Gunter Primary School – Planning for English / Literacy Year 6
Poetry Unit 2 – Finding a voice (1 wk)
Link - http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/primary/primaryframework/literacy/planning/Year6/Poetry/unit2/
Key aspects of learning
Enquiry Evaluation Information processing Communication
Children will share their own writing Children will develop their ability to
Children will seek the answers to outcomes, as well as those of Children will explore and tease out discuss effective communication in
their own and others' questions in others. They will discuss success the information communicated respect of both the language and
their reading. criteria, give feedback to others and content of poetry they are reading
judge the effectiveness of their own through the language and forms of and writing. They will sometimes
work. poetry. work collaboratively in pairs and
Children will identify, explore and Empathy groups. They will communicate
Self-awareness outcomes orally and in writing
generate the mental connections (possibly including the use of ICT).
In discussing and writing about the
represented within various forms of Children will discuss and reflect on
poems and their images, children
powerful imagery (simile and their personal responses to the
will need to imagine themselves in
metaphor) - a vital aspect of texts.
another person's position. They will
thinking, reasoning and
explore techniques that facilitate this
Grammar for writing, Ref: 0107/2000, Year 6
Understanding reading comprehension leaflets, Ref: 0310-2005 to 0312-2005 http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/primary/publications/literacy/1162245
ICT resources: Y6 Kennings
Check that children can already:
Discuss their responses to a range of poetry they have read.
Identify and discuss the various features of a poem, including the structure and organisation of the text and the way language is used
to create effects on the reader.
Objectives - To ensure effective planning of literacy teachers need to ensure they plan for all elements of literacy effectively across the year
ensuring that assessment for learning is used to plan and amend teaching. It is essential that core skills such as phonic strategies, spelling, and
handwriting are incorporated into these exemplar units to ensure effective learning.
Most children learn to:
(The following list comprises only the strands, numbered 1 through 12, that are relevant to this particular unit. Where there are relevant Steps in
Learning for an objective, a link has been included.)
Strand Most children will learn to:
1. Speaking Use a range of oral techniques to present persuasive arguments and engaging narratives
Participate in whole-class debate using the conventions and language of debate, including
Use the techniques of dialogic talk to explore ideas, topics or issues
2. Listening / responding Analyse and evaluate how speakers present points effectively through use of language and
3. Group discussion and interaction Understand and use a variety of ways to criticise constructively and respond to criticism
4. Drama Improvise using a range of drama strategies and conventions to explore themes such as
hopes, fears and desires
Consider the overall impact of a live or recorded performance, identifying dramatic ways of
conveying characters' ideas and building tension
6. Word structure and spelling Use a range of appropriate strategies to edit, proofread and correct spelling in own work, on
paper and on screen
7. Understanding and interpreting texts Understand underlying themes, causes and points of view
Understand how writers use different structures to create coherence and impact
8. Engaging with and responding to texts Read extensively and discuss personal reading with others, including in reading groups
Compare how writers from different times and places present experiences and use
9. Creating and shaping texts Select words and language drawing on their knowledge of literary features and formal and
10. Text structure and organisation Use varied structures to shape and organise texts coherently
12. Presentation Use different styles of handwriting for different purposes with a range of media, developing a
consistent and personal legible style
Select from a wide range of ICT programs to present text effectively and communicate
information and ideas
Finding a voice (1 week)
This is a relatively free-standing poetry unit, and could be taught at any stage of the school year. However, its learning develops from that in Year
6 poetry unit 1, which therefore needs to precede it. Whenever this unit is taught, the level of reading and writing expected and the word-level and
presentation skills integrated within it must clearly build on from previous learning and towards end-of-year expectations. The content of the poems
(both read and written) could be linked to other curriculum areas if desired.
Children explore an issue meaningful to them, and at the same time read, respond, analyse and evaluate a range of poems about that issue.
Children write their own poems in response to the issue. In the course of this, a way of working, involving playing with language and then forming
and shaping ideas, is further developed, modelled and practised. ICT may be used to provide a visual or aural stimulus and/or to develop and
present the poems.
Outcomes from the whole unit are shared and evaluated against pre-agreed criteria for effective communication with the reader and then
performed and/or published in some oral, paper or electronic form.
Children explore an issue meaningful to them and, at the same time read, respond, analyse and evaluate a range of poems about that
Children then write their own poems in response to the issue. In the course of this, a way of working, involving playing with language
and then forming and shaping ideas, is further developed, modelled and practised. ICT may be used to provide a visual or aural
stimulus and/or to develop and present the poems.
Finally, outcomes from the whole unit are shared and evaluated against pre-agreed criteria for effective communication with the
reader, and then performed and/or published in some oral, paper or electronic form.
The subject matter of the poems selected and created for this unit could again relate to foundation subjects or to a cross-curricular
theme or themes.
Teaching sequence phase 1
Note: Children working significantly above or below age-related expectations will need differentiated support, which may include tracking forward
or back in terms of learning objectives. EAL learners should be expected to work within the overall expectations for their year group. For further
advice see the progression strands and hyperlinks to useful sources of practical support.
Reading poems that powerfully communicate the writer's thoughts and feelings about a particular issue (4 days)
Identify an issue to which children feel committed and about which they have their own strong thoughts and feelings, for example
animal welfare, pollution, endangered species, conservation issues or refugees. This could well be drawn from work in other
Collect (and ask children to collect) a range of images and articles relating to this issue, for example digital photographs, video clips,
newspaper cuttings. Allow children to explore their thoughts and feelings about these in a variety of active ways, for example
discussion, debate, drama, dance, role-play, encouraging empathy and emotional literacy.
At the same time, collect different poems where the writers express their thoughts and feelings about the same issue.
As a class and in groups, read and discuss these, text marking to highlight their use of language, imagery and structure. Evaluate their
effectiveness and impact on the reader. Ask: How is poetry used to communicate powerfully the writer's thoughts and feelings?
Allow children to respond to these poems in a variety of ways, including perhaps dance, drama or adding creative music, possibly
relating them to the other images collected. Children practise and perform some of the poems.
Children understand how writers can use poetry as a powerful way of communicating their thoughts and feelings about a particular
Teaching sequence phase 2
Writing poems that powerfully communicate the writer's thoughts and feelings about a particular issue (4 days)
As a whole class, model a writing process.
Select an appropriate stimulus for writing that encapsulates what children think and feel about the issue. This could be a digital image
or a short video clip, for example a picture of a homeless street child or images that contrast a devastated area with a lush rainforest
that previously grew there. Building from the work of poetry unit 1, annotate the image with quickly generated ideas for powerful words,
phrases and verbal images.
Initially just play with language and gather as many ideas as possible. Ask questions such as: What thoughts and feelings do I have
about this image? What do I want to say about it to my readers? How can I use language to communicate this as powerfully as
Select the best, most apt ideas and begin to refine these. Alter and develop the poem accordingly, continuously discussing and
evaluating the aptness of the language and images in terms of the original stimulus and what you want to express about it.
Then fit the ideas into some sort of loose (short) pattern or form. Return to the range of poems originally read to explore different
possible models. Look for a form that will help express what it is you are trying to say. A frame derived from one of the poems could
possibly be used at this stage, but avoid restrictive forms or any rhyming patterns as these will distract from the focus on using
powerful language and imagery. Adapt and develop the writing as it is shaped.
Evaluate the emerging poem. Reading or performing it is a good way of testing how it works, especially in terms of the effectiveness
and aptness in communicating the thoughts and feeling being expressed.
Discuss what might be considered tired or clichéd language, or undue sentimentality. Find and discuss examples. Seek these out in
the writing and alter or improve it where necessary.
Children, working independently with a response partner, repeat this whole writing process, selecting an image or stimulus meaningful
to them and creating around it their own poem to express their thoughts and feelings about the issue.
It may be appropriate to extend this to children writing a full sequence of short poems.
Children can write a poem that begins to use language and form effectively and powerfully to communicate to a reader their thoughts and feelings
about a particular issue.
Teaching sequence phase 3
Evaluating, performing and sharing the poems created in the unit (2 days)
Evaluate and self-evaluate the poems written in the unit against agreed criteria, with particular reference to the effectiveness of the
language and imagery in communicating the writer's thoughts and feelings powerfully to the reader, and to avoiding clichéd or over-
Select, organise, perform and publish some of the poems or sequences of poems, remembering electronic possibilities; for example
Internet posting, podcasting, alongside paper publication and wall displays. If using ICT, poems (spoken and/or written) could be
linked with their stimulus digital images to form a multimodal presentation.
Children value their own poems and those of others and enjoy sharing them.
Objectives for strands 6 and 12
Throughout the unit children should focus, as and when appropriate, on the word structure, spelling and presentation objectives identified in the
first section above. As well as being integrated into ongoing activity, this will probably also involve some regular short sessions that have a specific
spelling or presentation focus.
Note: A practical example of using a digital image on an IWB to stimulate language play and the collection of images can be found in ICT
resources: Y6 Kennings
Assessing Pupils' Progress
In this exemplified unit we have identified the main assessment focuses (AFs) for reading and writing. However, it is important to remember that
teachers should interpret and adapt the teaching sequence to meet the needs of particular classes, and this may affect the choice of AFs against
which you wish to gather a range of evidence.
In order for a judgement to be made against writing AFs 1 and 2 it is important that children are given space and time to develop their own ideas
and define their own purposes for writing. Opportunities to plan for this will arise throughout the literacy curriculum as well as through the
application of skills across the curriculum.
The suggested outcome for this unit is a choral performance of a narrative poem. The teaching of this unit should support the collection of
evidence against reading AF3 (deduce, infer or interpret information, events or ideas from texts) and writing AF1 (write imaginative, interesting
and thoughtful texts).
Evidence against a variety of AFs will be collected at many points during the teaching sequence. Independence and opportunities to make
decisions are integral to children's development in reading and writing. Therefore, as well as using assessment opportunities within the structure of
the unit (as exemplified below) it will also be important to collect evidence of achievement against the AFs from occasions where children can
demonstrate independence and choice.
Suggestions for the collection of assessment information against a range of AFs are found below.
Opportunities for assessment
The following are examples selected from the teaching content for this unit of work that will support planning for effective assessment as an
integrated part of the teaching and learning process. Evidence gathered during this ongoing work will contribute to the periodic assessment of
Learning outcomes Example of teaching content and assessment opportunities Evidence Approach to
During a guided reading session the group explore a poem based on a Oral responses Teacher
Children understand how writers can use
particular issue, for example bullying. They discuss the range of media around observation
poetry as a powerful way of Reading journal entries
this issue that has already been explored as a class through drama,
communicating their thoughts and feelings Teacher
discussion, etc. Children are given time to read and consider their thoughts
about a particular issue. questioning
and feelings about the poem. Questions are used to guide subsequent
discussions, for example: Who is the intended audience for this poem? What is
Oral feedback to
the poet trying to say to the reader? Why might the poet have written the
poem? Is the poem effective? Why? Why not? How do you feel when you read
this poem? Children are asked to close their eyes while the teacher rereads
the poem and consider the picture the poem creates in their mind. Children's
responses are discussed in pairs and as a group.
Following the guided reading session, children record personal responses to
the poem in their reading journals, drawing on the discussions to guide them.
Children can write a poem that begins to Success criteria are established at the start of the writing process. Modelled Ideas created during Teacher
use language and form effectively and and shared writing is used to support children with gathering and forming of shared and supported questioning
powerfully to communicate to the reader ideas on the chosen issue. Children are encouraged to rehearse ideas for their composition
their thoughts and feelings about a poems orally; mini-whiteboards are used for experimenting with language Teacher
Learning outcomes Example of teaching content and assessment opportunities Evidence Approach to
particular issue. patterns and structures. Guided writing groups are flexible and support Children's writing at all observation
children with specific elements of composition. Children share their drafts with stages of the writing
response partners, re-drafting and editing as necessary against the success process, including poetry Peer feedback
criteria. They make independent decisions about publishing and/or performing performances
Pupil writing targets
These pupil writing targets have been developed to support effective teaching of writing, particularly in guided sessions or 1 to 1 tuition. They
cover the key strands for the primary framework of Reading – strands 7 and 8; Writing - strands 9, 10 and 11. These key strands have been
identified as having the greatest impact on writing and accelerating pupil progress. Teachers should select the most appropriate target for a
pupil/pupils to address identified gaps in learning, based on effective AfL practice.
Learning objectives linked to this year and strand selection
Steps in learning linked to this year and strand selection
<< Previous sub level | Next sub level >>
Year 6 - Level 4b Year 6 - Level 4a Year 6 - Level 4a
7/8 Understanding and interpreting texts, Engaging and responding to texts
Year 6 - Level 4b Year 6 - Level 4a Year 6 - Level 4a
Comment on the overall effect of texts on the reader. Identify and comment on how writers convey messages, Comment on the overall effect of a poem or narrative on
Discuss whether a writer has been successful in their moods, feelings and attitudes in poetry and narrative. the reader with reference to the language, theme and
purpose (e.g. to make the reader laugh, feel sorrowful, Make inferences based on evidence from texts: making style. Use evidence from the text to discuss the impact
think about an issue, etc.). reference to the themes, language used and viewpoint. of a poem or narrative.
Comment on the purpose, audience and viewpoint of Appraise a text quickly, supporting comments with Comment on the overall success of a piece of non-
different non-fiction texts and give reasons referring to relevant textual information and evaluate the text’s fiction writing, commenting on purpose, audience and
different aspects of the text. usefulness and effectiveness. form. Support comments with relevant textual evidence.
9 Creating and shaping texts
Establish and demonstrate a consistent viewpoint in Use precise vocabulary (including figurative language) Use varied vocabulary to create effects appropriate to
different forms of writing. and sentence variation to contribute to the effectiveness the form and purpose of the writing. Maintain style (e.g.
of the writing. impersonal, formal) throughout the piece of writing.
10 Text structure and organisation
Use connecting words and phrases within and between Use paragraphs and sections to organise the content Organise writing to include a clear opening and closing
paragraphs to organise writing in different text types. and support the purpose of writing in different text types. and develop material in each section/paragraph.
11 Sentence structure and punctuation
Use subordinate clauses in writing to add relevant detail Manipulate the subordinate clauses in a sentence to Use a variety of simple and complex sentences in
to complex sentences and consider impact. achieve different effects. writing to have an effect on the reader.
Gunter Primary School – Planning for English / Literacy
Teacher : Support Staff : Term : Week beginning :
Theme – Whole Class – Shared Group 1 - Group 2 - Group 3 - Group 4 - Plenary
Poetry Unit 2 – reading / writing
Finding a voice -OR- SEN Low / middle High / Middle High
1/1wk Phonics / Spelling /
Vocabulary / Grammar
Gunter Primary School – Planning for English Extension Sessions
AF1 – ‘Use a range of strategies, including accurate decoding of text, to read for AF2 – ‘Understand, describe, select or retrieve information, events or ideas from
meaning’. text and use quotation and reference to the text.’
AF3 – ‘Deduce, infer or interpret information, events and ideas from text. AF4 – ‘Identify and comment on the structure and organisation of texts, including
grammatical and presentational features at text level.
AF5 – ‘Explain and comment on writers’ use of language, including grammatical AF6 – ‘Identify and comment on writers’ purposes and viewpoints and the overall
and literary features at word and sentence level.’ effect of the text on the reader.
AF7 – ‘Relate texts to their social, cultural and historical contexts and literary
Indicate – Home reading text : Guided reading text and Key AF : Follow-up work : Handwriting / other
Group A Group B Group C Group D