Learning English through Poems and Songs

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Learning English through Poems and Songs

(Secondary 4-6)

A Resource Package

English Language Education Section Curriculum Development Institute Education Bureau

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

©2010

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English Language Education Section Curriculum Development Institute

Education Bureau

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

12th Floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong

First published 2010

All rights reserved. The copyright of the materials in this resource package, other than those listed in the Acknowledgements section (page iv) and those in the public domain, belongs to the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Duplication of materials in this package other than those listed on page iv and those in the public domain is restricted to non-profit making educational purposes only. Otherwise, no part of these materials may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

ISBN: 978-988-8040-65-0

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iv

STUDENT’S HANDOUTS

Part 1: Module Introduction S1

Part 2: Introduction to Poems and Songs S7

Introduction to Poetry S8

Characteristics of English Poetry S10

Appreciating Poems and Songs S17

Part 3: Reading and Writing Poetry S29

Acrostics S30

Shape Poems S33

Poems Making Use of Different Grammatical Patterns S36

Limericks S42

Haiku S45

Narrative Poems S50

Ballads S56

Part 4: Appreciating Songs and Writing Song Lyrics S59

Song Lyrics Reading and Writing S60

Song Presentation for Commercials S63

Musical Appreciation and Performing a Song S67

Part 5: Presentation on Poem or Song S72

Planning and Organising Your Presentation S73

Sample Presentations S74

TEACHER’S NOTES

Part 1: Module Introduction T1

Part 2: Introduction to Poems and Songs T6

Part 3: Reading and Writing Poetry T22

Part 4: Appreciating Songs and Writing Song Lyrics T49

Part 5: Presentation on Poem or Song T65

SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS Vocabulary Challenge: “Rain”

Grammar Challenge: Grammar Terms Quick Quiz: “As X as Y” Expressions Appreciating Different Types of Poetry Appreciating the Musical Oliver! (I) Appreciating the Musical Oliver! (II) Appreciating the Musical Oliver! (III)

T71 T73 T74 T76 T100 T102 T104

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i

Preface

This resource package is designed and developed in support of the English Language Curriculum and Assessment Guide (Secondary 4 – 6) (2007)and the Suggested Schemes of Work for the Elective Part of the Three-year Senior Secondary English Language Curriculum (Secondary 4 – 6) (2007) . It provides learning resources and teaching ideas for the development and implementation of the elective module “Learning English through Poems and Songs”.

Aims

The rationale behind the package is that students will have ample opportunities to enrich their English learning experience and extend a range of language abilities through exploring poems and songs. Carefully designed and sequenced, the materials and activities in this package aim to:

strengthen students’ skills of understanding and appreciating the themes, structures, features and language in a range of poems and songs;

help students to respond to and give expression to the imaginative ideas, moods and feelings expressed in poems and songs through written, oral and performance means;

and

enable students to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in their own creative production and critical appreciation of poems and songs.

How to use this resource package

This resource package comprises student’s handouts, teacher’s notes, supplementary materials and a CD-ROM. It covers the key focuses suggested in the SoWs for the module organised under five parts, i.e. “Module Introduction”, “Introduction to Poems and Songs”,

“Reading and Writing Poetry”, “Appreciating Songs and Writing Song Lyrics” and

“Presentation on Poem or Song”. The first part gives students an overview of the aims and requirements of the module as well as the purposes of the Poem and Song Journal that students are encouraged to keep. In the second part, students learn to identify, understand and appreciate the features, structures, language and themes of English poems and songs.

The third part exposes students to different types of poems including acrostics, shape poems, poems making use of different grammatical patterns, limericks, haiku, narrative poems and ballads. Apart from allowing them insights into their characteristics, purposes and effects, it encourages free expression and personal responses through engaging students in writing and performing poems. In the fourth part, students explore the meanings, language and features of the lyrics of some pop songs, commercial jingles and musical numbers. They will

From this point forwards referred to as SoWs

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also develop the skills to write their own lyrics and perform a song. Towards the end of the module, students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their critical understanding of one or more poems or songs as well as their knowledge and experience gained from the module through presentations and display of their Poem and Song Journals. Given the range of learning activities in this package, teachers are encouraged to exercise careful planning, be selective about the materials and freely adapt them to suit their school contexts and students’

needs, interests and abilities.

Student’s Handouts

The student’s handouts (indicated by the page number prefix “S”) provide learning materials which enable students to understand and appreciate the themes, language and features of a range of poems and songs which will develop their integrated language skills, cultural awareness, critical thinking and creativity.

Teacher’s Notes

The teacher’s notes (indicated by the page number prefix “T”) provide explanations of teaching steps and alternative teaching suggestions as to how to carry out the activities.

Where appropriate, teachers may feel free to select and flexibly adapt the activities into assessment tasks to promote learning and teaching.

To help teachers to support “less advanced students” and stretch “more advanced students”, additional suggestions are contained in “Catering for Learner Diversity”

boxes. Suggested time allocations have been provided for each activity for teachers’

reference during lesson planning. However, the suggested time is for indicative purposes only and will vary according to learners’ needs and abilities. Teachers should use their professional judgement to gauge appropriate timings with a particular group of learners in mind.

References to websites that contain materials helpful to the learning and teaching of particular activities are also included in the teacher’s notes. The weblinks or addresses which were accurate at the time this package was published are yet subject to change. Teachers might like to make use of a search engine to regain access to any resources that have been relocated, or may look for similar resources on the web.

Supplementary Materials

The supplementary materials section provides additional teaching materials and resources for teachers’ use and reference. The following items are included in this section:

Supplementary vocabulary and grammar activities related to individual activities in the package are included. Teachers are encouraged to select those that are suitable for their students for consolidation and extension purposes.

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iii

Supplementary activities on appreciating different types of poetry provide a broad range of linguistically rich learning resources to develop students’ language skills. The selection of poems in this section, presented in alphabetical order, includes additional materials to Part 3 “Reading and Writing Poetry” as well as poem types not covered elsewhere in the package. Teachers could select the types of poetry and activities to cater for students’ diverse interests, abilities and needs.

Supplementary activities on appreciating Oliver! cover songs in the musical not included in Part 4. A variety of tasks and an inventory of questions are provided to deepen students’ knowledge and skills in appreciating various aspects of the musical. They also serve as a reference for teachers to develop materials for other songs and musicals deemed suitable for their students.

CD-ROM

The CD-ROM consists of an electronic version of the learning and teaching materials in this resource package, as well as recordings that support some of the learning activities in the package. The text files are available in both PDF and MS WORD formats for teachers’ ease of use and adaptation. The audio recordings in the CD-ROM include examples of poetry reading and advertising jingles that illustrate the use of stress, rhythm, rhyme and a range of basic literary techniques used in English poetry and songs. There are also three audio recordings and one PowerPoint file on individual presentations to demonstrate effective delivery techniques. Track numbers of the recordings as well as information on the PowerPoint file are provided in the explanations for relevant activities as well as on the cover page of each unit in the teacher’s notes.

To further support the implementation of the module, other relevant online teaching resource materials for each module have been developed and can be accessed at the English Language Education Section website <http://cd.edb.gov.hk/eng>.

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iv

Acknowledgements

We are most grateful to Mr. Philip Leetch for his expert input in designing the materials and activities for this resource package.

We are also much obliged to the following poets for permission to reproduce copyright materials:

Nicholas Gordon for the poems “On Passing Air” and “I Know It’s Only Half a Year”

Myra Cohn Livingston for the poem “Swimming Pool”

Kenn Nesbitt for the poem “I’m Feeling Rather Full Tonight”

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Part 1

Module Introduction

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S 2

Introduction

Warm-up Activity Favourite poems/songs

1. Work with a partner. Make a list of three to five poems and songs (in either English or Chinese) which you like. Do they have anything in common? What do you think makes poems and songs good? Be ready to share your views with the class.

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2. Listen to a poem your teacher reads. Work with a partner and decide what your reaction to it is.

Do the feelings and/or words please you?

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3. Listen to a song your teacher plays. Work with a partner and decide what your reaction to it is.

Do the feelings, words and/or music please you?

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S 3

Poem and Song Journal

The purpose of this journal activity is to encourage you to access poems and songs as an independent language learning activity. In parallel to what you will be doing in class for the module, collect five pieces of work (including both poems and songs) that you like and give your personal response to them.

Include the following in the Journal for each of the five poems or songs:

The poem or the song lyrics

A description of the theme of the poem or song

Language that you have learned from it

(e.g. vocabulary, metaphors, similes, expressions)

Your personal response to the poem or song

(e.g. Did you like it? Why or why not? What did the poem or song mean to you?)

The Journal will be used to assess your participation in the module and the progress you make during it. It should also be something of value to yourself as a reflection of your taste, and something you can share with others.

The entries can be of different lengths. Some examples are given below for your reference.

Journal Entry 1

I just heard a funny song. It’s really crazy: an old woman swallows a fly. She wants to get rid of the fly so she swallows a spider to catch the fly…and so it goes on until she swallows a horse!

Of course, each verse gets longer as she swallows more things. Here are the seventh and eighth verses.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow.

I don’t know how she swallowed a cow!

She swallowed the cow to catch the goat.

She swallowed the goat to catch the dog.

She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider That wriggled and jiggled and wiggled inside her.

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.

But I dunno why she swallowed that fly.

Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a horse – She’s dead, of course.

Excellent ending!

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S 4 Journal Entry 2

My auntie, who studied in Canada, has introduced a little old poem to me. She had to explain it, but then I decided I liked it a lot.

Cherry-Ripe

Cherry-ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry, Full and fair ones; come and buy.

If so you ask me where

They do grow, I answer: There Where my Julia’s lips do smile There’s the land, or cherry-isle, Whose plantations fully show All the year where cherries grow.

Robert Herrick

The poet is selling cherries in the street (it’s just like the opening scene in the second part of Oliver!

and the song “Who will buy?”). If anyone wants to know where the cherries come from, he has his answer ready: from Julia’s lips.

Lovers like to praise each other. Imagine going through your lover’s face. “Your hair’s like silk. Your skin is like the outside of a ripe peach. Your eyes are like clear rock pools in the mountains. Your lips are like cherries.” Why cherries? Because they are sweet, bright red and full of flavour, just like the lips of his Julia who he would love to kiss!

A charming poem.

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S 5 Journal Entry 3

I have just found these haiku in a school magazine in the school library. They have impressed me a great deal.

Cold wind; cloudy sky;

Damp, grey: rain ready to fall – But bright red New Year!

Sapphire sky; bright sun;

School picnics in country parks – Time of youth and joy.

The two poems refer to two different times of year in Hong Kong: the cold season and the dry sunny season.

The first haiku belongs to February. The first line sets the mood with its description and the very similar hard sounds of “cold” and “cloudy”. Then we have the two short strong adjectives “damp”

and “grey”. There is a pause as we wait for the rain to fall, and some alliteration (“rain ready”, with

“ready” also echoing “cloudy”). I can almost see the low grey cloud and feel the damp air with the first drops of cold rain in it. It could be depressing, but it is also a time of happiness because of Chinese New Year. After the first two sad lines, the haiku surprises us with its bright colour and feeling of joy. We enjoy the /b/ and /r/ sounds and the “ready”/“red” echo. The contrast works well.

The second haiku describes late October or early November. I like the adjective “sapphire” (a blue precious stone). This time there is no sudden contrast. Maybe the poem is simply about being young and happy, but I think there may also be sadness there (so there is a contrast): the words

“time” and “youth” remind us these things do not last. For some students it is their last year at school. They are growing up. Gradually they will stop being young. Joy itself will not last forever.

The many /s/ sounds bind the first two lines together tightly, and the /p/ sound in “picnics” and

“parks” create a nice balance.

I like these poems because they are simple, talk about Hong Kong and have deep meaning.

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S 6

Module Presentation

By the end of the module, you will need to select ONE of the five songs or poems and give a presentation of it to your classmates.

Your presentation should include:

the poem/song lyrics, the writer/singer and any other background information that may help your classmates to understand the poem/song better (e.g. when and/or why it was written)

a brief description of what the song/poem means to you

(e.g. “This song helps me to feel better when I am lonely”; “The poem reminds me of my school friend who left Hong Kong last year”; “I listen to this song when I am working out because it gives me the strength to keep going”)

the various aspects of what you have learned throughout the module

(you will need to determine what area you should focus on, e.g. the theme, the rhyme scheme, use of language)

Consider using various means such as a poster or PowerPoint slides to make your presentation interesting and effective. If you prefer, your presentation may also include your recitation/singing of the poem/song.

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Part 2

Introduction to

Poems and Songs

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S 8

Introduction to Poetry

Learning Activity 1 Discussion

1. Write down some characteristics of poetry. Think of any nursery rhymes, songs, hymns and even Chinese poems you know. When you have finished, share your ideas with your partner.

My ideas

e.g. Poems are usually written in separate lines organised as stanzas instead of paragraphs

My partner’s ideas

2. Work with your partner. Read texts (a) and (b) below. Discuss in what ways they are similar/different.

(a) See you at 6pm by the clock at Times Square.

(b) I really hope you’ll be there At 6, by the clock at Times Square

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Learning Activity 2 Writing

For an ordinary meal you may just use a plastic bowl and chopsticks, but for a special one you get out the best bowls and put a flower on the table. When we want words to be special we decorate them in a poetic way; we pay attention to the sounds and enjoy the language. We can do this to express emotions like love, or to give pleasure to someone (e.g. a birthday greeting), or to make our message more attractive (e.g. advertising jingles). When we add music the poem becomes a song.

Read the message below:

Let’s go shopping in Causeway Bay on Saturday afternoon.

Come and join me in the sushi bar.

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S 9

Try to re-write it as a little poem. You might like to include some of the following in your poem:

who you are and to whom you are writing (e.g. dad and daughter; best friends)

why would you like to meet him/her (e.g. birthday celebration)

whether there is anything special about the gathering (e.g. a reunion after a long vacation)

how you could make the message more special (e.g. using rhymes, images)

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S 10

Characteristics of English Poetry

Poetry is characterised by the following:

 Lines

 Syllables

 Rhythm (and beat)

 Rhyme

 Images

 Alliteration

You will find out more about each feature in the activities below.

Learning Activity 1 Lines

1. Poetry is usually set out in lines. List poems typically consist of lines on the same topic/theme.

What is the following list poem about?

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Toast and coffee A pot of noodles Some chicken-wings Barbecue pork with rice

And a lemon tea 5

A tuna sandwich Mum’s chicken soup Steamed fish Rice and choi sum

Two oranges 10

Tea and bed One day of eating Over!

2. Write a short list poem on some of the places you might go to on a normal day.

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S 11 Learning Activity 2

Syllables

1. The lines in traditional English poems are often of nearly the same length in terms of their number of syllables. For this you need to count the syllables. How many syllables do the following words have?

Unwilling 3

Danced

Congratulations Basketball Graduation Always

2. Read part of a funny poem written by Edward Lear below and count the number of syllables in each line. Most of the words are one syllable so counting is easy. Write down the number of syllables in the space provided.

Said the Table to the Chair

“You can hardly be aware How I suffer from the heat

And from chilblains 1 on my feet. 4 If we took a little walk,

We might have a little talk;

Pray let us take the air 2,”

Said the Table to the Chair. 8

1chilblains: painful red swellings caused by cold weather

2Pray let us take the air: Please let’s go out

Line 1: 7 Line 2: 7 Line 3:

Line 4:

Line 5:

Line 6:

Line 7:

Line 8:

3. Lines of 6 to 10 syllables are the most commonly found in English poetry, but you can find poets who like short lines and ones who prefer very long ones. Sometimes, a poet may also use both short and long lines in the same poem to create special literary effects, such as variation in rhythm or contrast in meaning.

The following poem by Nicholas Gordon consists of very short lines:

On Passing Air On passing air One turns around To see if any

Heard the sound; 4 Then moves away

To vacate where Another might

Inhale the air; 8

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S 12 And then, relieved In gut and soul, Becomes again

A wholesome whole. 12 Nicholas Gordon

The anonymous poem below has relatively long lines:

On a Tired Housewife

Here lies a poor woman who was always tired, She lived in a house where help wasn't hired:

Her last words on earth were: “Dear friends, I am going To where there's no cooking, or washing, or sewing, 4 For everything there is exact to my wishes,

For where they don't eat there's no washing of dishes.

I'll be where loud anthems will always be ringing,

But having no voice I'll be quit of the singing. 8 Don't mourn for me now, don't mourn for me never,

I am going to do nothing for ever and ever.”

Anonymous

For an example of a poem with an interesting mix of long and short lines, you might like to read

“Overtech” available at:

http://www.daypoems.net/poems/1736.html Learning Activity 3

Rhythm or Beat

1. English words and sentences have stress. In many poems the stresses are put in a pattern. For example:

Said the Table to the Chair

“You can hardly be aware How I suffer from the heat And from chilblains on my feet.”

Every second syllable has a stress so there is a regular beat: loud/soft/loud/soft. Read the poem very rhythmically and you will be able to tap out the beat on the table.

2. Poems for young children often have strong beats. Try to read the following aloud and make them very rhythmical.

Diddle, diddle, dumpling My son John

Went to bed with his Trousers on

One shoe off, and one shoe on, Diddle, diddle dumpling,

My son John. (loud/soft/loud/soft)

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S 13 Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again. (loud/soft/loud/soft)

Learning Activity 4 Rhyme

1. Two words rhyme when their final syllables end with the same sound. They are used to create sound effects that may contribute to the mood or tone of a poem. Read the following pairs of rhyming words aloud. Can you hear the rhymes?

Note that rhymes cannot be decided by spelling. “Said” rhymes with “bed”. It does not rhyme with “paid” (which rhymes with “played”). Rhymes are sounds and you must say the words and check if the same vowels and final consonants, if there are any, are being used.

2. Put the following words into rhyming pairs:

desperation hate right dinner complete fry dies

weather survivor street eyes site potato driver

weight celebration altogether high Tokyo thinner

Tokyo / potato

/ / / / / / / / /

Learning Activity 5 Images

1. We have said poetry decorates language. One way it does this is with images. There are three main types:

 General images – e.g. spring can make one think of being young; autumn can make one think of old age

 Metaphors – e.g. you are the sunshine in my life; he is the king of basketball

 Similes – e.g. as sweet as honey; run like the wind chair/aware (sound = air)

heat/feet (sound = eet) walk/talk (sound = orc) air/chair (sound = air) John/on (sound = on) wall/fall (sound = orl) men/again (sound = en)

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S 14

Images help readers to visualise and understand the subject matter better. Poets usually achieve this by associating the subject matter with something else, such as spring and youth, running and wind.

Read the old poem by Robert Burns below and answer the questions that follow.

Oh my love’s like a red, red rose That’s newly sprung in June 1: Oh my love’s like the melody That’s sweetly played in tune.

1That’s newly sprung in June: That has just opened in June

(a) Which kind of images does the poet use to show the girl’s beauty?

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(b) What does he compare the girl to?

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(c) If you were the poet’s lover, how would you feel?

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2. What could the general images in the left-hand column below be associated with? Match them with the topics on the right.

a long road • • anger falling leaves • • love the moon • • loneliness sunshine on waves • • sadness a tiger in a forest • • study

3. Suggest images which would help to express the following:

(a) fear: _______________________________________________________________________

(b) loss of love: _________________________________________________________________

(c) failure: _____________________________________________________________________

(d) hate: ______________________________________________________________________

(e) boredom: ___________________________________________________________________

4. Read the poem and work out what it means. Consider the various images the poet uses to express his feelings.

I Know It’s Only Half a Year I know it's only half a year That you will be away,

But it will feel far more than that

Each long and lonely day. 4

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S 15 A day without a friend is like A meadow turned to sand,

A garden turned to weeds and dust, An ocean far from land. 8 Time enters a slow-motion zone,

Repeating endlessly

The tearful grimace of the heart

Till you return to me. 12 Nicholas Gordon

(a) Find one word from the first four lines that summarises how the poet feels about being away from his friend.

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(b) In lines 5-8, the poet has used three similes to describe what it is like to be away from his friend. Name them.

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(c) In lines 9-12, how does the poet show how he feels about being away from his friend?

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Learning Activity 6 Alliteration

1. When two words begin with the same consonant sound (not just spelling), e.g. “kill Chris”, “new notebook”, “good gossip”, they are said to alliterate. Alliteration is common in English poetry.

They are often used to make poems more rhythmical or to create sound effects that mirror and/or emphasise the meanings of the words.

Which of the following pairs of words alliterate?

(a) haunted hour (b) cunning king (c) charitable character (d) great gel

(e) idling eyes

2. Read the following poem aloud with a partner. Do you enjoy reading it? What effect(s) do you think the poet intends to create through alliteration?

Bitter Butter

Betty Botter bought some butter, But, she said, this butter’s bitter:

If I put it in my batter,

It will make my batter bitter, 4 But a bit of better butter

Will make my batter better.

So she bought a bit of butter

Better than her bitter butter, 8

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S 16 And she put it in her batter, And it made her batter better, So ‘twas better Betty Botter

Bought a bit of better butter. 12 Anonymous

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3. Read the poem “Homework” by Russell Hoban (available at http://blbooks.blogspot.com/2007/09/

poetry-friday-two-about-homework.html) and answer the questions below.

(a) Which words in line 1 of the poem alliterate?

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(b) What image or feeling do the alliterated words create?

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S 17

Appreciating Poems and Songs

Learning Activity 1

What makes a poem/song good?

Read the following suggestions about what makes a poem/song good and decide which you agree with. Talk about them with a partner. Feel free to add your own suggestions.

1. It fits its purpose and occasion.

2. It is difficult to understand.

3. It feels sincere.

4. It has the usual ideas.

5. It shows a lot of thought.

6. It has original ideas.

7. It makes the reader think.

8. It has good rhymes.

9. The rhythm is interesting.

10. It makes people laugh.

Learning Activity 2

Understanding and giving opinions about poems and songs

Read the poems and answer the questions. The selection shows many different types of poetry that serve various purposes such as expressing opinions, feelings and our physical senses, calling for action and entertaining us.

Reading them may help you to decide what sorts of poetry suit you and make it easier for you to choose examples for your Journal.

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S 18

“Hi!”

Section A

Pre-reading: Discuss the following with your partner or group.

Do you consider hunting a sport? Do you think humans have the right to kill animals for fun?

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Section B

Read the poem and answer the questions that follow.

Hi!

Hi! Handsome hunting man, Fire your little gun.

Bang! Now that animal

Is dead and dumb 1 and done 2.

Nevermore to peep 3 again, creep 4 again, leap 5 again, Eat sleep or drink again, oh, what fun!

Walter de la Mare

1dumb: silent

2done: dead

3peep: look

4creep: move

5leap: jump

1. Which of these statements are true?

(a) The poet loves hunting.

(b) The 4th line has a lot of /d/ sounds.

(c) There are many rhyming words in one line.

(d) The poem has six verses.

(e) The poem is telling people not to be cruel.

(f) The words are very difficult.

(g) Three lines rhyme.

(h) The poem is meaningful.

2. What is the strength of the poem? You can choose more than one item from the list below and add your own comments.

(a) It’s true to life.

(b) It’s entertaining.

(c) It’s clever.

(d) It teaches you something.

(e) It’s beautiful.

(f) It has a deep feeling.

(g) It’s sincere.

(h) It makes you think.

(i) It’s fun.

(j) Other comments:______________________________________________________________

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S 19 3. What do you not like about it?

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4. How many stars out of five will you give it? Why?

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5. “Bang!” is a word that sounds a little like its meaning. Think of three to five other words whose sound and sense are connected.

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“Strawberries”

Section A

Pre-reading: Discuss and work on the following with your partner or group members.

1. Match the senses in the left-hand column with the body parts they are associated with on the right.

sight   nose taste   eyes touch   tongue hearing   skin smell   ears

2. Think of at least five words to describe a strawberry. An example is given below.

small,

3. The words in the right-hand column are from the poem “Strawberries” you are about to read.

Match them with the senses on the left. Note that there are no matches for the sense of hearing.

sight   sweet taste   red touch   scent smell   taste buds  tingling Section B

Read the poem and answer the questions that follow.

Strawberries

Red globes of pleasure Set taste buds tingling 1 Juice running down chin Sweet scent 2 of summer.

1tingling: a feeling of excitement, like ice on the skin

2scent: nice smell

1. Which of the five senses does the poem try to attract? Why?

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S 20

2. Would it help someone who has never eaten a strawberry to know what it tastes like? Why?

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3. Does the poem succeed in making you want to eat strawberries? Explain your answer.

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4. What is the strength of the poem? You can choose more than one item from the list below and add your own comments.

(a) It’s true to life.

(b) It’s entertaining.

(c) It’s clever.

(d) It teaches you something.

(e) It’s beautiful.

(f) It has a deep feeling.

(g) It’s sincere.

(h) It makes you think.

(i) It’s fun.

(j) Other comments:______________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

5. What do you not like about it?

_______________________________________________________________________________

6. How many stars out of five will you give it? Why?

_______________________________________________________________________________

“I’m Feeling Rather Full Tonight”

Section A

Pre-reading: Discuss the following with your partner or group members.

1. A western meal in general has three parts, or courses. What are they?

_______________________________________________________________________________

2. Divide these dishes into the three courses.

green salad fresh fruit pork chop soup fish and chips meat pie apple pie roast chicken ice-cream

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

3. Make a list of some of the polite ways in which you might refuse an offer of food. The first one is done for you as an example.

Thank you, but I’m full.

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S 21 Section B

Read the poem and answer the questions that follow.

I’m Feeling Rather Full Tonight I’m feeling rather full tonight.

I couldn’t eat another bite.

I couldn’t eat half a bean,

Or even taste a tangerine 1. 4 I couldn’t lick a lettuce leaf

Or bite the slightest bit of beef.

I couldn’t polish off 2 a pea

Or sip a single drop of tea 8 Or nibble on a nanogram 3

Of pickled ham or candied yam 4 Or lamb or clam or jam or Spam.

Yes, that’s how truly full I am. 12 To even think of eating more

Would leave me lying on the floor And surely make my stomach hurt

Unless, of course, you’ve got dessert. 16 Kenn Nesbitt

1tangerine: a small orange

2polish off: eat

3nanogram: joke word for tiny piece

4candied yam: sugared sweet potato

1. What does the poet say will happen if he continues to eat?

_______________________________________________________________________________

2. What is the surprise that the poem ends with?

_______________________________________________________________________________

3. The poet uses different ways to make the poem interesting. Give one or two examples showing this.

_______________________________________________________________________________

4. The poem is intended to:

(a) teach good diet (b) encourage dieting (c) make us smile

“I’m Feeling Rather Full Tonight” copyright © 2006 Kenn Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.

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S 22

5. How many stars out of five will you give the poem? Why?

_______________________________________________________________________________

“Swimming Pool”

Section A

Pre-reading: Discuss the following with your partner or group members.

1. Have you ever had the experience of feeling free of worries as if you were living in a dream world?

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

2. Discuss the following:

(a) What colours do you think of when you imagine a swimming pool?

____________________________________________________________________________

(b) What do your senses (sight, touch, sound, taste, smell) experience when you are swimming in a pool? Which sense is most involved?

____________________________________________________________________________

(c) If you had the chance to swim in the Olympic “Water Cube” swimming pool in Beijing, how would you feel?

____________________________________________________________________________

Section B

Read the poem and answer the questions that follow.

Swimming Pool

Floating, floating weightless In the nothingness of pool

I am all wet thoughts. 3 Water-soaked 1, whirling 2 hair Melts into my skin.

I am bathed in blue. 6 Nothing beneath to feel.

Nothing but sky overhead.

I live outside myself. 9 Myra Cohn Livingston

1soaked: very wet

2whirling: going round in circles

From The Way Things Are and Other Poems by Myra Cohn Livingston. Copyright © 1974 by Myra Cohn Livingston. Used by permission of Marian Reiner.

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S 23

1. Is the swimming pool referred to in the poem indoors or outdoors? How do you know?

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

2. What is the swimmer doing in lines 1-3?

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

3. What sense (sight, hearing, touch, smell or taste) is being appealed to in lines 4-6? Explain your answer.

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

4. What do lines 1, 4, 5 and 6 have in common (hint: consider the first letter of each word)? How does this add to the poem’s effect?

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

5. Tick one of the following which you think best describes the swimmer’s feeling in the poem. Give your reason(s) in the space below.

(a) The swimmer feels lonely and worried. ( ) (b) The swimmer feels light, and enjoys the state s/he is in. ( ) (c) The swimmer feels wet and cold. ( ) This is because

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

6. Do you like the poem? Why/Why not?

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

“Rain Music”

Section A

Pre-reading: Do the following with your partner or group members.

1. Look up and find out the differences between the following types of rain:

(a) drizzle (b) shower (c) downpour (d) rainstorm

Then in groups, exchange your views on how each of them affects your moods.

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

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S 24

2. If you were going to write a poem expressing joy at the arrival of heavy rain in a dry land, what sort of effects would you try to include? Share your ideas with your partner or group members.

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

3. Before you read the poem “Rain Music”, work out the meanings of these words and complete the sentences below. You may use a dictionary to help you.

whispered murmur slender bidding mellow

strain chords anew ancient triumphant

(a) The people of that country try to start __________ after the disaster.

(b) She gave a ___________ apology to her boss about forgetting to bring the documents to the meeting.

(c) When she reached the door of her father’s office, she heard the voice of a man talking in a loud __________.

(d) The doctor advised her that it is more important to stay healthy than just to have a long, __________ body.

(e) Although he can read music sheets, he does not know how to make the __________ into piano notes.

(f) As soon as he got his assignment from the teacher, he left the classroom without a __________.

(g) My mother really enjoyed the African tattoo concert last night. She said the drum music was very exciting. However, I myself preferred more __________ music, which is gentle and calming.

(h) After the team had won in the inter-class basketball match, they walked off the court feeling proud and __________.

(i) After spending two years in London, he received an email from his father one day __________ him to return home.

(j) Since John is interested in history, we decided to get him a book on __________ China for his birthday.

4. You might like to access the following website for some poems and songs about rain:

http://www.poemhunter.com/songs/rain/

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S 25 Section B

Read the poem and answer the questions that follow.

Rain Music

On the dusty earth-drum 1 Beats the falling rain;

Now a whispered murmur 2,

Now a louder strain 3 4 Slender, silvery drumsticks,

On an ancient drum, Beat the mellow 4 music

Bidding 5 life to come 8 Chords 6 of earth awakened,

Notes of greening spring, Rise and fall triumphant 7

Over every thing. 12

Slender, silvery drumsticks Beat the long tattoo 8 – God, the Great Musician

Calling life anew. 16

J. S. Cotter, Jr

1earth-drum: an ancient musical instrument used by native or indigenous people

2whispered murmur: quiet sound

3louder strain: louder tune

4mellow: gentle, calming

5bidding: telling, inviting

6chords: music

7triumphant: victorious

8long tattoo: drum music

1. Find one word in the first line of the poem that suggests the place described in the poem is hot and dry.

_______________________________________________________________________________

2. What is the rain compared to in the poem?

_______________________________________________________________________________

3. What expressions does the poet use to describe that the rain is sometimes heavy and sometimes light?

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

4. What does it mean when the poet says that the rain is“bidding life to come” (line 8)?

_______________________________________________________________________________

5. Why does the poet say that God is a great musician (line 15)?

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

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S 26

6. Some words (e.g. drum, beat, now) and the expression “Slender, silvery drumsticks” are repeated in the poem. Do you think it is a good idea? Why/Why not?

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

7. Is “Rain Music” a good title? Why/Why not?

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

8. Do you like the poem? Why/Why not?

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

“Summer Holiday”

Section A

Pre-reading: Do the following with your partner or group members.

1. Imagine you are planning a summer holiday with some friends. Discuss where you would like to go.

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

2. What would you like to do during your holiday? List some of the activities you would plan.

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

3. What feelings would you expect if everything went well? Add to the lists in the table contrasting daily life and holiday time.

Daily life Holiday time

y Routine activities y Dullness

y Stress and worry

y Special activities and tours y Excitement

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S 27 Section B

Now read the lyrics for the song “Summer Holiday” (available at http://www.poemhunter.com/

song/summer-holiday). If you can, listen to the song also (available at http://www.youtube.com).

Then answer the following questions.

1. According to the lyrics, what can one do on a summer holiday? Are your ideas about holidays similar to those in the song?

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

2. Add some verses. Here is an example based on the second verse.

We’re going where the food is tasty.

We’re going where the palm trees sway.

Let’s go to stay on an isle Where we can play all day.

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

3. Create a picture to go with the song.

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S 28 Learning Activity 3

Summing up

What do you find most attracts you to poems and songs? What qualities must they have for you to like them? Write down your ideas in the space below and share them with your partner/group members.

__________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________

Learning Activity 4

Tasks for the Poem and Song Journal

Work on either one or both of the following:

1. Search for poems and songs you wish to include in your journal. Write some reasons for your choices.

2. Choose a poem/chant and make a sound recording of it bringing out its rhythm and mood (e.g.

happy, sad, excited, angry). Then, write down in your journal what attracts you to it.

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Part 3

Reading and Writing

Poetry

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S 30

Acrostics

Learning Activity 1

Identifying characteristics

1. Work in pairs and read the poems below. What are their subjects/themes? What characteristics can you identify? Discuss with your partner.

Calm Always attentive,

Handsome Never cheats and Reliable Never fails,

A model student after all.

Idealistic Shy Talented

Enthusiastic Able Caring Humorous Energetic Reasonable

2. The above poems are called acrostics. The main characteristics of an acrostic are as follows:

It is a form of short poem in which the first letter of each line spells a word, which is usually used as the title of the poem.

The first letter of each line is written as a capital. The length of the poem can vary from one vertical word to a phrase.

It does not have to rhyme.

It can be about any subject or theme. One simple way to write an acrostic is to first put down the letters that spell the subject or theme. Then think of a word, phrase or sentence that starts with the letter of each line to describe the subject or theme.

Here are some more examples. Read them and answer the questions that follow.

Example 1:

Brilliant England Captain Kick Handsome Advertisement Midfield

Example 2:

Back and forth he runs Every move he makes Causes his fans to jump

Kicking without scoring does no harm Having new hairstyles is his real charm A footballer or a sports star

Makes no difference to him so far

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S 31 Example 3:

Writing poems is not my strength Hanging around to think of something At times when ideas strike me,

Take up a pen and write down something.

To start with simple and funny things with Ongoing practising and revising

Wonder what to say and what to write Reflecting upon the past

Inspiring for whatever it can be There is indeed a lot to write

Enjoyable and easy poem writing can really be.

(a) Examples 1 and 2 are about a famous footballer. Who is he?

___________________________________________________________________________

(b) Examples 1 and 2 are similar as the first letter of each line spells the footballer’s name. How are they different?

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

(c) What is the theme of Example 3? How is the use of phrases/clauses similar to or different from that in Example 2?

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

Learning Activity 2 Writing acrostics

1. Work in pairs and write an acrostic using your partner’s name as the title. Try to use some adjectives, phrases or sentences to describe her or him. Share the acrostic with your partner to see how far s/he agrees with the descriptions you made.

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

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S 32

2. Working in groups of three to four, write an acrostic together. Brainstorm possible topics to write about. They can be anything you come across in your daily lives, ranging from your personal interests like favourite movie stars or hobbies to political issues like terrorism. For example, if you are going to write an acrostic about a celebrity, you may consider the following to help you to write the poem:

y her/his appearance/personality/family background y what s/he did before s/he became popular

y the incidents which happened to her/him y reasons for her/his popularity

y your personal opinions about her/him Try to be as creative as you can.

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

3. Discuss how to improve the acrostic and make any addition, deletion or rearrangement if necessary.

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S 33

Shape Poems

Shape poems are when the words of the poem are laid out on the page in a way which mirrors their meaning. They often look artistic.

Learning Activity 1

Expressing meaning with fonts

One way to make a word look as well as mean “artistic” is the use of appropriate fonts. Think of the way in which we sometimes write “love” as a heart (especially on T-shirts):

I Hong Kong

Or we could simply turn the letter “o” in it into a heart shape:

L ♥ VE

For the word “sad”, we could add some tears falling off the letters:

sad 6

6 6

Such technique could also be applied to phrases as in the example below:

j u m p h i g h e r

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S 34

Now, write some of the following words in a suitable way. You can use only the letters or add some artwork. You may also add a couple of words of your own choice.

angry happy tired winner cat fish clock fall over

Learning Activity 2

Expressing meaning with layout

Below are two versions of a short poem on a car crash:

Version A Two cars driven carelessly Suddenly could not stop

And crashed and smashed into one another.

Version B Two cars driven ccraelsssyl suddenlycouldnotstopand

crash hed one edandsmas into another

What effects have the poet created through the layout of the words in Version B (e.g. in terms of spacing, spelling)? How do these relate to the meaning of the poem? Discuss with your partner.

__________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________

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S 35 Learning Activity 3

Writing a shape poem

Some poems are even more like pictures. The words of a shape poem both describes the subject matter and are arranged in the shape of what they describe. Visit the website below for an example of a shape poem on shoes:

http://www.literacyrules.com/pdf/Shoes4.pdf

You will read more examples of shape poems on websites that your teacher has selected for you.

Now, write a short shape poem on the following or any other topics of your choice:

y a snake y a skyscraper y an arch

y a Christmas tree y a triangle y body y a star

y a Chinese character created out of English words

Use words and expressions that are relevant to the chosen topic to create an image in an interesting way.

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S 36

Poems Making Use

of Different Grammatical Patterns

Learning Activity 1 Reading and Writing

1. Read the following poem which uses gerunds (verbs + ing) to describe the MTR station during rush hours. Then answer the questions that follow.

(a) The following are the various stages of what an MTR passenger is likely to experience during rush hours in Hong Kong. Select the right gerunds from the poem to match what happens in each of these stages.

Waiting and getting

on the MTR What happens while

on board Getting off the MTR Catching the MTR on the opposite platform

 waiting

 standing

 mounting

(b) The last two words in the poem (“octopussing” and “MTRing”) are not really English words but the writer’s inventions. Do you like these words? Why do you think they are included?

____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

Waiting Pushing Rushing Boarding Scrambling Squeezing Sitting Standing Reading Talking Sleeping Phoning Leaving Alighting Hurrying Walking Running Mounting Climbing Octopussing MTRing

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S 37

2. Complete the following poem which uses gerunds to describe what the students in a class are doing. The first two lines have been done for you as examples. You may like to replace the names of John and Mary in lines 3 and 4 with any other names you consider appropriate.

The English Class

Simon reading Sarah smiling John ____________

Mary ____________

____________ ____________

____________ ____________

____________ ____________

____________ ____________

3. Write a gerund poem on one of the following topics:

 Class Christmas party

 Sports Day

 Mongkok (or Causeway Bay) at a busy time

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

Learning Activity 2 Reading

Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow.

Small New Curious Cute Furry Funny Sleepy Playful Lovely

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S 38 1. What is the part of speech of these words?

_______________________________________________________________________________

2. What animal are these words describing?

_______________________________________________________________________________

3. What words would you like to add to it?

_______________________________________________________________________________

Learning Activity 3 Reading

Read the following poem and fill out the blank in the last line. Then answer the questions that follow.

Laisee envelopes

$100 notes Strawberries Stop-lights

Manchester United Setting suns Santa’s coat Taxis

Embarrassment All are _________

1. What is the part of speech of these words?

_______________________________________________________________________________

2. Give the poem a title.

_______________________________________________________________________________

3. What words would you like to add?

_______________________________________________________________________________

Learning Activity 4 Reading and Writing

1. Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow.

Kind eyes Soft touch Loving heart Wise advice Warm smile Good temper Great cooking Deep love

(a) What person do the words in the poem remind you of?

____________________________________________________________________________

Figure

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References

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