“Kitty Says!” by   By J.R.Poulter with Teacher Notes

Leave a comment

Kitty Says!    



They’ve got you long necked lambkins,

You’re properly boxed in, hey!

Don’t you wish you could be me,

No fences bar my way!



As you can see, we have been shorn,

We feel so light and free!

When do you get clipped and snipped?



I DON’T! They let me be!


Teacher Notes

Same and different


Can the students pick elements that are the same and elements that are different relating to Llamas and cats?

Both animals are ‘Domestic’ animals. What does this mean?

Both animals have thick fur.

Llamas are shorn for their wool, much like sheep.

Cats are not.


Cats are carnivorous. What does this mean?

Llamas are herbivores. What does that mean?


Whilst Llamas can certainly jump lower objects, the fence in the picture is too high for them to jump.

The cat, however, has had no trouble jumping up onto the post!


Activity: what do you think the cat might be saying to the Llamas and what do you think the Llamas might be saying back? Discuss.

Activity: Write a short skit to act out in class, with parts for the llamas and the cat.


Activity: There is another word that sounds like ‘Llama’ but has a variation to spelling and with a different meaning. What is that word and what does it mean?

Activity: The word ‘cat’ can have other meanings. It can refer to a ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ person or to a person whose behaviour that is catlike (‘catty’ ‘cattish’ or spiteful, mean). Write a sentence that uses the ‘cool’ meaning for ‘cat’ and another sentence that uses the ‘spiteful’ meaning for ‘cat’.

“Moon Zoom” by J.R.Poulter with Teacher Notes

1 Comment

Moon Zoom

There’s the Moon,
Way up high,
Over the rooftops,
Up in the sky!
Oh, my!
Here’s the Moon
And someone’s there!
An astronaut
Shot through the air,
He dared!
Do YOU want to know
About outer-Space?
Would you like to go
To that far-away place?
Space ace!
Science will show you
Where, why, how,
Scientists will
Create the ‘wow!’
Learn now!
Teacher Notes & Activities
Search out the answers to a fun space quiz to test you knowledge about space travel and the daily life of an astronaut.
1. What was ‘Sputnik’?
2. What was the date of the first Moon Mission?
3. Who was the first man to walk on the moon?
4. Did the astronauts on that Moon landing leave anything behind on the moon?
5. There are photos of astronauts floating around the cabin of the spacecraft. Why do they float?
6. Find a definition for ‘zero gravity’ – then describe it in your own words.
7. What did the astronauts eat and drink whilst travelling on their journey to the Moon and back?
8. How many missions were there to the Moon?
9. Who were the astronauts on the first Moon landing mission?
10. Who was the first woman to go into outer-space?
Activity: Build a model of the solar system in class.
Activity: Find pictures that illustrate space stories, poems, fantasies –
Moon, ‘Man in the Moon’
Image from an old children’s book of rhymes –
Moon poems by kids

“Once Upon a Time” by J.R. Poulter with Teacher Notes

Leave a comment

Once Upon a Time    by J.R.Poulter

Once upon a long ago

In the distant mists of time

There was a prince who had to make

A poesy all in rhyme.


He had to weave a wondrous tale

For his intended bride,

That swept the legends of the land

The myths from far and wide


Into one vast saga,

A tome to end all tomes!

He set out to collect the tales,

It took him far from home.


The prince crossed many deserts,

He climbed  too many hills,

He walked through sun and snow and sleet.

He suffered many ills!


At last, he had his great big book!

At last, he’d wed his bride!

But as he neared the castle,

He heard a mournful sigh…


What stood there was a ruin,

Wind moaned through empty halls.

Of all the pomp and pageantry,

Nothing was left at all…


Amidst a drape of spider webs

Within the central court,

He found a tomb whose statuary

Had been most marvelous wrought.


There was his bride, robed as a queen,

Her king was by her side.

A scroll lay open on her lap

Of fictions, fables, lies…


The prince stood still, 

As turned to stone.

The ancient beams

Above him groaned.


A crack, a scream,

He was no more.

The Tome of Tales 

Lay on the floor.


The wind tore at the pages,

Tossing them far away.

All that was left, the marble tomb

And what it had to say,


“Once upon a time…”

[in “Myths & Legends” a Prints Charming Anthology edited by Sally Odgers]


“Once Upon a Time” is a narrative verse fantasy in loosely rhyming quatrains.

The story is framed around the idea of a ‘trial of love’ whereby a suitor is set a difficult task, which he has to perform in order to win the lady he loves.

Difficult to impossible tasks are seen in other fairy tales. Rumplestiltskin and Cinderella are examples.  Greek legends also contain this sort of plot device  as with the trials of Hercules and the legend of Perseus and Medusa.

Activity: Write a story or draw a wall frieze in sections  about a hero who is set an impossible task  and how he achieves it.

Discussion: It is said a challenge is good for you, it develops your thinking processes and your problem solving skills. True or false? Give reasons.

Activity: List examples of  ‘challenges’ you meet in everyday life.

Discussion: Homework and chores – institutionalized cruelty, child labour are necessary for maturation/character building, learning responsibility  and ‘earning’ our way.

“A Spring Thing” by JR Poulter with Teacher Notes

Leave a comment

Teacher Notes and Activities  by J.R.Poulter


The Seasons have been the inspiration for many poets over the years.

The earliest that I know of, is the beautiful passage of poetry  in the Book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, verses 1 to 8, that begins –

“To everything there is a season,”

This passage, in its turn, inspired the song “Turn! Turn! Turn!”  sung by The Seekers in 1964, The Byrds in 1965, Mary Hopkin in 1968 and, most recently, by Bruce Springsteen in 2008. The song, which is poetry set to music, was written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s.

Activity: Find at least two other modern songs that speak about the seasons.


Spring and Summer generally evoke joyous poems that celebrate the coming of new life.

Autumn and Winter generally evoke feelings of loss, sorrow, longing…

Activity: Find a poem  for each season that reflects the more traditional feelings associated with that season.

Activity: Write a short poem, a quatrain or a haiku, that reflects the opposite of the traditional view of each season. For example, spring might be sneezin’ season, summer might be ‘all hot’n bother,’ autumn could be a celebration of its fiery colours, winter could be all about enjoying winter sports.


Spring Thing” talks about the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring.

How do you know this?

Activity:  List at least two phrases or lines that suggest Winter and another two phrases or lines that suggest Spring.


Activity: Find examples of the following poetic devices in the poem, “Spring Thing.”

Transferred epithet
Lines with internal rhyme


Lost Generation with Notes

Leave a comment




Lost Generation by J.R.Poulter, image by Dandi Palmer



The men fought and died for Australia in World War I, are often referred to as the ‘lost generation.’

Australian was a young country and we needed our manpower to build our nation. However, when World War I broke out, everyone in Australia felt strongly it was their patriotic duty to do whatever they could to  aid the war effort, including going to fight overseas in a strange country, in appalling conditions.


A great many men died, women too.  The dimension of the loss of life  was greatly out of proportion to the size of the Australian population at that time. SO many died that there was hardly a family in Australia who had not lost at least one family member to war.



Write a story or poem about someone in your family history who fought in a devastating war.

Illustrate it with a picture of them you have drawn or a copy of a photograph of them.

Do a rubbing of their medals and share with the class  what the medals were for.


Think about the lines –

They fought and died – and who’s to blame?

The earth treats friend and foe the same.


And, at the end of the poem –


The scene has changed; the sky’s still blue


Write them in your own words, explaining what you think they mean.


Why do you think the poet used the words ‘ghost grey’ in the line –

In ghost grey light, they went to war.


The War Memorial in each capital city, has a great many images depicting the various wars Australians were called on to fight in and photos of many who fought in those wars, old diaries the men wrote in the trenches, letters they wrote to loved ones and much, much more.


Try to visit the war memorial in your capital city or the war memorial statues and plaques in your own town or suburb. Write a short story or poem about anything that especially inspired you on your visit.