“Fruity Beauties” by JR Poulter with Teacher Notes

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”Cyrch a Chwta: a Challenge!” by James Aitchison with Teacher Notes

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Cyrch a Chwta: a Challenge!

My cat adores nothing more

Than salmon, whiting and flake.

And as for my Labrador,

He demands a juicy steak.

But they will not eat them raw —

I cook them, for heaven’s sake!

My parrot says I’m cuckoo.

What to do?  I need a break.

James Aitchison

Teachers’ notes:

God bless the Welsh!  Their fun poetic form, pronounced kirch a choota, requires:

  1. An octave stanza (eight lines)
  2. Seven syllables per line
  3. A choice of two rhyming patterns: aaaaaaba or abababcb; the big trick is Line 7, which has too cross-rhyme internally with Line 8, on either the third, fourth or fifth syllable!


In my poem above, the schematic is:









“Question” with Teacher Notes by Katherine Gallagher

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Would you like

                         to say Hi

​​​                                      to a beetle?


A beetle would

                          like to say Hi

                                         ​to you. . .

Teacher Notes:

This poem can be a fun-exercise with 6-9 year olds. Get prompts from the class for a range of insects. This can also instruct them in the types and range of insects and for example, in the case of beetles, the enormous number of different kinds, viz. dung-beetles, stag-beetles and their importance in nature. It can also be interesting to divide the class into two groups, with one half asking the question, ‘Would you like/to say Hi/to a beetle? substituting meanwhile the names of different insects, while the replies are given by the other half of the class.

A RHUPUNT FOR SPRING with Teacher Notes by James Aitchison

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Spring’s colour thrills

when daffodils

and bold jonquils

burst into bloom.


Tulips tower,

freesias flower,

colours shower,

banishing gloom.


All spring we’re blessed;

bulbs give their best,

’til time to rest

in a dark room.


James Aitchison


Teacher Notes: How about trying this with your students?



A rhupunt (pronounced hree’-pintis a Welsh poem with some curious rules:

  1. Each line must have four syllables
  2. The first three lines of each stanza must rhyme
  3. The final line of each stanza must rhyme with the final lines of the other stanzas (in other words: aaab, cccb, dddb, eeeb, etc)
  4. Each stanza works as a complete sentence or verse in itself.
  5. If you prefer, stanzas can have three lines (aab, ccb, etc) — or five lines (aaaab, ccccb, etc) — it’s up to you.

“April Fool” by Virginia Lowe with Spring Teacher Notes



April Fool


I’m looking for Spring

as so many do

for blossom and bulbs

shy violets hold dew


What greets me is change

Winds, rain and shine

It’s now Autumn here

but there’s no call to pine


There are strawberry guavas,

feijoas and pears

very few flowers

but no one much cares


We’d rather our garden

is brimming with fruit

There’ll be time in September

For Flora’s fair loot





Teacher Notes for Spring:

Watch this famous poem written by William Wordsworth as a class.

For William Wordsworth, poetry was “the spontaneous overflow of emotion reflected in tranquility.” In this poem, the aim is for the speaker to experience a connection with nature.

Look at the key words in this poem then go outside for a walk in nature with the students.

See if they then can write a poem that connects people with the natural world.