C/0 his M*****
Though he was only 3.
J.J. said to his M*****
"M*****," he said, said he:
"You-must-never-go-down-to-the-end-of-the-town-
if-you-don't-go-down-with-ME!"

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