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.

Sequencing:

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

Chocolate Box Planet 

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Chocolate Box Planet

 

Let’s hope this won’t come as a shock

but Earth’s not made of solid rock.

Instead it’s like those fancy chocs

you sometimes get inside a box.

 

The centre’s dense and very hot.

And hard just like a hazelnut.

It’s mostly made from iron ore.

We label it the Inner Core.

 

The Outer Core’s a liquid goo

like runny toffee soft to chew.

The iron’s melted here as well

but wouldn’t taste of caramel.

 

The Mantle is a bit bizarre.

A kind of squishy-tough nougat.

It’s sometimes liquid sometimes not.

We call it semi-solid rock.

 

And finally the chocolate coating.

Thin and crisp and kind of floating.

Made from rocky plates that thrust

some bumps upon our choccy’s Crust.

 

Although our World’s too big to eat

and wouldn’t taste much like a sweet

a nutty chocolate compares

with eating through Earth’s many layers.

 

by Celia Berrell

C is definitely for Chocolate, so I enjoyed imagining a WORLD of chocolate … especially for Christmas!

The Visit

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The Visit

Cautiously, creeping down the stairs,

carefully avoiding the creaks,

we stop

and take each other’s hand.

At the bottom we tiptoe,

trembling,

towards the door.

Almost afraid to breath

we slowly, gently, push it open.

Beneath the twinkling lights

sit the gifts.

‘He’s been,’ we whisper

‘He’s been.’

 

Pat Simmons

(Published 2014 by Celapene Press, Short and Twisted and Thynks Publications Bards at Blidworth and Beyond Anthology of Poems)

Compound Interest

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Compound Interest

 

You are the jingle in my bells

The tick in my tock

The flash in my light

The spring in my time

The whirl in my wind

The tell in my tale

You are the ever in my lasting

The ginger in my bread

The life in my boat

It has to be said

Alan j Wright

Car Sick

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CAR SICK

 

Green

Our fast green car

Green world

Stomach churning

Head spinning

Spinning

The world turning

Upside down

Downside up

Around and around

Wheels rolling

Streets passing

Blurred buildings

Blurred faces

Blur blur blur

Ur…

Dad, stop!

I’m going to throw …

 

Too late.

 

 

© Dianne Bates

This Season

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THIS SEASON                    

 

The moon tonight is a marble,

perfect and white.

See it there

above the rows of trees

bare-limbed and angular

lifting hands

as if in prayer

in the valley

that continues forever.

 

Comes dawn and warmth for

the slumbering bed of seeds

laid in rows like soldiers,

mute, and obedient to the seasons.

 

Comes a drizzle of rain

and baby fingers unfold,

reach for the yellow hot goodness

of sun.

 

Comes the gardener

Who tends the struggling army

defends it against the enemy,

the battalions of flying and crawling insects

and the dryness of earth;

She sprays, hoes,

waits for the hostage stems to unfurl,

to stretch, to uncurl.

 

Comes the leaves,

the unfolding flowers, and then…

ah yes,

the plant ripe with fruit,

the scent of Eden in the air!

 

© Dianne Bates

Warm and Fluffy

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Warm And Fluffy

 

The animals have hairy fur.

The birds have got their feathers.

These keep their bodies warm enough

throughout the chilly weather.

 

The fibres in those fluffy coats

criss-cross to form some air-holes

that can’t escape or waft away

because of all the hair-folds.

 

Their skin gives off some body-warmth.

Just like a radiator.

Their fluffy coats help keep that heat

as thermal insulators.

 

The warm air’s trapped inside the fur

to shield them from the outside.

The way that blankets on a bed

are cosy on the inside.

 

But if that fluffy coat gets wet

those air-holes fill with water.

Their body’s warmth escapes as that

wet coat’s a heat conductor.

 

The soggy fur clings to their skin.

No longer insulated.

And water makes their body cold

as it’s evaporated.

 

Any fluffy animal will

shake that water well away.

So if your puppy’s had a swim …

Watch-out for all that water spray!

 

 

When it comes to having a fluffy coat, it’s a good idea to shaking off any water, so as not to get cold.  Dogs are the best shakers!  I love the sound of their lips and soggy ears slapping their head as they do it.

 

by Celia Berrell

A Goat Afloat

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A Goat Afloat

I wear a silver collar, I’m a rather special goat.

Hooves firmly planted on the ground, but once I was afloat.

‘A goat afloat?’ I hear you say.

It’s true. Ask Captain Cook.

Twice I’ve sailed around the world.

I’d like to write a book

 

Called

Memoirs of my life at sea

Jottings by a goat

The good the bad the ugly facts

Of life upon a boat.

 

Well, all right, ships,

Let’s get it right

Named

Dolphin and Endeavour

And with respect, I must say this,

I really hope I never set hoof again on either one.

Three years was long enough.

Giving milk for all that time quite frankly dears was tough.

 

Smelly sheep and smelly hens, smelly cattle too,

Smelly cats and smelly dogs

And very smelly crew.

Snow and storms and slippery decks, fresh grass in short supply.

No other goats for company to help the time pass by.

 

But now I’m home and quite well known

(My story’s in the press)

Enjoying my retirement, free from stormy seas and stress.

 

I wear a silver collar, I’m a rather special goat.

Hooves firmly planted on the ground, but once I was afloat.

Pat Simmons

 

 

 

 

 

Pigeon Grey

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Pigeon Grey

 

 

Way down passed our shed,

Where the realm of humans ends,

‘Mongst the mottled bottle brushes

Live a hundred feathered friends.

 

And ninety-nine of those

Cavort and romp and play,

And the only one left out

Is poor old Pigeon Grey.

 

The magpies are quite striking

And the honey-eaters fair,

The rosellas are spectacular;

It’s tricky not to stare.

 

They gather in the bird bath

Where they primp and preen all day,

But when Pigeon tries to join them

They squawk, “Ew! Get away!”

 

 

 

And Pigeon Grey sighs deeply

Then he sits off on his own,

He watches on with envy

Wishing he was not alone.

 

If only they would speak to him

Those other birds would find

That Pigeon Grey is funny.

He is clever. He is kind.

 

But they all look down their beaks

At his feathers drab and grey,

And then rather than converse with him

They just squawk “Get away!”

 

Then one day there is twittering,

The garden is in shock.

Pigeon Grey has made a friend;

The new bird on the block.

 

And the whispers are quite snippy,

“That new bird she must be dull.

Perhaps another pigeon

Or an imbecilic gull!”

 

But the honey-eater sees her

And she has to look once more.

This new bird is not dull at all.

This bird is not a bore.

 

Her feathers start as brightest blue,

Then yellow, red, and green.

If the garden was a monarchy

Then she would be its queen.

 

There’s a hustle then to meet her,

A bustle and a fuss.

“You don’t have to sit with Pigeon Grey,

Come here and sit with us!”

 

But the lorikeet shakes her head,

“I’d rather stay right here.

The world seems so much shinier

When Pigeon Grey is near.”

 

The other birds they bristle,

“It simply can’t be true.

He is drab and dreary,

He’s not half as bright as you.”

The lorikeet looks surprised,

“You don’t know him at all.

Pigeon Grey is marvellous,

He’s famed beyond your wall.

 

“Have you not heard his music,

As he wakes the morning sun?

If you’ve spent the afternoon with him

Has it not been loads of fun?

 

“Have you seen him cheer a baby bird

As it first takes to the skies?

Have you heard him tell a funny tale

With laughter in his eyes?

 

“Have you come to him with worries

And been sure he’d listen well?

Have you taken on the sage advice

That he will freely tell?”

 

“If you’ve ever asked him for his help

Did he make you wait?

I’m sure that you must know the truth.

Pigeon Grey is great!”

 

Pigeon Grey is humbled

But as he looks around,

His neighbours will not meet his eyes;

They all stare at the ground.

 

But then a tiny bird agrees,

“Yes, Pigeon Grey’s the best!

He taught me to be brave

When I was scared to leave the nest.”

 

And others pipe up too

With their tales that spring to mind.

Indeed, each bird does seem to know

That Pigeon Grey is kind.

 

Way down passed our shed,

Where the realm of humans ends,

‘Mongst the mottled bottle brushes

Live a hundred feathered friends.

 

And each one of those hundred

Cavort and romp and play,

But the one they all love best of all

Is dear old Pigeon Grey.

By Kylie Covark

Birds of a Feather

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Birds of a Feather

There’s a paddling of ducklings in my lake
And a purr of pussycats half awake

There’s a trembling of finches on my lawn
And a purr of pussycats stretch and yawn

There’s a troubling of hummingbirds in my blossom
And a purr of pussycats playing possum

There’s a pitying of turtledoves cooing to their mate
And a purr of pussycats rubbing on the gate

There’s a quarrel of sparrows busy with their fight
And a purr of pussycats keeping out of sight

There’s a peep of chickens and a bevy of quails
And a purr of pussycats wagging their tails

But then, in the sky, is a murder of crows
And a prickle of pussycats hide in the rose

Jackie Hosking