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

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

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

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

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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.
Not Done Your Homework?  A funny poem by Josie Whitehead for KS1, KS2 and KS3 Children
JosieWhitehead

Not Done Your Homework? A funny poem by Josie Whitehead for KS1, KS2 and KS3 Children

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1 - Voice Recording by author, Josie Whitehead 2 - PDF for your classroom screen 3 - Word Document with permission from author to print off for class use. POETRY PERFORMANCE This is a wonderful poem for children to perform, with lots of speaking parts for the children. Written in iambic heptameter, with words that dance across the page, and excellent rhyming, it is a poem that will be easy for children to learn. It is also a funny poem which I know that children love. LISTENING AND SPEAKING The voice recording, which I've made, is fun for children to listen to, even if it is just to break up hard study that has been done during the course of the day. I do so believe that children love to listen to a poem for fun, and as a break during their day, that, at the request of the children for whom I wrote my poems, I've added many voice recordings so that children can go themselves to my perfectly safe website and just listen and enjoy hearing the poems they like over and over again. This is a wonderful poem for performance with many speaking parts. ART Oh do get your children to do some funny pictures to go with this poem, and any particularly good ones you can always send to me to put with the poem on my website. I do hope your children enjoy my work, and teachers, you also of course.
PEAS PLEASE - A Funny Performance Poem for KS1 AND KS2 Children - written in DACTYLIC METRE
JosieWhitehead

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

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

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

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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.
 REALLY LOOKING KS2 - PERSONIFICATION - The Spring Goddess, poem by Josie Whitehead - KS2/KS3
JosieWhitehead

REALLY LOOKING KS2 - PERSONIFICATION - The Spring Goddess, poem by Josie Whitehead - KS2/KS3

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KS2 - REALLY LOOKING The Spring Goddess - poem by Josie Whitehead 1 Voice recording by Josie Whitehead, author of this poem. 2 PDF of poem for your classroom screen 3 Word document of poem 4 How we use PERSONIFICATION to enhance our writing of the natural world. ART: Your pupils could bring in pictures etc of spring for the classroom board, to surround the poem. DRAMA: This is a wonderful poem which should be learnt by heart (even if only a verse each) by the children for performance. My own voice recording should encourage children to put expression into their recitals to make the poem interesting to the listener. LISTENING/SPEAKING: Children can enjoy a spring poem written in free verse. They can hear it and can talk about the things which they've seen in their own natural world which tell them that spring is almost here. SENSES: This poem demonstrates well how you must use your senses when writing, to enhance your writing. PERSONIFICATION: This poem personifies spring in a wonderful way, and there is an attached sheet which explains personification, giving examples from my own poems, and giving the children the chance to follow me in some sentences of their own. TEACHERS: If you'd like to make some really good lesson plans for TES etc I'd be thrilled. Please do contact me as I have 1,350 poems and many have been chosen by teachers and children for publishing. (See website).
EASTER-TIME by Josie Whitehead - A poem with personification and written in tetrameter - KS2 and KS3
JosieWhitehead

EASTER-TIME by Josie Whitehead - A poem with personification and written in tetrameter - KS2 and KS3

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1 - Voice Recording of poem by author Josie Whitehead 2 - PDF of poem for your screen 3 - Word document with permission to print off my poem 4 - Explanation and further examples of personification in poetry and explanation of iambic tetrameter with examples and the opportunity for children to try writing it, following simple examples. DRAMA: This is a wonderful poem for performance with its good steady iambic beat. It is an opportunity for children to learn to throw their voices clearly across the classroom, putting expression into their voices to make their recitals interesting. ART: Why not put this poem as a centre-piece on your classroom wall-board and ask children to take photographs over Easter to illustrate the poem? They will see lots of signs of spring arriving I hope. LISTENING AND SPEAKING: Listen to the voice recording several times and let the children join in. WRITING: There is the opportunity for children to give examples of personification in other poems. If they go to my website to the "Weather and Seasons" Index, they'll find lots of examples in the poems and can also find the poems I've already mentioned on the worksheet. Let the children try writing some simple iambic sentences, recognizing that the heavy beats come from the way we have small stresses in our words in the English language, which makes our language beautifully musical.
Shhh - What Can You Hear? - poem by Josie Whitehead (ONOMATOPOEIA and SENSES POEM) - KS1 & 2
JosieWhitehead

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

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

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

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

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

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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.
My Friends - A Poem by Josie Whitehead - KS1 Poetry
JosieWhitehead

My Friends - A Poem by Josie Whitehead - KS1 Poetry

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1 Word document with permission from author to print off 2 Voice recording by author 3 PDF with permission to use on classroom screen 4 Explanation of simple metre used in poem - ie iambic tetrameter, ie 4 iambic feet per line with aabb rhyming. This and many other poems for KS1 are on my website with special poems for National Poetry Day - 4 October 2018 - Josie The children may like to have this poem on the wall and bring in some pictures of their friends to put around it. Perhaps they might like to draw some in fact.
EASTER-TIME - Easter poem with explanation of metre and imagery, with worksheet
JosieWhitehead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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
THE SMELL-SNATCHER  - Josie Whitehead - - Senses poem;  Vocab. (smell) - Alliteration; Iambic metre
JosieWhitehead

THE SMELL-SNATCHER - Josie Whitehead - - Senses poem; Vocab. (smell) - Alliteration; Iambic metre

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1 - Voice recording by author, Josie Whitehead 2 - PDF for your classroom screen 3 - Worksheet explaining alliteration; senses - smell vocabulary extension; iambic heptameter etc 4 - Word document of this poem with permission from author (copyright) to print off for use in classroom. The children should better understand various language used in connection with the sense of smell. They should understand and term "alliteration" and demonstrate this understanding by doing the exercise. They should be able to recognize iambic metre in poetry, and in particular be able to state what heptameter means. They will understand how the choice of adjectives need to be selective, both for enhancing writing and for keeping within the metre of the poetry. They should be able to perform this poem well, throwing their voices clearly across the classroom without shouting, and be able to put expression into their voices, to make their own performance effective. Listening and Speaking: I believe that the LISTENING to poetry should well precede reading. Allow the children to soak up the story, the language, the metre and the expression in a voice. Poetry is a language art which links to music and song as well as to drama and, as with music, you listen to it first before studying the notes on the paper. I'd love some feedback on my work if possible please. I hope it will be useful to you and if you have recently used my poem "The Taste-Taker" this shows children how easy it is to take one poem and make another one in a similar way with a slight twist of the subject and vocabulary, but using the original poem as a template. The two poems twin. NOTE: If any teacher would like to do good lesson plans to go with my poems, I'd be delighted to work with you. Contact me. Also: If your children want to listen or read more of my poems, please tell them to write Google JOSIE'S POEMS on the corner of their exercise book. There are 1,350 new poems there which I've written for them. and for you.
Dispatching Your Tickle by Josie Whitehead - A three-versed limerick and also a Funny poem
JosieWhitehead

Dispatching Your Tickle by Josie Whitehead - A three-versed limerick and also a Funny poem

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1 - Voice Recording by poet Josie Whitehead (writer of this). 2 - Word document of the poem 3 - PDF of poem. 4 - Notes by author explaining with examples how to write a limerick. PERFORMANCE POEMS The very best are written with good rhyme and excellent rhythm, and limericks are ideal because they have both. This limerick MUST be performed. You need to learn the words off by heart (no looking down at bits of paper) - and you need to speak clearly and not too fast, throwing your voice to the farthest-away part of the classroom, and don't forget to put lots and lots of expression into your performance. This particular poem has been chosen by children worldwide to perform for my visits, and I have been very impressed, especially when, for many of them, English is a second language. I hope you enjoy this limerick and seek out more, as well as writing your own.