Poetry activities for National Poetry Day 2017 - Part 1

Wriggle Room and other school poemsCelebrate National Poetry Day with Reading Planet’s finest poetry

Wriggle Room is an anthology written by the fantastic Brian Moses and is a Gold banded reading book. It includes the following 8 poems: 

  • First and Last
  • Wriggle Room
  • Maths is Fun
  • Miss Smith 
  • Alone
  • Mobile Classroom 
  • The City Farm
  • Sounds

Although this book is pitched at year 2 readers, teachers in younger classes could take the opportunity to share some excellent poems with younger children too.

Read and share the book here.


Maths is FunMaths is fun

  • This poem consists of 6 four lined verses where the theme is celebrating maths. 

The poem rhymes including words that year 2 are expected to spell correctly – ace/face, right/delight, fix/ticks, about/out, hate/state and do/you.

Reading activities:

  • Read the poem with the children and discuss their initial feelings. What is this poem about? What does the person in the poem enjoy? Why might the poem end with a question? The poet suggests that not everybody shares his view of maths, find some evidence to support this.

Grammar, Spelling and Writing activities:

  • Display the poem for children to read. Ask children to identify all of the verbs in the poem. Could we replace some verbs with alternatives?
  • Ask children to identify all of the rhyming words. Challenge children to write pairs of rhyming words and check the spellings. Ask children to spell the words aloud – using letter names rather than sounds to assess the correct vowel sounds have been used.
  • Challenge children to write a poem in the same style by thinking about what they really enjoy. Once they have an idea – this should form their title ________ is fun. Children should plan their poem by writing all words related to their chosen topic – this should really help children when they are writing their poem.
  • Some children may benefit from a writing frame:
__________ is fun

__________ is ace

_______________ bring a smile to my face
I love ______________

__________ fill me with delight

Oh I love ___________________

I really do,

What puzzles me

Is why don’t you?

Miss SmithMiss Smith

  • This poem consists of 4 four lined verses.
The children in Class 3 are keen to find out if Miss Smith likes monsters.

Writing activity for younger readers:

  • This is a great poem to read to younger readers. The final verse will generate much discussion from younger children too – ‘You’re trying not to laugh, Miss Smith, I can see it in the way you look, But I know so much about monsters, I think I could write a book!’
  • After sharing the poem give children a template of a monster to decorate or ask children to design a monster. Depending on children’s ages, they could write noun phrases to label their monster.
  • Children could decorate round biscuits in a monster design – marshmallows, laces, sweets etc… to match their design.



  • This poem consists of 4 four lined verses.
This poem explores how it feels after you have told a fib and others are angry with you.

Writing activity for year 2 children:

  • This is a great opportunity for a PSHE or circle time discussion. The character in the poem uses a range of similes to express how he feels: ‘feel like a pan with a slammed down lid; feel like a diamond that’s lost its shine and feels like the last slice of cake on a plate.’  Teachers could spend time exploring each of these images and explaining how to create more in the same style.
  • Look at the illustration – the character is sitting on a bench. Imagine the bench is one of happiness instead. Teachers could take children into the hall to sit on a school bench or outside. Explore some feelings and similes of happiness, for example, ‘feel like a bottle of soda fizzing with fun.’  Children could work in pairs or small groups to brainstorm more positive similes. Teachers could share a similar frame and create group poems.



This poem recounts a class telling their teacher all of their favourite sounds.

Creative Writing activity for EYFS – Y2:

  • Since this poem recounts a class telling their teacher about their favourite sounds – ask children what sounds they like. Teachers could group these sounds in a big list – Our Favourite Sounds are… and children could do actions to match. Teachers could encourage children to perform this class poem in assembly.
  • Children could work in small groups to create ‘Our Favourite Sounds’ in the style of this poem where children’s names are listed with their chosen sounds.
  • Using glass jars and LED lights, groups could create sound jars – children can add handwritten labels to the jar or pictures of their chosen sound. These could be displayed for parents to see on National Poetry Day.

Look out for more poetry activities from Maddy @moonmaddy later this week in Part 2 of our National Poetry Day special!

GalaxyWriggle Room is part of the Galaxy series of Reading Planet. Galaxy contains 72 exciting new fiction, poetry and non-fiction titles ranging from book bands Pink A to White. Find out more here.

Find out more about National Poetry Day here.


English, English and Literacy, poetry, Reading and Ebooks

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