“Europa’s” Secrets by Celia Berrell

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Europa’s Secrets by Celia Berrell


There’s hope Europa has a sea

where living things could really be

because this moon of Jupiter

has lots of solid ice water.


The pictures of Europa show

a crusty surface white as snow

with many lines and ridges mixed

like ice sheets that have cracked and fixed.


As Jupiter’s great gravity

distorts Europa’s cavity

that energy and friction heats

and melts some water underneath.


We think this frozen water layer

could make a sea that’s hiding there.

So just below that crusty shell

it’s possible some microbes dwell.


Or what if it turns out to hold

some animals both weird and bold

that roam Europa’s chilly sea.

True aliens to you and me!


First published in Scientriffic (March 2011)

Reproduced with permission of CSIRO


Discovering life exists in places beyond Earth – like Jupiter’s icy moon Europa – could be a reality in our lifetime.  Thinking about it makes my imagination run wild!  What will these creatures be like?

Teacher Notes by Jeanie Axton

Heres an interesting article from the NASA website


As far as poetry goes this topic stimulates the creative imagination of us all. Ask students to brain storm possibilities and then come up with a list of describing words that could be used to match their ideas. An acrostic could be an easy form of poetry to start with on this topic and then move on to other ways of presenting ideas in poetry. Have Fun.

“DAD’S BARBECUE” by Ron Marsh

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My father had a bullock,

I don’t know where he found it,

The council man came by one day,

And said he must impound it.

Now Dad said that it can’t be done,

Because he’d asked a few,

Of his friends and relatives  

To a barbecue.

The bull heard this, and with a roar,

He headed for the hills,

He had no plans for barbecues,

And salad for the frills.

So dad and all the family,

And some of his good friends,

Had barbecue of vegetables,

And other odds and ends.

“Song of the Wood” by Julie Cahill

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’Ssssshhhhh!’ the trees whispered

and the children froze 

absorbing sounds; standing up on their toes. 

‘Ribbit!’ The sound of a deep voiced frog.

‘What’s that?’ asked a child, hiding under a log.

‘Ribbit!’ said the deep voiced frog again.

‘Get lost’ said the girl in the wooded glen. 

‘Ssssshhhhh!’ said the trees

and the frog cleared his throat. 

‘Ribbit ribbit . . . riiiiiiiiiiiiiibit!’

‘Chchchchchchchchch  ‘ – a cricket tuned. 

‘Riiiiiiiiiiiibit’ the frog sung, renewed.

The wood came alive with wondrous ballett.

‘Chchchchchchchchch’ – the string quatet.

‘Chomp chomp chomp’ went the hungry deer. 

‘Ribbit.’ ‘Chomp chomp chomp chomp chomp chomp.’

‘Ribbit’. ‘Chomp chomp chomp chomp chomp chomp.’

‘Chchchchchchchchch’ ‘Chomp chomp’

‘Chchchchchchchchch’ ‘Chomp chomp’

And a boar joined in- bold and brave.

‘Stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp.’

‘Ribbit!’ ‘Stomp!’ ‘Ribbit!’ ‘Stomp’!’

‘Stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp!’


“Earthworms” by Elizabeth Cummings




Earthworm, you burrower extraordinaire

How can you stand to live down there

With your one cylindrical digestive tract

You move with the muscles that you contact

To make your body first short then long

And those bristles help propel you along

Through leaf litter, topsoil or deeper down

You help to mix up the stuff in the ground

This makes you the base of many a food chain

Yet your many skills are the environment’s gain

Your talent with organic matter is biological

And mixing tall the nutrients is a flair so chemical

Then there’s your physical ability of aerating

So the soil ecosystem’s restoration you’re helping

Thus let’s take some time to show a bit of gratitude

For how you improve the quality of our food!



“Worms both disgust and fascinate me! I remember my brother holding a worm in his hands as a toddler and exclaiming; ‘One worm two worms!’ as he pulled it part😱. After that I had nightmares about worms for years until one of my pupils brought a worm farm into the class and taught us all about he important work of the humble earthworm… a teacher can always learn from their students!

 “Meeting the Monster” by Monty Edwards

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 Meeting the Monster

One night a monster most grotesque

Crawled out from underneath my desk!

I closed my book and took a look

And felt that my whole body shook!

It had a head with horrid horns

That looked as sharp as roses’ thorns;

It’s nose was like a length of hose

Which drooped right down to touch its toes!

With eyes the size of fruit mince pies

It gazed at me in mute surprise

And then as it began to think,

I saw those eyes were turning pink,

While when its mouth was open wide,

The teeth were huge I saw inside!

A sound came out: more like a croak;

I cringed in fear, but then it spoke!

It rasped: ‘So sorry I’m so badly smelling:

I’ve come to help you with your spelling!’

But even as the monster spoke,

My dog went ‘Woof!’ and I awoke.