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I'm a retired teacher and a prolific children's poet who writes for every age group. An educational publisher market-researched my poems in classrooms in many schools right across West Yorkshire 4 years ago when I'd written 400 poems. 344 were chosen for publication by the teachers and children. I also make Skype visits and nowadays I make short 45 minute visits to classrooms all over the world and it is a delight to know that children like my work.

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I'm a retired teacher and a prolific children's poet who writes for every age group. An educational publisher market-researched my poems in classrooms in many schools right across West Yorkshire 4 years ago when I'd written 400 poems. 344 were chosen for publication by the teachers and children. I also make Skype visits and nowadays I make short 45 minute visits to classrooms all over the world and it is a delight to know that children like my work.
PEAS PLEASE - A Funny Performance Poem for KS1 AND KS2 Children - written in DACTYLIC METRE

PEAS PLEASE - A Funny Performance Poem for KS1 AND KS2 Children - written in DACTYLIC METRE

1 Sound file: Voice recording by author, Josie Whitehead 2 PDF to project onto your classroom screen. 3 Word document with permission to print. 4 Worksheet which helps to perform poetry really well, and also explains what Dactyls are, with the chance for them to write some sentences. Why not get them to look at people's names in the class. They are often dactylic: eg JER e my; AN ge la; (my own: JO se phine) - JENN i fer; PAM e la; JESS i ca; OL i ver; PERFORMANCE POEM: Do get your children to perform this poem. There are many speaking parts. It is very important that children should listen to poems and by Googling JOSIE'S POEMS they can regularly hear me reading many of the poems that I've written. I made the recordings at the request of children at my local primary school who wanted to hear the poems over and over again at home. Put a sheet up on the wall where they can add any dactylic words they can find - perhaps other than names: EL e phant; AM bu lance; TERR i er; TEL e phone; CEN ti pede; DAN ger ous; BLUS ter y; CIN e ma; THE a tre; etc This is a good exercise and helps children to realize that we have little accentuations within our words that make the rhythms in poetry - and helps to promote phonemic awareness, ie the ability to break down words into sounds.
JosieWhitehead
Freedom - A Poem for National Poetry Day 2017 - By Josie Whitehead

Freedom - A Poem for National Poetry Day 2017 - By Josie Whitehead

1 - Voice recording of poem by author, Josie Whitehead 2 - PDF for your classroom screen of this poem. 3 - Word document with permission by author, Josie Whitehead, to print off for class use only. This particular poem is suitable for KS2 (stretching vocabulary); KS3 and KS4 I'm now taking bookings for skype class visits for both National Poetry Day and for the rest of the term. If you're interested in these short visits, please contact me.
JosieWhitehead
The  Cat, the Dog and the Bantams Three  - a story poem of winter 1962-63 byJosie Whitehead

The Cat, the Dog and the Bantams Three - a story poem of winter 1962-63 byJosie Whitehead

1 Voice recording of poem by author, Josie Whitehead 2 Talk by author of this true story, and what the winter of 1962-63 was like by one who lived through it. 3 Pdf of poem: The Cat, the Dog and the Bantams Three for your classroom screen 4 Word document of poem with permission to print off This and 1,350 other poems written by myself are on my own website, and many are here on TES. I also do skype visits to schools which can be arranged via my website or TES.
JosieWhitehead
The Laugh-A-Lot Tree - (A story poem for KS1 and KS2 children) by JosieWhitehead

The Laugh-A-Lot Tree - (A story poem for KS1 and KS2 children) by JosieWhitehead

1 - The Laugh-A-Lot Tree by Josie Whitehead - Voice recording by author 2 - PDF - For your classroom screen. 3 - Word Document in case you wish to print the poem off. LISTENING AND SPEAKING 1 - It is so important that well before children read poetry, they just sit back and enjoy listening to the poem, especially if it is read by the author. This is not only relaxing and a good way to break up a working day for children, but listening to the rhythm/metre of the words is excellent, and a good way of developing phonological awareness in children. Let them clap to the metre and understand how metre is made. It is made from the small stresses within words. Write some of the words on the board and ask the children to point out where the stresses are in different words. 2 - These poems can be listened to by children at home also, for relaxation, and I added voice recordings to my poems at the request of children (more specifically, 4 boys) at my local primary school who had 4 excellent reasons for wishing the spoken word. (See my profile for website details for children). 3 - This poem is written in anapaestic heptameter, ie diddy dum diddy dum (7 anapaestic feet) over 2 lines and usually with four on the first line and three on the second with abab rhyming. You indent for the rhyming lines (3 spaces from margin). In song, many words can be stretched to fit into similar rhythms, but in poetry, without music, this can't happen. Therefore, often a small beat (foot) is added within the line, or the verses can sometimes start on a heavy beat or with just a single light beat before them, and this is for emphasis usually. I have done this with this poem. I could have started: On a BRIGHT summer's MORNing etc - but I deliberately chose this way of coming into this poem. 4 - I would suggest that only after the children have absorbed the spoken word that you let them see the poem and look for words which sound alike but have different spellings. 5 - More important than this, is that the children learn some of the verses and in groups perform the poem well, putting expression into their voices and throwing their voices clearly across the class, without looking down at a piece of paper and mumbling. Listening to the poem and joining the author's voice will help them a lot. 6 ART: The children might like to do a picture of a Laugh-A-Lot tree for the classroom wall.
JosieWhitehead
IN THE WASH by Josie Whitehead (Poem using Figurative language)

IN THE WASH by Josie Whitehead (Poem using Figurative language)

1 Poem by Josie Whitehead 2 Voice recording by Josie Whitehead 3 Worksheet: Explanation of figurative language and metaphors and similes. Vocabulary extension. The use of imagery in poetry using the five senses and relating this to this poem. 4 Fun joining in with the poem. 5 Metre Matters: Explaining that this poem is written in ANAPAESTIC METRE - and how you recognize this. 6 Explaining that this poem is written as TETRAMETER: ie four beats (feet) on each line with rhyming aabb. 7 Explaining what HEPTAMETER is. 8 Recognizing that metre/rhythm is made from the stresses within words, and an exercise to spot stresses within different words as well as being able to write and recognize them in your own words. 9 WRITING IN ANAPAESTIC TETRAMETER. I write several sentences using this metre and class are invited to try writing them themselves. PERFORMANCE POETRY: This poem is an EXCELLENT performance poem in every way and perfect for children to learn and perform in the classroom, learning how to pronounce words clearly, throw their voices without shouting and putting lots of expression into their performance. Reading along with my voice recording, and copying me, should help a great deal. LISTENING and SPEAKING are so important when it comes to poetry, as are practising daily writing some sentences in metre. It isn't difficult at all.
JosieWhitehead
THE BEST PUNISHMENT FOR BOYS - Funny Poem for KS2 By JosieWhitehead

THE BEST PUNISHMENT FOR BOYS - Funny Poem for KS2 By JosieWhitehead

1 - Voice Recording by children's poet, Josie Whitehead 2 - Word Document of this poem. 3 - PDF of this poem KS2 - Term 2 - Funny poems This poem is written in anapaestic HEPtameter, ie diddy dum 7 times, over 2 lines with rhyming abab. With the different speaking parts and narrators, this is a wonderful PERFORMANCE POEM, and why not get the witches to dress with witches hats and sit at a table, coffee cups etc - and get the boys to pass by, one hurling abuse. You can't turn one into a fly, but you can pretend one is on the wall. The children will love the fun, but get them to LEARN BY HEART their poem, not read it, and to put expression into their voices, and body language, of course. Get the children to copy the rhythm in sentences of their own, ie Two horses decided they'd both like to race Four children decided to go to the sea A monkey decided to climb in his cage etc Note that anapaestic meter is diddy dum, but I deliberately started the poem on a single light beat (which is quite normal), eg: AUTumn is WEARing her BRIGHT golden CROWN. BRIan is LEARNing to PLAY the guiTAR,
JosieWhitehead
Autumn Leaves by Josie Whitehead - An Autumn Poem for KS1 and 2 -English, art, drama & science

Autumn Leaves by Josie Whitehead - An Autumn Poem for KS1 and 2 -English, art, drama & science

AUTUMN LEAVES - A poem for children by Josie Whitehead - (Explains why trees have leaves and why they shed them in autumn). Written in iambic heptameter (ie 7 iambic feet over 2 lines). This is a good poem to illustrate the use of personification in poetry. Ask the children to spot its use throughout the poem. POETRY - KS1 and KS2 POETRY: Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 In Year 1: Pupils should be taught to: develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by: • listening to, discussing and expressing views about a wide range of contemporary and classic poetry, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently; • recognising simple recurring literary language in stories and poetry; • continuing to build up a repertoire of poems learnt by heart, appreciating these and reciting some, with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear. In Year 2: Pupils should be taught to: develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by: * listening to, discussing and expressing views about a wide range of contemporary and classic poetry, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently; * recognising simple recurring literary language in stories and poetry; * continuing to build up a repertoire of poems learnt by heart, appreciating these and reciting some, with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear. Poetry links well to drama, and children should learn, if not the whole, but certainly whole verses of this poem and should perform it well, pronouncing the words clearly and with expression and learning to throw their voices across the classroom so that people in the farthest corner can hear well. This is a poem which could be a centrepiece of a wall display board, with the children bringing in different leaves to surround the poem, and perhaps doing pictures to accompany it. This poem links to science. Let children discover why trees grow leaves, the purpose they serve and why they fall. Although this poem explains this quite simply, perhaps there is more they can learn, eg, what benefits the earth gets from leaves which fall (ie fertilizer). There are many more autumn poems on my website. I'm off to clear up leaves in my garden now!
JosieWhitehead
KS1 - PATTERN AND RHYME - POEM:  THE LITTLE BUTTERFLY by Josie Whitehead

KS1 - PATTERN AND RHYME - POEM: THE LITTLE BUTTERFLY by Josie Whitehead

1 PDF - Printed poem, split into smaller pages for projecting onto board. 2 MP3 voice recording by children's poet Josie Whitehead. 1 - Listen to poem being read and 2 -join in adding rhyming words and 3 - join in adding actions. 3 THE LITTLE BUTTERFLY - has now had music written for it by Martin Torbert, New Jersey, USA. Your children will, I am sure, enjoy singing this poem, and they can see how poetry, written in a rhythmic way, links well to music. If they dance to the music and do actions, they will see that poetry links to drama and also to dance. Let them learn this poem by heart and perform it well. This is so important for children. 4 Word document to print off for the children. I wrote my poems for children in my local primary school who asked me to make a website and put the poems onto it so that they could both listen and read the poems at home. PLEASE tell your children to write on the corner of their books: Google JOSIE'S POEMS because the FIVE websites I now have made are for them to enjoy listening and reading my poems at home with their parents and siblings too. This is so important for children and not everything they do has to be done in the classroom. This is a child-safe website that I've made with no advertising on it at all, and it is completely a free present from me. Art: Get the children to do a picture of a butterfly - or perhaps one on a flower. This simple poem, written in simple iambic heptameter, will give them an ideal resource to follow in their own writing, eg There was a little butterfly There was a little bumble bee There was a yellow daffodil There was a great big elephant There was a hungry crocodile Get the children to clap to these sentences and learn that a syllable is a sound and there are 4 in these lines. This is the start of understanding metre. Rhyming: What word rhymes with flower? Shower. What word rhymes with wings? Things. Explain rhyming.
JosieWhitehead
The Sound Stealer - poem by Josie Whitehead - KS1 and KS2

The Sound Stealer - poem by Josie Whitehead - KS1 and KS2

This poem is great fun, and an excellent performance poem for your class to perform, if only a verse each. It draws the attention of children to the words which we use to describe sounds. It could also encourage them to discover many new words that we use. Perhaps a suggestion would be to put a copy of this poem on the classroom notice board and get each of the children to bring in the name of a sound that they may have heard during the week - and get them to bring in some unusual names if possible. 1 Voice recording by myself, the author of this poem, because I recommend that children do a lot of listening to poetry well before they ever read or try to write poems themselves. (Well I did and in my old age I’ve written 1,350 poems, if not more.) You might be producing future children’s poets!! 2 PDF of poem to display on your classroom screen. 3 Word document with permission from myself, copyright holder, for you to print off for use in your class. This poem is written in iambic heptameter, ie 4 iambic feet on one line and 3 on next (ie 7 over 2 lines), with rhyming: abab I’m enclosing a simple explanation. For KS2 they should be able to write a few simple sentences in iambic feet, eg: My puppy barks for all its worth I love to come to school each day My teacher’s loved by all of us My Mum bought us an Easter egg etc
JosieWhitehead
A Special Easter Egg - Story-Poem for Children by Josie Whitehead

A Special Easter Egg - Story-Poem for Children by Josie Whitehead

1 Voice recording of "A Special Easter Egg" by author, Josie Whitehead which I'd recommend the children listen to a couple of times at least before reading. They can also hear this poem and hundreds more at home via my website: (Google JOSIE'S POEMS: Listening Page) 2 PDF of "A Special Easter Egg" for use on your class screen. 3 Simple word document with permission to print off for class. 3 - Cover of card (A4) with permission to print for class use only 4 - Inside of card (print on back) - with poem and greeting 6 An explanation of IAMBIC FEET - iambic heptameter being the metre I've used for this poem. This poem, with its steady iambic rhythm, is a perfect poem for your children to learn by heart and perform for Easter. As a poet whose work goes out to 188 countries of the world, I'm often invited to skype to schools to meet the children for whom I write, and their teachers. Your visit can be booked via TES or my own website. There is a listening page on my website and I can't recommend enough that perhaps you can spare 5 minutes of the day in which children can just enjoy listening to the poems, and as they asked me to make this page, they would, I know, like to know how to access it themselves to listen to poems at home - - - perhaps with parents and other siblings, and especially at bedtime.
JosieWhitehead
Tummy Ache at Eastertime? - A fun Easter  poem for 7 voices by Josie Whitehead

Tummy Ache at Eastertime? - A fun Easter poem for 7 voices by Josie Whitehead

KS1 AND KS2 1 Voice Recording by Author, Josie Whitehead 2 Word document of poem with permission from author for you to print off for your class only. 3 PDF for your classroom screen. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of poetry, linked to drama, in your classroom. Children need to learn lines of a poem by heart, not looking down at words on paper, and they need to learn to throw their voices clearly across the room so that everyone can hear clearly, and above all, to put expression into their voices when doing a small drama like this. Listening to an author reciting a poem may help them, and I hope it does, although different voices are important. If your children do a good recording of this poem, why not contact me and I’ll put it with the poem on my website. They’ll enjoy illustrating their poem with Easter Eggs and they can read it again and listen to it and other poems on my websites (Google JOSIE’S POEMS) where there are 1,350 of my poems for them to enjoy at school and home. Happy Easter
JosieWhitehead
Shhh - What Can You Hear? - poem by Josie Whitehead (ONOMATOPOEIA and SENSES POEM) - KS1 & 2

Shhh - What Can You Hear? - poem by Josie Whitehead (ONOMATOPOEIA and SENSES POEM) - KS1 & 2

1 - Voice Recording by Josie Whitehead, author. This is a fun poem with lots of sounds in it for children to copy. Get them to follow the poem and join in with the sounds. It makes for a wonderful performance poem to learn and perform (without words). 2 - PDF of poem for your classroom screen. 3 - Word document for you to print off. 4 - Metre simply explained. The very long word of onomatopoeia will be so simple when the children hear the animal sounds etc in this poem, and it will just be a fun word for them to learn. The poem is in iambic heptameter, ie 7 iambic feet over 2 lines. PERFORMANCE POEM: This is a fantastic poem for the children to learn as a performance poem and a good follow up poem to my last poem: "Prick Up Your Ears." SKYPE VISIT: Poets, and especially this poet, love the skype visits I make to children's classrooms, and the children enjoy performing my poems for my visit and preparing their questions. With all the different animals etc in this poem, it would be fun if the children made animal masks for their performances. Do tell them of my website as there must be well over 1,350 poems now for them both to listen to and to read on their computers at home, and this is a child-safe website where I don't even have advertisements. I made it especially for the children at the request of the children at my local school who encouraged me to write for them weekly. This is a brand new poem that I've written this evening and I'd love some feedback.
JosieWhitehead
Prick Up Your Ears - ONOMATOPOEIA and Senses Poem by Josie Whitehead - KS1 and KS2

Prick Up Your Ears - ONOMATOPOEIA and Senses Poem by Josie Whitehead - KS1 and KS2

1 Voice Recording by Josie Whitehead, author. 2 PDF for you to display on your classroom screen. 3 Word Document with permission by author, Josie Whitehead, to print off for use in class. 4 Exercise for children using onomatopoeia. 4 Explanation of Iambic Heptameter used in this poem with examples. 5 Iambic feet (PDF) Teachers: Why not let your children make a poetry book, letting them collect good examples of the various meters used in poetry, and special devices such as onomatopoeia they can see that have been used in poems. I have 1,350 (if not more) of poems on my website, which are freely available to you and the children and many have voice recordings which I've made. They will enjoy looking through to find poems that fit into the various metre categories for their collection - - - - or, of course, any other good children's poetry you may have. They could have pages of their books when they just simply practise some sentences using these metres for fun. It is rather like learning scales and practising them when learning to play an instrument. In fact it is the same.
JosieWhitehead
THE TASTE-TAKER - Senses Poem for KS1 and KS2 :  Vocab re taste; Iambic Heptameter; Alliteration etc

THE TASTE-TAKER - Senses Poem for KS1 and KS2 : Vocab re taste; Iambic Heptameter; Alliteration etc

1 - Sound file: Recording by author Josie Whitehead 2 - PDF of The Taste-Taker by Josie Whitehead 3- Word document of this poem with permission from me (author) to print for your class. 4 - Worksheet for your children - permission to print off. DRAMA: This is an excellent poem for performance. ART: Why not put this poem as a centre-piece on your wall. Also get the children to do a picture like the one on the PDF with the tastes mentioned going into her bag? Put it on the wall with pictures of things mentioned around it. ENGLISH: This poem relates to one of the five senses, ie the sense of taste - a subject dear to the hearts of children for certain. It also teaches them how they might relish fruit, vegetables etc if the other items tasted horrible, ie a healthy option. VOCABULARY: I've used many words for "take" in my poem. The children will understand that a good writer uses a wide range of vocabulary. I've also used many words to represent the various tastes of foods, and words that mean "without taste" or "tasting bad" etc. SPEAKING AND LISTENING: I would strongly recommend that before they listen to the poem, they say which foods they love and what would they be like without taste? Listening: Listen to the poem many times. I've tried to put expression into it. Let the children take parts in the poem for a performance, learning and reciting the poem well. There are many places for various voices to be used in an expressive way. I've done my best to do this as an example. IAMBIC HEPTAMETER: An explanation of what this is and how it is used in this poem, with an opportunity to try writing some after several of my examples. ALLITERATION AND ASSONANCE: I've explained how a writer, and especially a poet, would use these in headings for poems, with several examples. Get the children to try writing some simple ones themselves or to bring into the class examples. There are many on my website in the lists of poems. NAMES FOR TASTES: I've given a list of taste-names, or textures for foods and the children can supply the name of a food that they think of which relates to this. I hope they enjoy my poem and that you will find it useful. It is a brand new poem and you are the first to see it. Do let me know if it is useful. Josie Whitehead If any teacher would like to make lesson plans to go with my poems, please do approach me. You can reach my website and email via my profile on TES. Thank you.
JosieWhitehead
Granddad's Nightmare - A Funny Poem for Children by Josie Whitehead

Granddad's Nightmare - A Funny Poem for Children by Josie Whitehead

1 Voice Recording by author - Josie Whitehead - recommended for listening to before reading words. 2 Pdf - For projecting onto your classroom screen 3 Word document with permission from author to print off for your class only. 4 An explanation of metre used (anapaestic tetrameter) with other examples. Children may like to try writing some simple sentences with this metre themselves. This would make a wonderful performance poem for children and, with its excellent metre, easy for them to memorioze. Teach children how to throw their voices clearly across the classroom, pronouncing words well, and putting expression into their voices. I often make skype visits to classrooms to meet the children for whom I write, and for them to meet me too. I like to ask them questions, help them with their own writing and see their performances also. You can book skype visits and also tell the children they can read again and listen to any of my poems on my own website: Simply Google JOSIE’S POEMS. The visits may be booked via TES also.
JosieWhitehead
EASTER-TIME - Easter poem with explanation of metre and imagery, with worksheet

EASTER-TIME - Easter poem with explanation of metre and imagery, with worksheet

1 PDF for your classsroom screen - but I would strongly advise you to let children LISTEN to the poem well before reading. See sound file below. They can hear it again at home, if they want, from my listening page on my website, along with many other poems to listen to. I made this page at the request of local primary school children. 2 Word document of poem with permission from author for print off for class use only. 3 Sound file of poem read by author with permission for use. 4 Explanation of metre - iambic tetrameter with examples and the opportunity for children to write their own iambic metre. 5 Explanation of the personification used in this simple poem and the opportunity for children to write some examples of their own. There are many examples, from my own poems, which the children can see by going to the poems on my own website (Google JOSIE'S POEMS) - with a listening page as children need, first and foremost, to hear poetry rather than read it. This, as with many of my poems, with its excellent rhyme and metre, is an excellent performance poem. Teach children to learn a poem such as this by heart and recite it, putting good expression into their voices and knowing where to lift and drop their voices, where to go faster and where to go slower. SPOKEN ENGLISH is the first thing anyone learns about you usually and mumbling at an interview later in life doesn't bode well for the applicant. Why not do a poetry performance challenge and invite the author (myself) to skype to the class to meet the children, judge the two remaining performers and choose the winner? I make skype visits to classrooms worldwide. See my website. Get the children to take a photograph of an Easter scene and, putting the poem on your wall, surround it with the photos.
JosieWhitehead
On Knowing Your Place - - - A story poem to listen to in class by Josie Whitehead

On Knowing Your Place - - - A story poem to listen to in class by Josie Whitehead

Listening to poetry is so very important for younger children. At the request of children from my local primary school, I have recorded myself reading many of my poems. Children enjoy a break from reading and writing and simply listening quietly to a poem occasionally is one of the very best things you can do for them. For this reason I've recorded many of my poems and this is one of them. Many others are on my own website (Google JOSIE'S POEMS)and go to the Listening Page. You have some wonderful resources via TES and I hope your children will enjoy this poem. You can let me know. If your children have a favourite subject and they think I haven't written about it, please let me know. I'll enclose a word document, but it is better for the children just to listen and listen again to the words rather than worrying about reading initially. Josie 1 Word document with permission to print. 2 PDF of this poem. 3 Listening to poetry: Voice recording by author, Josie Whitehead.
JosieWhitehead
Who Stole Those Golden Rays of Sun?

Who Stole Those Golden Rays of Sun?

Poem for Preschool/KS1Children by Josie Whitehead 1 PDF of poem: Who Stole Those Golden Rays of Sun? By Josie Whitehead 2 Who Stole Those Golden Rays of Sun by Josie Whitehead - Word document with picture to colour and permission to print this poem only for your class use. 3 Voice recording of above poem by author, Josie Whitehead
JosieWhitehead