English KS2: Talking Poetry - 2. Grace Nichols

Duration: 15:00


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.

For forest
Uses personification to explore powerful feelings about the forest.

Cosmic disco
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.

Download a composite image inspired by the poems of Grace Nichols (jpg)
Sun is laughing (Duration: 01:41)
For forest (Duration: 02:15)
Cosmic disco (Duration: 01:23)
Alligator (Duration: 01:34)
I am the rain (Duration: 00:46)
My gran visits England (Duration: 02:27)
What me mudder do (Duration: 01:38)
Give yourself a hug (Duration 00:50)


Curriculum guidance

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.

More detailed guidance can be found in the Teachers' Notes below

Download the Teachers' Notes for Talking Poetry (pdf)



More from Talking Poetry

1. Michael Rosen
3. Roger McGough
4. Jackie Kay