English KS2: Talking Poetry - 2. Grace Nichols
The poet Grace Nichols introduces and reads some of her best-known poems for children:
Sun is laughing
In this poem Grace Nichols imagines the sun as a moody, teenage girl.
Uses personification to explore powerful feelings about the forest.
A poem inspired by the constant movement of the night sky.
The poem is based on real-life memories of an alligator.
I am the rain
A playful poem about the rain having fun with itself.
My gran visits England
Explores a visit to England made many years ago
What me mudder do
The poem adopts the voice of a small girl boasting about her mother
Give yourself a hug
Grace Nichols says we should all give ourselves a big hug!
If you wish to listen to the poems individually, these can be found below.
There are eight programmes in this series. Each of the first 6 programmes profiles a different contemporary children’s poet who introduces and then reads a selection of his or her work.
The final two programmes focus on classic poetry and include a selection of well-known poems often taught at Key Stage 2. These poems are read by the actors Maxine Peake and Julian Rhind-Tutt.
Using the audio
The programmes can be used in a variety of ways. You can listen to them in their entirety or listen to and focus on one poem at a time. Students can read the text of the poem before, during or after listening to the recording and there are suggestions in these notes for pre-, during-, and post- listening activities.
Using the images:
Each programme is accompanied by a composite picture inspired by the poems in that programme. These can be used:
to stimulate pre-listening discussion about what the poems might be about;
to explore themes in the poet’s writing;
to support reading of individual poems – the image can act as a visual reminder of topics, themes or narratives for students while they are completing work on poems;
to stimulate creative writing: pupils could pick two or three elements of the picture and combine them to stimulate a story. This might work well with a ‘consequences’ story frame: a framework of actions already written where pupils add in nouns taken from the image to make a story.