“Leo the Lion” by Toni Newell

1 Comment

Leo the Lion.


I’ve been in a circus, for almost five years,

I have been taught tricks, and also to fear.

The whip has cracked, and I’m told to stand,

On my hind legs, at his command.

I’m asked to jump up, onto a stool,

And obey these orders, just like a fool.

The whip has cracked, and I jump off,

The Ringmaster bows and his hat does doff.

I hear the audience, clap and cheer,

And my heart feels heavy as it’s clear,

That I will never, ever again roam free,

And I’ll be forced to stay here,  in misery.

Now I’m told to strut around,

Then I drop onto the ground,

Where I roll over once, then twice,

And then again, which makes it thrice.

The whip has cracked, and up I stand,

Back onto the stool at his command.

Now I jump,  through hoops, on fire,

Whilst the audience gasps, as if in a choir.

And I wonder, would they like to be,

Here in this cage, instead of me.

After my job,  has been done,

I’m returned to the small cage, I can see the sun,

I close my eyes and sniff the breeze,

And imagine  I’m back in the wild, under trees.


Teacher Notes

For and Against animals in circus













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

Leave a comment

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