Thursday, 30 April 2009

Bald Worm Shares a Poem a Day: The Night Mail

Bald Worm loves poetry - and he's going to share one of his favourites with you every day! Friday's poem is by W.H. Auden - The Night Mail. Enjoy - and read more poetry!

This is the Night Mail crossing the border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner and the girl next door.
Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient's against her, but she's on time.

Thro' sparse counties she rampages,
Her driver's eye upon the gauges.
Panting up past lonely farms
Fed by the fireman's restless arms.
Striding forward along the rails
Thro' southern uplands with northern mails.
Winding up the valley to the watershed,
Thro' the heather and the weather and the dawn overhead.
Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,
Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.
Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bushes at her blank-faced coaches.
Sheepdogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.
In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes.

Dawn freshens, the climb is done.
Down towards Glasgow she descends
Towards the steam tugs yelping down the glade of cranes,
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
All Scotland waits for her:
In the dark glens, beside the pale-green sea lochs
Men long for news.

Letters of thanks, letters from banks,
Letters of joy from the girl and the boy,
Receipted bills and invitations
To inspect new stock or visit relations,
And applications for situations
And timid lovers' declarations
And gossip, gossip from all the nations,
News circumstantial, news financial,
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled in the margin,
Letters from uncles, cousins, and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France,
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands
Notes from overseas to Hebrides
Written on paper of every hue,
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue,
The chatty, the catty, the boring, adoring,
The cold and official and the heart's outpouring,
Clever, stupid, short and long,
The typed and the printed and the spelt all wrong.

Thousands are still asleep
Dreaming of terrifying monsters,
Or of friendly tea beside the band at Cranston's or Crawford's:
Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen,
They continue their dreams,
And shall wake soon and long for letters,
And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Year 5: Revising Questions about a Character

We're continuing our characterisation revision by looking at questions about a character.

Task: Please complete the 'cowboy' questions about a character task

Bald Worm Shares a Poem a Day: I Travelled Amongst Unknown Men

I have a new goal - to share a great poem every day until the end of term! Today's poem is by the Romantic poet William Wordsworth.

I Travelled Among Unknown Men
I travelled among unknown men
In lands beyond the sea;
Nor, England! did I know till then
What love I bore to thee.

'Tis past, that melancholy dream!
Nor will I quit thy shore
A second time; for still I seem
To love thee more and more.

Among thy mountains did I feel
The joy of my desire;
And she I cherished turned her wheel
Beside an English fire.

Thy mornings showed, thy nights concealed,
The bowers where Lucy played;
And thine too is the last green field
That Lucy's eyes surveyed.

William Wordsworth

(Image by Karlequin; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Year 6: Redrafting Your 'Lonely' Ballad

Write a second draft of your 'lonely' ballad, adding simile, alliteration, dialogue...Use 'Mr Strand Drops' and the online rhyming dictionary to help you.

Due: Tomorrow

P.S. Please remember to bring in your 'Midsummer' book tomorrow!

(Image by Andrew Leggett)

Year 5 Fiction: Show, Don't Tell

A writer must remember to 'show, don't tell.' You have to use details, movement and expressions to bring your characters to life! Clever-clogs will also include thoughts and 'questions about a character'.

Task: Please complete the 'Montmorency' showing and telling worksheet. Due: Tuesday.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Year 6 Shakespeare: The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth

Shakespeare wrote another love story the same year - 1595 - that he created Romeo and Juliet.

A Midsummer Night's Dream starts off with the announcement of a wedding and ends with a marriage ceremony.

Task: Read page 12-25 of 'Shakespeare for Everyone: A Midsummer Night's Dream'. We'll discuss it in class on Thursday

You'll can enjoy a great version of A Midsummer Night's Dream in this animation.

You can read the first scene here.

Year 5: More Unstressed Vowels

1. Finish your comprehension from last night. Make sure you've made enough points to win all of the marks on offer.

2. Learn our new spellings at Spelling City. Test next Tuesday!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Year 6 Pop Song '09: I'd Rather...Than

We're beginning to work on creating our own ballads for our Pop Song '09 project.

Homework: Please complete your 'own version' of the 'I'd Rather...Than' rhyme game. Feeling clever? Try to include some three-syllable words, e.g. marigold.

Due: Tuesday.

Year 5: Comprehension - Characters Come Alive!

L.O. To revise the skills an author uses to make a character come alive on the page.

This week we're focussing on characterisation, the skill of making the characters in your stories seem like 'real' people.

Don't forget to revise the difference between showing and telling. You can learn more about every style of comprehension question at Bald Worm's Comprehension blog.

Homework: Please complete the 'Bunker Cat' comprehension.

Due: Friday.

(Image by dsevilla; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Year Six: News Ballad

Please write a two/three verse ballad based on a story in the news. See the 'news ballad' pack for details!

Due: Monday.

Brilliant tool: use this online rhyming dictionary to help!

(image by JK5854; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Year 5: Stories Set in the Past

L.O. To analyse a text for examples of shown feelings

Over the next two weeks we are going to be focussing on developing your use of characterisation as we study stories set in the past.

Please read through the Montmorency text and highlight in a bright pen any examples of shown feelings or details that tell you something interesting about the character. We'll be sharing these at the beginning of next Wednesday's session, so make sure you bring your homework in Monday!

Year 5 Fiction - Self-assessment

Self-assessment - looking at your own work as if it was someone else's piece of writing - is a great way to improve your fiction.

Please fill in the self-assessment sheet.

Due: Friday - & don't forget to bring in your comprehension, too.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Year Six Non-fiction: Drafting a Ballad to Fit...

Write a two verse ballad, following the a-b-c-b rhyme pattern, which tells a short story that fits the mood of Peter Green's instrumental Albatross.

Due: Thursday

Year 5 Comprehension: Writing 4/5 Mark Answers

Please complete the 'Dragon' comprehension - make sure you make 4/5 'points' for '4/5' mark questions.

Don't forget that you can learn more at

Due: Friday

(Image by Azltek; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Sunday, 19 April 2009

We're Back!

Year 5 spellings - those tricky 'unstressed vowel' spellings like jewellery - are here at Spelling City. Test next Tuesday!

Year 6 - We read through the script with the words in front of us to glance at if we get stuck...on Friday, we're going to read through without scripts on the desk. Make sure you revise any 'iffy' or 'dodgy' parts of your lines for Friday!

P.S. Don't forget that we're beginning our Pop Song project! Visit the Pop Song '09 page on our pupil wiki to learn more!