Children´s Day with a twist

On Children´s Day when adults can be children and principals naughty kids!

The following lesson idea could be used on or just before the Children´s Day.

Level: Intermediate +

Age: Young Learners/Teens

Aims: To build students´ reading, speaking and listening skills with poetry/To build a love for reading

Materials: Make your own videos or

A handout for students: Get Out of Bed, a handout for students

Answer key: Get Out of Bed

Time: 1h20m 

1.  Children´s Day/Lead-in

Ask your students about things they would like to do on this special day. Have them work in small groups and exchange ideas.

Have a brief class feedback

+/- 5 min

Ask your students the following questions:

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to run a school for one day? Would you like to swap roles with your teachers? What do you think it is like to be a teacher? Do you think it is a difficult job? Why/Why not?

Have a brief class feedback

+/- 5 min

2.   Poem/gist reading

Tell your students that you are going to read a poem about a mother waking her son up for school and his excuses for not attending school. Distribute a copy of Get Out of Bed, a handout for students to each student and ask them to read it quickly, ignoring the gaps for the moment:

Get Out of Bed!
by Diane Z. Shore

“Get out of bed, you silly ______!
Get up right now, it’s time for ______.
If you don’t dress without a ______ ,
I’ll throw you naked on the ______ !”

“Oh, Mom, don’t make me go _______.
I’m feeling worse than ________.
You don’t know what I’m going _______.
I’ve got a strange, rare case of _______.

“My body aches, my throat is ______.
I’m sure I’m knocking on death’s ______.
You can’t send me to school-achoo!-
‘Cause everyone could get it, too.

“Besides, the kids despise me _______.
They always tease and always ______.
And all the teachers know my ______.
When something’s wrong, it’s me they ______.”

“You faked a headache ______.
Don’t pull that stuff on me ______.
Stop acting like a silly ______-
The principal cannot skip ______!”

Text © Diane Z. Shore, reprinted from If Kids Ruled the School published by Meadowbrook Press.

Have the students answer the following questions in pairs:

What do you think is happening in the poem? How does the poem end? Do you find it surprising? Do you often feel this way?

Have a brief class feedback

+/- 10 min

3.  Rhyming

Ask your students to give you some examples of a rhyme. Give small groups of the students four words to rhyme. You can choose any words you like: blue, kiss, straight, moon, etc.

Have the groups make a list of all the words they can think of that rhyme with the given words. Give me a rhyme and I´ll give you a smile!

Have a brief class feedback

+/- 10 min

4.  Rhyming schemes/Complete the gaps

Tell your students that poems often follow a specific rhyming scheme. The rhymes most often come at the end of each line, and the pattern used in Get Out of Bed poem is called AABB in which A and A are two lines that rhyme one way and B and B are two other lines that rhyme another way.

Put students into pairs and have them brainstorm words to complete the gaps. Encourage them to include rhymes.

Have students read their completed poems aloud to the rest of the class.

+/- 20 min

5.  Listening to the original version of a poem

Have students listen to the original version of the poem (feel free to use my video if you haven´t made yours: and fill in the gaps.

Have students answer the following questions in small groups:

How does your version compare with the original? Which do you prefer?

Have a brief class feedback

+/- 10 min

6.  Extension activity

Get students to record themselves reading a poem at home and listen to their lovely performances in the next class. Have them make notes of all the rhymes they can hear. Make sure, however, they know it’s not necessary for all poems to rhyme!

One poem a day, takes your woes away!

You can find more food for thought and inspiration for using poetry in the classroom here:

10 fun poetry activities:

Kids and poetry:

Using poetry:

Poetry that inspires:

Poetry teaching tips for new teachers:

A special thank you to a dear colleague of mine, Christina Collier for inspiring me!

Happy creating!

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