Guidelines for the use of Writing a River Severn Poem

Activity title:
Write a River Severn Poem

Curriculum area: English

NC objectives: English En1 1e), 2d), 8a) & 9a) and En2 4f), 4g), 4h), 4i), 8d) & 8c) and En3 1), 2), 3), 4), 5a), 9d), 11) & 12)

Main learning objective: To write poems based on the structure and style of poems read

Lesson plan ideas, activities and resource sheets

18 minutes

  • Carry out shared reading of ‘1.1a River Severn poetry’ as a class. Identify the rhyming patterns of ‘alternate line rhyme’ and ‘rhyming couplets’.

  • Use the title ‘The Severn Bore’ and model writing the opening rhyming couplet of a poem. Use the lines “On the river the Bore appears” and “The people watching along the banks cheer” and “The wave washes by with a great roar” and “Sending spray lashing onto the shore”. Open to ideas from the class and structure the poem accordingly with the various parts of estuary or river.

MAIN ACTIVITY: 35 minutes

  • Provide the class with the ‘1.1b Writing a poem about the River Severn’ worksheet and read the two poems, ‘Severn Dream’ and ‘The Wreck!’ as a class.

  • Set the pupils the task of writing their own River Severn poem based on any topic linked to the river.

PLENARY: 10 minutes

  • Move around the class and allow pupils to read their poems aloud to the class.

  • The rest of the class listen and must spot the rhyming pattern used, if any.

Suggested extension activities or cross curricular links:

  • Use the poems in an intra school competition and make an exhibition of River Severn poetry or just display within own classrooms.

  • Record readings of the poems on to tape to create a River Severn poetry tape.

  • Read segments of Alice Oswald’s ‘A Sleepwalk on the Severn’ poem.


1.1 Writing a River Severn Poem guidelines

1.1a River Severn poetry

1.1b Writing a poem about the River Severn