“My Funny Valentine” by James Aitchison

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(Allergic to love…)
My love is like a red, red rose
That tickles my poor girlfriend’s nose.
It makes her wheeze,
It makes her sneeze,
Be my Valentine, there she blows —
         Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh CHOOO!

“Fred, Ted and Ned” by Caroline Tuohey with Teacher Notes

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Fred, Ted and Ned.


I have a mate whose name is Fred.

“I’d like a verse,” is what he said.


So I sat down with sharpened lead,

and penned some lines that end in ‘ed’.


I wrote about a horse named Ned,

whose owner’s name was Mister Ted.


He built that horse a fancy shed;

He shod him, groomed him, kept him fed.


Ned had a rug of crimson red,

embroidered with a golden thread.


He wore that rug when Mister Ted,

last Sunday rode to church to wed


his girlfriend who had bravely led

an army – she had battle cred!


Then after vows they quickly sped,

along the road in wooden sled.

The sled was pulled, of course, by Ned.

The reins were held by Missus Ted,


while Mister Ted laid out a spread

of cakes and biscuits, jam and bread.


But now this verse must end dear Fred,

I’ve no more ‘eds’ left in my head!


Teacher Notes by Jeanie Axton


Common word families in English are: are: ack, ain, ake, ale, all, ame, an, ank, ap, ash, at, ate, aw ay, eat, ell, est, ice, ick, ide, ight, ill, in, ine, ing, ink, ip, it, ock, oke, op, ore, ot, uck ,ug, ump, unk.

Many of these are included in Nursery Rhymes.

Jack be nimble as seen below uses ack and ick

Lesson Idea

1. Put the common word families on cards and turn upside down on the floor

2. Students choose a card and brainstorm as many words as they can in that word family

3. Students then have a go at writing a rhyming poem similar to today’s poem

4. Give the poem to another student to make suggestions on improvements

5. Edit and the present to the class




“I’m mad about …..” by Katherine Gallagher with Teacher Notes

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I’m mad about . . .

I’m mad about honey

that’s runny and funny

I’m mad about cheese

that grows on old trees

I’m mad about chilli

that’s spice-cool and silly

I’m mad about eggs

and rainbow-striped veg

I’m mad about jam

on speckled green ham 

I’m mad about pepper

the hotter the better


Teacher’s note:

This exercise can be fun with ages 6 – 12. Give them Ogden Nash’s poem.

Mustard  as a prompt  

I’m mad about mustard,

                                      even on custard.

Then have a brief discussion  in which you ask them what they’re mad about


©Katherine Gallagher

“Cosy” by Penny Szentkuti

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It’s the middle of the night.

Mum got up first.

We’re whispering.

She’s making hot chocolate.

The heater’s on.

It’s cosy.

The TV’s quietly humming the anthem of a faraway place.

We snuggle into blankets on the couch.

The spoon clinks as mum stirs.

The players are in position.

The whistle goes.

All eyes on the ball.

The mug warms my hand.


Penny Szentkuti

‘The Bubble Rap’ by Celia Berrell


The Bubble Rap  

(an accidental invention)

Back in the fifties

there’s  Alfred and Marc.

Two keen engineers

with plenty of spark.


Making a wallpaper

easy to clean

by coating it in



Their plans were a flop

as blisters went pop.

With troublesome bubbles

the wallpaper’s dropped.


They couldn’t get rid 

of that air-filled gap.

Instead they’d invented 

the bubble wrap!


If you’re way off track

or you need some slack.

If you think you’ll crack

or you’ve lost the knack


If you’re in a flap

and your mind might snap

then pack up your troubles

in bubble wrap.


Moisture resistant

elastic and strong

it won’t scratch your things.

Abrasion is wrong.


Cushion possessions

on pockets of air.

It makes a good bed

if there’s more than one layer.


Pop it and snap it

or bend it and wrap it.

Bubbles in plastic’s

the best way to pack it.