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Hello, it's Mrs. Smart.

Welcome back to our English unit.

In today's lesson, we are going to be reading and analysing John Lyons poem called "Dancing in the Rain".

Let's get started.

In this lesson, you will need an exercise book or some lined paper, a pen or pencil to write with, and some coloured pencils or felt tips if you've got them.

If you haven't gotten any of those items with you right now, just pause the recording and go and get them.

In today's lesson we're going to start by reading, "Dancing in the Rain" by John Lyons.

So that is one of the poems within this collection here.

Although the whole collection is called "Dancing in the Rain", we're just going to be focusing on one of the poems, which gives the collection it's title.

We're going to respond with our own thoughts and feelings about the poem to start with.

And then we're going to analyse the structure and the language to understand the meaning in a bit more detail.

Lastly, we'll finish with your independent task.

Now, the first time this unit, I do not have a video of John Lyons reading this poem.

So you will have to survise with me, reading the poem for you.

If you want to pause the recording and read it, you can, or you can listen to me and you can follow along on the screen.

"Dancing in the Rain." "And there we are again, we go dancing in warm rain.

When sky set up with clouds, nearly charcoal black, the yard cocks flap their wings and let out to crowing loud loud, and the wind vex vex, blowing strong bearing hen fowls' feathered bums, and everybody start grabbing clothes off the clothes line.

We know rain coming.

Then we hear it getting nearer, rattling on galvanise tin roof.

And as it drops down stinging hard, squealing, we pull off we clothes.

And there we are again, we love dancing in the rain." I hope you enjoyed that poem as much as I did.

Obviously this is one of John Lyons favourite poems. He's named his whole collection after this poem.

And you can see the beautiful painting he's done to illustrate the front cover and this poem in particular.

So you can see these figures all dancing in the rain with such joy and happiness.

First of all, before we analyse the poem in more detail, I want you to think about your initial responses to that poem.

What did you like about the poem? What did you dislike about the poem? Do you have any questions or anything that confuses or puzzles you and what did it remind you of? Maybe it reminded you of another story you've read or another John Lyon's poem.

Maybe it reminded you of something that's happened in your own life.

Pause the recording and write your responses now.

We're now going to think about the poem's structure.

I want you to consider the verses, the rhyme, the repetition and the punctuation that John Lyons has used in this poem.

Pause the recording and read through the poem again, write some notes under those four headings.


If I have a look at this poem, I can see there are four very clear verses, but they are not the same length.

We've got two verses, the first verse and the last verse that are already two lines long, And then the other two verses are different lengths.

But you might've noticed that actually the first verse and the last verse are repeated.

"And there we are again, we go dancing in warm rain." Repeated at the beginning and at the end.

Reminded me a little bit like a chorus in a song.

I wonder if you thought the same.

In terms of the rhyme, you could say that "again" and "rain" rhyme if you pronounce it like that.

If you pronounce it "again", "rain", then it doesn't so much, so a bit of a half rhyme there.

And then we've already talked about the first and the last verse repeating, but there are some words within the poem that repeat as well.

Did you manage to spot them? Can you tell me what they were? Excellent.

Yeah, he's included loud loud and vex vex.

I wonder why he might've had loud loud and vex vex.

What might that be showing you? What do you think? I think that it's showing something getting louder and louder, If he's repeating the word loud and vex means to get annoyed or angry or frustrated.

So "vex vex" would suggest to me that is the wind is getting stronger and stronger and angrier and angrier because it's more of a ferocious, strong wind blowing.

What about the punctuation? What did you write there? Yeah, I agree.

So we've got commas, we've got full stops and we've got semi-colons.

And again, like previous poems we looked at, some of the verses have full sentences.

They start with a capital letter and they end with a full stop.

And then they have commas and semi-colons to separate some of the sections or at the end of some of the lines.

Well done for your analysis of the structure.

We're now going to move on to analysing the language and the meaning of the poem.

And I just want us to go through some of those key words that we've learned in previous lessons.

Repeat after me, theme, theme.

The theme of the poem is the subject, topic or main idea of a piece of art or literature.

So you could have a theme of a poem, but you could also have the theme of a story or the theme of a film or the theme of a piece of art.

Synonyms are subject, topic, an idea.

And we could use it in a sentence like this, nature was the main theme of the poetry collection.

So if there were lots of poems, they were all to do with nature, so plants and wildlife.

Then you could say that the main theme was nature.

Tone, tone.

The tone is the general feel of a piece of writing.

So it's the mood or style or feeling.

You could say the school report had a negative tone throughout.

So it's the feel that you get from a piece of writing often that's a positive feel or a negative feel, depending on how the poet has described whatever the subject of the poem is.

We're now going to think about the language and the meaning of the poem as a whole, rather than looking at words in, in specific detail.

What is this poem about? Could you summarise it? If you were to tell someone what this poem meant, could you say one sentence? What do you think the main themes are? And what is the tone? Would you say it's positive? Would you say it's negative? Maybe something else.

Pause the recording and write yourself some notes now.

I think this poem is all about a group of people and it's starting to rain and what happens when it starts to rain.

And actually they enjoy the rain that often when it rains, people feel quite negatively because they can't go outside, but these people really enjoy the rain.

The reason I know that is because it says, "we go dancing in warm rain." So I wonder maybe it's because the rain is much warmer.

The weather is much warmer.

So actually the rain gives you quite nice feeling.

It's really hot and it rains, it can cool you down.

So I'm guessing that this poem again, is set in the Caribbean, maybe in Trinidad and Tobago, and it's describing the rain they have there because often it's a very tropical country and often in tropical countries it gets really, really hot and humid, And then every now and again, but we get thunderstorm and it will pour with rain and cool everything down again.

So I'm guessing that is what John Lyons is describing.

in terms of themes, again, there's a real focus on nature, weather, cause he talks about different animals, he talks about clouds, he talks about rain, but also really positive feeling and there's obviously a group of people, maybe a family or some friends who have all gathered together and who are enjoying the rain together.

We're not going to go through the poem verse by verse.

And I've selected some of the words and phrases I thought maybe you might not be familiar with and we're going to go through and think about what they mean and I can explain their meaning as well.

So I'm going to read through these two verses here and you can follow on the screen.

"And there we are again, we go dancing in warm rain.

When sky set up with clouds, nearly charcoal black, the yard cocks flap their wings and let out a crowing loud, loud, and the wind vex vex blowing strong, baring hen fowls' feathered bums, and everybody start grabbing clothes off the clothes line.

We know rain coming." If we look at the first verse to start with, it starts with, "There we are again." Now this makes me think that probably they've experienced this before.

They've experienced the rain and they've all danced in the rain before.

I also know that it's probably a group of people because it talks about "We" and John Lyons is probably one of those people within the group.

Maybe it's his family, maybe it's a group of friends.

We all then look at the next verse, he describes the clouds as charcoal black.

We have a look at the image on the screen.

There's an example of some charcoal.

Charcoal's a little bit like, it looks a little bit like stones or rocks, and you often burn them to create fire, but they're actually made from animal and plant projects.

But they're very dark, black or grey.

And often, if something is dark, it's described as charcoal black or charcoal grey.

You might've come across charcoal and not less than when you've used it.

So little bit like chalk, but much, much darker.

He then goes on to talk about some of the animals.

So the yard cocks.

So a cock is short for a cockerel, which is a male chicken often but it can make a very loud noise, particularly in the morning.

Then he describes the wind as vex, vex, blowing strong.

Now the word vex means to be annoyed or frustrated or worried at something.

So that gives the impression that the, the wind is angry, probably quite strong wind, that's kind of ferociously blowing.

He then says baring hen fowls' feathered bums, which makes me think that probably the wind is blowing the feathers on the hens and baring, which means revealing their bums to everyone.

And he then talks about people grabbing clothes off the clothes line.

You can see an example of a clothes line on the screen there.

it's like a washing line where you hang your washing once you've washed it to dry.

And it's really annoying when you hang all of your washing out and it's nearly dry and then it starts raining.

So often if starts to rain, or if it looks like it's going to rain, people will run out into their gardens and grab all of their washing off the line so that it doesn't get wet again.

Going to look at the next two verses now.

So again, I'm going to read for you and you can follow along on the screen.

"Then we hear it getting nearer, rattling on galvanise tin roof.

And as it drops down stinging hard, squealing, we pull off we clothes.

And there we are again, we love dancing in the rain." So here John Lyons is talking about the rain getting louder and louder and nearer and nearer, and the sound of it rattling on the galvanise tin roof, which just means a sort of metal roof that you often have on buildings or shed-like structures.

And it's so hard that it actually stings their skin as it falls on it.

And then it says, "Squealing, we pull off we clothes." And I'm not sure maybe that means they pull off their clothes, their own clothes don't get wet, or maybe it's just referring to the clothes on the clothes line.

I'm not completely sure.

I wonder what you think.

Then we have that final verse, "and there we are again, we love dancing in the rain." I can tell this poem has a really positive tone to it because it talks about loving rain.

It's not a negative poem about rain.

Right, We are now at the end of today's lesson, what I'd like you to do is practise reciting the poem out loud.

So that means saying it to reading it out loud.

Think about everything we learned in our lesson, where we learned about forming a poem, consider your voice, your facial expressions and your body movements.

What could you do to make your performance really interesting for your audience? I then want you to copy out this poem in your neatest handwriting and draw an illustration for each verse.

So for example, the first and the last verse, you could draw people dancing in the rain together.

The second and the third verse, the second verse, you could just, you could draw the clouds, you could draw the Cockerel or the hen.

You can draw people, grabbing their washing off the line.

And then the third verse, you might want to draw the rain hitting that tin roof or people squealing and pulling off their clothes as it starts to rain on them.

It's totally up to you what you do.


You have completed your lessons day, well done for all of your hard work, analysing that poem.

If you would like to, please share your work with your parents or carer, and I will see you in your next lesson.