Balloon with Teacher notes

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Poem by James Aitchison

Teacher Notes by Jeanie Axton

I think students would find shape poems a lot of fun to write. James has given us an excellent example of a balloon shape poem. Students could copy this example and write their own words.

Other examples of simple shapes to start with are:

  • Kite
  • Footy oval
  • The outline of a hand
  • Star
  • Flower
  • Moon

Students in groups could make giant shape poems on coloured card to be displayed.

Another opportunity here is to build on IT skills and get the students to learn how to make shape poems digitally in different programs.

Have fun with shape poems.



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POEM: Kylie Covark

Teacher Notes: Jeanie Axton

This poem is a wonderful opportunity to introduce the language of poetry to your class. When you read the poem to the students get them to point out the words that create feeling. Then to extend the class list possible alternative words in this poem.

Acrostics are a simple way to introduce a unit of work on poetry. I have found students find them easy enough to write. An idea is to start with their name and then each letter is a self descriptor. For example: SAM




The good copy of these poems with a photo or illustration could be made into a class book for students to reread during the year.

Have fun.

TEACHER’S REVENGE ! with Teacher Notes

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“Time, boys time!” the teacher said,
“Enough’s enough, now off to bed!”
At least ten minutes we stayed before
Cautiously opening the dormitory door,
Held our breath and tiptoed out.
Everyone was just about
Ready to raid the pantry when –
‘“So! Caught out red-handed then!”

Right, left, right to the dorm we went,
Each of us dreading sir’s intent –
Very grounded the rest of term or
Each of us feel the cane’s full furor!
Now we all think twice about
Going forth after lights are out!
Everyone KNOWS what waits without!


ACROSTIC – TEACHER’S REVENGE Teacher Notes by J.R.Poulter

My father was sent to boarding school from an early age. His stories of life in a large boarding school, about what the boys got up to, inspired my acrostic.

School life today is both the same and very different.

Activity: List ways school life has not changed.
List ways in which it has changed.
Are the changes for the better or worse?
In giving you answer, write an acrostic using the word,
YES, for changes to the better, and the word, NAY, for changes for the worse.

Legs in the air with Teacher Notes

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Legs in the air

What have you been eating Brock?
That is causing quite a stink
Was it green and red?
Or yellow, brown and pink?

What have you been eating Brock?
The smell is really bad
Was it a piece of carrot cake?
You stole from snoring Dad

What have you been eating Brock?
The whole house it does reek
Was it from the garbage bin
That’s been sitting there all week

What have you been eating Brock?
Your gastric juices churning
One whiff and we will leave the room
Today not be returning

Brock, your plan is very clever
As you work your inner gut
To get your favourite seat at home
You whistle out your butt

Jeanie Axton

This is Brock. Look at that grin.

Teacher Notes:

If you want to be slightly serious you could have a discussion about what causes flatulence in dogs. Types of foods to avoid etc

However if you can get hold of the book “ Walter the Farting Dog” and read to your class I guarantee you will have laughter. Here is a link to the book being read aloud on YouTube with great sound effects.

Have fun.


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Jeremy James Johnson was a very naughty boy.
Fatty fried junk foods were all that he’d enjoy.

Now Jeremy had a little dog, his name was Mut
He sat under the table, his mouth never shut.

Mut liked cauliflour, carrots and celery stewed,
He ate every scrap because he just liked food.

So Jeremy was able to show a plate scraped clean,
And demand two helpings of chocolate ice cream.

He got away with this for month after month,
Jeremy got thinner and Mut strong and plump.

Jeremy looked at Mut who shared his day,
And saw how fast he ran around to play.

“Mut’s not tired and runs faster than me.
Why does he still have so much energy?’

His father with glee got to Jeremy at last.
“Mut eats all his vegies that’s why he’s fast.”

Jeremy James Johnson is now very very good.
He eats all his vegies as every child should.

And fatty fried foods make him feel very sick
Because Jeremy is now on a fitness kick.

Margaret Pearce


Teacher Notes: by Jeanie Axton

1. First of all this poem leads to discussions about food choices for both humans and dogs. This could lead to creating menus for both, covering all the food groups. Here are a few links “Australian Standards” for us and advise on food for our doggy friends.

The 16th is Chinese New Year and the theme this year is “Year of the Dog”

2. There are a myriad of discussion points ranging from why and how the Chinese celebrate their new year through to their influences on Australian culture.
Well worth discussing the way they were treated when they came over for the gold rush .
Here is a link that would be suitable for secondary students

3. You could for Junior Primary or Primary students set up a book display in your classroom of dog books. One of my all time favourites is “Walter the Farting Dog” It is very funny.
You could set up a display of photos of the students dogs.
And maybe even get them to write poems about their dogs. If you get them to write poems please send me a few and I’ll put them on the blog.
If your really brave you could have a bring in your Dog day.
Have fun it’s a great theme.

Monkey Mia with Teacher Notes

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Monkey Mia

Word runs round the campsite
They’re in! They’re coming in!
Instantly the baking beach is crowded
We stand knee-high in sea
Yearning, stretching towards the horizon
Where the dolphins appear

A meeting, we trust, of minds
Eager as ours, for contact
For reaching across the species barrier
In love

They nudge our legs
We stroke their satiny sides
Well away from the eyes and
​blow-hole vents
Each name age and relationship
Is learned from the dorsal fin
Distinctive, notched or bent
This is the larger part of the pod
Females and young

In supreme trust one mother
Allows her baby to come closer
Guarded and shepherded by its
​big sister
To swim between the legs
Right at the shore
Oh little one! we greet it
With rapture

They leave
The beach is deserted, desolate
Under the searing sun,
the blusterous hot wind

We leave
Drive back through the bright jewels
Strung on their breathless chain of heat –
Stromatolites and Pinnacles aeons old
A gorge and its curving
Stone-carving river –
There is a snake, a lizard
And woe! a car-slaughtered emu

Leaving its life-long partner

In Perth a small news item –
The dolphin baby is dead
Killed, it seems, by effluent from the camp
Oh little one!
It was our manure that was your doom

Home again
We bear bright cameos
Of beauty and strangeness and difference
Of wildness and creatures who trust
Of encounters with alien minds
Paid for by us with guilt and grief
Paid for by them with their lives.

Virginia Lowe

Notes by Jeanie Axton

This poem is an opportunity to discuss the environmental impact of Tourism. It was published in 1996. You could look at the changes that have been made in Tourism in Australia from then to protect the environment and our animal friends.

Here is a link to information on the current operation. Up to three rangers are on duty at any time and only selected people feed the dolphins.

And a link to a YouTube clip:

The Stray, Christmas morning with teacher notes

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Teacher Notes:

English writing skills

Write a short description of what you would feel if you woke Christmas morning to not one present. Compare this to finding your Christmas wish granted had been granted.


Drawing and emotional intelligence

Draw a four frame comic showing the changes a thoughtful gift can make to a sad person’s facial expression.


Team work:

List ways the class could work together to make a difference in the lives of less fortunate folk this Christmas. With your teacher’s guidance, implement one of your class’s projects.


Make a photo diary of how you all worked to achieve your outcome as a class.


Pic and poem and teacher notes by J.R.Poulter