Whole class activities
Brainstorm a web diagram or list with the children about the subject of grandmothers. Try to push them into using specific examples; you could make subheadings eg 'things grandmothers cook', 'things grandmothers do', 'things grandmothers remember', 'things grandmothers say', etc.
Play recording of the poem to the class once. Take responses. What did you notice about the poem? What did it remind you of? Play the poem a second time. Ask children to focus on what Granny is doing in the poem. What does the speaker of the poem feel about her? How can you tell? What kind of visual image of Granny do we have from the poem?
Reading/Modelling by teacher.
Using the OHT/poster of the poem, the teacher models in front of the children the technique of text marking which the children are to use in the next activity. Input from the teacher on the way each stanza paints a different picture of what Granny is doing (eg Stanza 1, cooking; Stanza 2, shopping; Stanza 3, working and so on). Notice the way the poem pulls the reader in by using sensory detail and concrete language; the verbs in the middle stanzas are especially effective: loadin', washin', scrubbin', haulin'. What does this tell us about the kind of woman Granny is and the kind of life she leads?
Input on the way the poem uses metaphor, ie begins each stanza by saying 'Granny is', not Granny does, or Granny is like. Each description of Granny is something that she is, not only the actions she makes.
Whole class activity (differentiation by outcome)
First of all the children need to write down the exact name that they call their grandmother by. It doesn't matter if it is not Granny, it could be something very short like Da, or informal like Gran. Then get the class to write down a list consisting of these elements: something their grandmother cooks, or specifically if possible cooks for them; something their grandmother buys from the shops; something their grandmother does (perhaps she works at home or goes to work, or does other things physically with her hands like knitting); something she says, or sings, or tells; a line of actual spoken language, even if it is corny or obvious like 'Haven't you grown?'
The idea is that each of the items in the list acts as a starting point for a separate stanza about their grandmother. Each stanza should start with 'Granny/Gran/Nanna (etc) is'. For some children the list that they have made will be enough writing, and will only need the insertion of 'Granny is' between ideas to make it into a poem. Other children will want to extend their lines by adding two or three more examples for each idea. Stress that it is more important for the details of the poems to be honest and accurate than it is for them to rhyme.
Whole class activity
- Feedback from group activity. What has each group learned about using metaphor as a way of describing people and making them come alive?
- Children from each group to share work and comment on each other's work.
Year 2 Term 2 Reading Comprehension
10: to comment on and recognise when the reading aloud of a poem makes sense and is effective
11: to identify and discuss favourite poems and poets, using appropriate terms (poet, poem, verse, rhyme, etc.) and referring to the language of the poems
Year 2 Term 2 Writing Composition
15: to use structures from poems as a basis for writing, by extending or substituting elements, inventing own lines, verses.