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


Chocolate Box Planet 


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!

My Christmas Story

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My Christmas Story


I’m writing a Christmas story.

It feels like Winter snow.

I’d better get a move on;

Just six more sleeps to go.


I’m writing a Christmas story.

It sounds like Ho Ho Ho.

I’d better get my skates on;

Just five more sleeps to go.


I’m writing a Christmas story.

It smells like cookie dough.

I’d better get a roll on;

Just four more sleeps to go.


I’m writing a Christmas story,

But it’s not the one I know.

I’d better pull the reins in

With three more sleeps to go.


I’m writing a Christmas story.

It smells like fresh mango,

I’d better take it easy;

Still two more sleeps to go.


I’m writing a Christmas story.

It sounds like the sea’s flow,

It’s time to take a rest now;

Just one more sleep to go.


I’m writing a Christmas story.

It feels like Summer’s glow.

And today I’ll live that story;

A Christmas of my own.


By Kylie Covark


“Christmas Confusion” with Teacher notes


Christmas Confusion.

Exhausted I was – one Christmas Eve,

After putting out presents for Santa – Indeed!

I sat on the sofa and ate Santa’s supper.

Instead of the milk – I had a hot cuppa.


I started to doze, I started to dream.

I dreamt I was flying as one of a team.

It was cold; it was freezing; my nose – it was red!

Then someone roared “Rudolf!” And I turned my head.


“To the top of the porch…”

“Yes I know how it goes.”

And instinctively up off the ground I arose.

Dashing here, there and yonder,

With no time to ponder.

Delivering presents all made by the elves.


And when the night ended,

And at last we descended;

I wearily lay down to rest on the hay.

I started to doze, I started to dream.

Then someone yelled “Dad! Where have you been?

Santa’s left presents! Mum’s set the table…

Why are you out here asleep in the stable?”


By: Louise McCarthy.

Teacher Notes:

Christmas is a great time of year to let the imagination go and give students tasks that are  engaging, relevant and fun.

After reading this poem ask students to write their own story of what happened when they closed their eyes on Christmas Eve. When the story is written give them a device Eg: an iPad and they can type the story into presentation software (Keynote, PowerPoint etc) and add images. These could be presented to the class. Have fun.

PS: Hang in there teachers only a week to go.


The Visit


The Visit

Cautiously, creeping down the stairs,

carefully avoiding the creaks,

we stop

and take each other’s hand.

At the bottom we tiptoe,


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)

A Fluffy Thermometer

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A Fluffy Thermometer


There’s plenty of ways

to tell if the day is

too hot or cold

without being told.


You could try and catch

a fluffy pet cat

then watch and observe

to see how it’s curved.


When days are too hot

it’s likely as not

that cat’s all sprawled-out

in some shaded spot.


When researchers test

what temperature’s best

for comfort of cats

they find out these facts.


Those felines agree

that eighteen degrees

is purr-fectly warm

for cat’s furry form.


Then when it’s too cold

those pussycats fold

up cosy and still

to keep out the chill.


by Celia Berrell


While the weather is warming up in Australia, winter is well on its way in the northern hemisphere.  Does that mean there will be more outside cats curled up when I go to visit?  Living in the tropics, I think even eighteen degrees is decidedly chilly!  What’s your purrfect temperature?

Scoot Scoot

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Scoot Scoot


Scoot Scoot

Said the scooter

Shining in the sun

Time for me

To have some fun


Zoom Zoom

Said the scooter

Rider and helmet ready

Today we go fast

But take it steady


Whoosh Whoosh

Said the scooter

Down the street

Feet on kickboard

Who can we beat?


Zip Zip

Said the scooter

What a fun day

Zooming along

Smiling all the way


Jump Jump

Said the scooter

Trying a trick

Up in the air

And down real quick


Ring Ring

Said the scooter

A loud ring of the bell

Turn and head back

All is well


Yawn Yawn

Said the scooter

I’ve had a big day

Time to go home

Slowly make my way


Shuffle Shuffle

Said the scooter

Trudging back to the shed

Time for scooters

To be in scooter bed


Snooze Snooze

Said the scooter

Snoring away

Dreaming of tomorrow

Another scooter day


by Jeanie Axton (my first poem ever in a published book)


The inspiration for Scoot Scoot was in restoring this old scooter I found in a second hand shop

This poem was included in “The Toy Chest” a novel Anthology from Prints Charming Books

Edited by Sally Odgers Published July 2017