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Hello, and welcome to this lesson on poetry with me, Miss Krzebietka.

In this lesson, we're going to look at the "Big ideas and emotions in poetry." We're going to look at some more examples of poetry and we're going to think about how poets use particular methods to create meaning for us as readers.

Before we get started, please can you make sure that you've got rid of any distractions, including mobile phones.

So can they be put on silent or put in another room? Also, can you make sure that you've got a pen, and something to write with so that we can record all of the amazing things that we're going to do in this lesson.


Let's get started.

Before we start the main learning, I'm going to quickly run through what we're going to be doing in this lesson.

So, first of all, we're going to start off with a recap task, thinking about question, what is poetry? Then we're going to learn a new poetic term, so that's really exciting.

We're going to learn this word, stanza.

Now, some of you might have heard of that before and some of you might have never heard of it at all.

So by the end of this lesson you're going to be an absolute expert on what stanzas are.

Then we're going to look at how poets use stanzas.

Okay? And we're going to think about that question and think about what poets do with stanzas to help create meaning for us, their readers.

And finally, we're going to review your knowledge with a worksheet.


So first of all, to get our brains warmed up, let's see what we can remember about poetry.

We've done quite a lot of work on this now, so hopefully you'll be able to remember some of the key things that we've learned about poems and about what makes a poem, a poem.

So in front of you, you've got a series of statements about poetry.

Some of them are true, and some of them are false.

What I'd like you to do is to read carefully through those statements, to pause to decide which ones you think are true and which are false, and then after you've had a really good think about it, I want you to resume and we'll check your answers.


Pause now, and off you go.

Great work if you said that number one, poems must include rhyme, is false.

We know now that in fact poems don't have to include rhyme at all and a lot of poems don't rhyme.

Brilliant work if you said that number two, poems use figurative language to create powerful pictures in the reader's mind, is true.

We know that's true now.

We know that poets think really really carefully about the words that they use and they use those techniques so that we can imagine exactly what it is they're describing.

Good work if you said, poems are organised into unique patterns, is true.

And actually that's something that we're going to focus on a little bit more in this lesson.

We're going to think about the types of patterns that poets organise their poems into and think about why they might do that.

Well done if you said that poems must follow the normal rules of grammar, is false.

We know that poems don't have to follow the normal rules of grammar.

In fact, that's what makes them so unique as a form of literature that they don't have to follow those normal rules at all.

Again well done if you said that number five, poems must be short, is false.

We know that that's not true.

We know that poems can be any length.

It can be one line or they can be pages and pages and pages.

It doesn't matter.

A poem is a poem whether it's one line or whether it's 50 lines.

Well done if you said that number six, poems usually explore big ideas and emotions, is true.

We know that poets use poetry to explore their thoughts, their feelings, their ideas about situations, maybe about things that have happened to them, maybe about things that have happened in the world, so we know that that's what poetry is often used for, to explore those big ideas and emotions.

So now we're going to learn a new poetic term, and that new term is stanza.

Have a go at saying stanza out loud a couple of times just to get into your head what it sounds like.


A stanza is another word for a verse in a poem.

It's what we call a chunk of text in a poem.

It's a bit like a paragraph in an essay or a story but because it's poetry, it has a very special name, and that name is stanza.


What I'd like you to do now is to read through the following options.

And from what I just think through with you I want you to try and work out which of these is the correct definition of a stanza.

Read through the full options very carefully, pause and then resume once you have chosen which option you think is the correct definition of a stanza.

Amazing job if you said that option one, a stanza is another word for a verse in a poem is the correct definition of a stanza.

Okay? So we said, didn't we? It's very much like what we might call a paragraph in a novel or in an essay.

But because it's poetry, it has its own special name and that special name is stanza.

So now that we've got this new word and this new piece of vocabulary, we need to know how we can use it properly in sentences.

So in front of you are three sentences which use the word stanza correctly when talking about poetry.

So I'm going to read through those examples for you and I want you to listen very carefully.

"Some poems are written in one stanza.

Some poems are divided into lots of stanzas.

Some poems have stanzas of equal length which we call regular stanzas and others include long stanzas and short stanzas, and they are called irregular stanzas." I said stanzas lots of times now it sounded a little bit strange to me, but it is a great word for you to learn and know.


Let's see if you can remember what you've just learned about stanzas.

So what I'd like you to do is to pause and to read through the following four options and to decide which of these sentences tells us something incorrect about stanzas.

So three of them tell us something correct about stanzas and one of them tells us something incorrect.

Which one tells us something incorrect about stanzas? Pause now, read through them, and see which one you think tells us something incorrect about stanzas.

Great job if you said that option three, stanzas are a type of poetry is something incorrect about stanzas.

Stanzas are not a type of poetry, they are what we name the verses in poetry, the chunks of writing in poetry but they are not a type of poetry themselves.

So well done if you went for option three.

If you went for one of the others, maybe you have a quick read through them now and remind yourself of what stanzas are, and what stanzas are not.

Okay? All right.

We've done quite a bit of learning on stanzas so far.

So what I'd like you to do now is to complete the main task on your worksheet, by finding out how poets use stanzas for effect.

There are a series of questions on that and tasks that I'd like you to work through.

So pause, work through those tasks carefully, make sure you read everything as carefully as you can so that you fully understand what you've got to do, and then once you're finished, you can resume and we'll go through the answers.

Off you go.

Okay, let's go through your responses then.

And what I'd like you to do is to add or change as we go through.

Okay? So if you think, oh actually I didn't get that down in my answer, I did a great answer but I didn't get that extra bit of information down, I'd like to add that in, and you can do that.

Or if you've made a bit of a mistake and you think I want to correct that to make sure that I get it right next time, then you can change parts of your answer.


So the poem that you were given called "Train" I asked you how many stanzas did the part of the poem that I gave you have? And the answer was five stanzas.

Okay? This part of the poem 'cause it is part of a longer poem has five stanzas.

So well done if you recognised that.

I asked you about what's happening in stanza four.

And I asked you to summarise what is happening in that stanza in one sentence.

If you said something like this, "In stanza four, the young couple are staring longingly at one another and saying the final goodbye," then brilliant.

If you said something along those lines or something about how the couple are waiting to leave each other and are sort of having the last moving moment together, something along those lines then you've done really, really well, and you've understood what's happening in that stanza.

One thing I've said lots of times, and what we've talked about in this lesson is the idea that stanzas can be used in order to help a poet express the big ideas and emotions that they are exploring in their poem.

What I asked you to do for task three is to finish the sentence with what you thought was the best idea about why the poet has decided to make stanza four the longest stanza in this part of the poem.

Well done if you said that stanza four is longer than the other stanzas in order to show how the young couple want this moment to last forever.

This is possibly the last time that they will ever see each other.

And what the poet has really, really cleverly done, is shown through a longer stanza, just how much they want to hold onto this moment and how they kind of want time to stop so that they can have these last few moments with each other before everything changes.

I think that's so clever that the poet has used a longer stanza in order to show that the characters in the poem want this time to last longer, that they want longer together.

And that's why the poet has used a longer stanza.

I think that's just fantastic.

I asked you to do a similar thing looking at stanza one.

And I asked you to think, which was the best idea for why the poet has chosen to use a really short stanza for stanza one.

Well done if you said that it's in order to show the young woman's nervous energy and that she can't stand the waiting any longer.

We just have two lines in that opening stanza.

And we can almost sense the young woman is feeling like she just wants this to be over with.

Even though she probably really doesn't want her young sweetheart to go away to war, actually it's worse that she's got to wait and that she doesn't know exactly when the train is going to leave.

And what she'd rather have happen is the train go so that she can sort of process it and get on with it and say goodbye rather than waiting around because that's even more painful for her.

So well done if you said that that's the reason it's shorter because it's showing that she kind of in that moment wants time to move more quickly so that the pain of this moment can be over with.

Isn't that again, really, really clever? It just shows us how it's used stanzas in order to express their meanings and to help us understand exactly what's going on.

I think poetry in that way is just absolutely fantastic.


I asked you to think about the top three emotions or feelings that the poet shows us that the couple are experiencing in this poem.

Okay? I've got a list of emotions that you might have chosen on the screen.

Love, heartaches, sadness, despair, frustration, worry, concern, and panic.

If you went for any of those emotions, well done.

If you went for something slightly different but it's similar to those emotions that I've pointed out there, then well done as well.

Because what that shows is that you've understood the kinds of feelings that the poet is trying to help us understand that their characters are experiencing in this poem.

It's quite a sad poem, isn't it? It pulls on your heartstrings, it's quite emotive, which means it makes us feel something.

And I think by having all of those different emotions in there, that are on the screen, we sort of can really feel how these characters are feeling in this moment, moving from one feeling to another back and forth and not quite knowing exactly how they are feeling.


So the final task that I asked you to think about was a little bit more challenging.

So I asked you to think about why the stanzas in the poem, "Train," are very irregular and why the poet might have chosen irregular stanzas for this poem.

I asked you to think about what big ideas she might be trying to get across to her readers through having these very irregular stanzas that move constantly from being short to longer to shorter, four lines, two lines, five lines, et cetera.

Well, what the poet could be trying to show us is that her characters are experiencing lots of different emotions and that they can't control them.

And by having lots of different stanza lengths, the poet is almost mirroring those different emotions that the characters are experiencing.

How one minute they're feeling love and they're wanting time to stop, and in the next they're feeling anxious and nervous and just wanting time to speed up.

And I think those different stanza lengths short, longer, shorter, really helped to express those different feelings and emotions, and that they don't quite know how to control how they're feeling, just like the poet seems like she's not quite controlling the poem, but in fact we know that she definitely is, 'cause she's using those stanza lengths in order to help us understand the emotions of her characters.

So like I've said, in one moment they're anxious and want time to pass and in the next they're overwhelmed by love and want time to stand still.

You have done some amazing work today because some of those ideas that you've explored were not easy.

So well done.

What I'd like you to do is to show off your work.

And if you want to, please ask your parent or carer to share your work on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, tagging @OakNational and using the #LearnwithOak.

Also, all the amazing work that you've done can be sent to your teacher.

If you want your parent or carer to do that, then ask them to look at the work that you've done and to send that onto your teacher because I know how hard you worked on that.

And I know that they'd be super super proud and super excited to see what you've done.

The final thing I'd like you to do is to complete the quiz that's attached to this lesson.

So please make sure that you do that as a final way to see exactly what you've learned and to test your knowledge.

Well done.

You've done absolutely brilliantly, and keep up the hard work.