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Compare Poems on a Similar Theme: 'The Moon' and 'Is the Moon Tired?'

In this worksheet, students read two poems about the moon and answer questions on their content and structure.

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:  Recognise Forms of Poetry

Difficulty level:  

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QUESTION 1 of 10

In this worksheet you can read two poems about the moon and compare them.

 

 

The first is by Robert Louis Stevenson, who was born in 1850.

 

 

*******************

The moon

 

The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;
She shines on thieves on the garden wall,
On streets and fields and harbour quays,
And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.

The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,
The howling dog by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.

But all of the things that belong to the day
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;
And flowers and children close their eyes
Till up in the morning the sun shall arise.

 

*******************

 

 

The second poem is by Christina Rossetti, who was born in 1830.

 

 

*******************

Is the moon tired?

 

Is the moon tired? she looks so pale
Within her misty veil:
She scales the sky from east to west,
And takes no rest.

Before the coming of the night
The moon shows papery white;
Before the dawning of the day
She fades away.

 

*******************

 

 

Read both poems a few times, so that you are familiar with them, but remember that you can look back at them as often as you like by clicking the Help button.

The first four questions are about the Robert Louis Stevenson poem.

 

The poem is divided into three stanzas (verses) of four lines each. Is it a rhyming poem?

No. None of the lines rhyme.

Yes. The second and fourth lines of each stanza rhyme.

Yes. The first and second lines of each stanza rhyme, and so do the third and fourth lines.

Some things are awake in the moonlight, while others are asleep. Read the poem again and tick the correct boxes.

 awakeasleep
cats
mice
birds
dogs
bats
flowers
children

A simile is a way of describing something by comparing it to something else. Similes often use the word like...

 

What simile is used in the first line to describe the moon? Copy the whole line into the answer box.

Robert Louis Stevenson also uses alliteration in his poem, choosing words that begin with the same sound.

 

He describes the cat as 'squalling' and chooses an alliterative word to describe the mouse. What is it?

The next three questions are about the Christina Rossetti poem.

 

Is the rhyming pattern the same as the one in the Robert Louis Stevenson poem or different?

the same

different

Christina Rossetti makes the moon seem alive in her poem. She refers to it as 'she' and suggests that it is wearing an item of clothing.

 

What is the moon wearing?

The poem was written a long time ago, and contains some old fashioned words. What word is used to mean 'climbs'?

scales

rest

dawning

Now think about both poems.

 

In some ways the poems are similar, as they both consist of four line stanzas with pairs of lines that rhyme, but in other ways they are different. Match up the statements with the poems.

Column A

Column B

The poem refers to the moon as 'she'.
the Rossetti poem
The poem describes the moon as if it is a lady.
the Stevenson poem
The poem mostly describes the way different things...
both poems
  • Question 1

The first four questions are about the Robert Louis Stevenson poem.

 

The poem is divided into three stanzas (verses) of four lines each. Is it a rhyming poem?

CORRECT ANSWER
Yes. The first and second lines of each stanza rhyme, and so do the third and fourth lines.
EDDIE SAYS
Each stanza has pairs of consecutive lines (lines that follow on directly from each other) that rhyme. These are called rhyming couplets.
  • Question 2

Some things are awake in the moonlight, while others are asleep. Read the poem again and tick the correct boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
 awakeasleep
cats
mice
birds
dogs
bats
flowers
children
EDDIE SAYS
Flowers do not really sleep, but many close their petals at night.
  • Question 3

A simile is a way of describing something by comparing it to something else. Similes often use the word like...

 

What simile is used in the first line to describe the moon? Copy the whole line into the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;
The moon has a face like the clock in the hall
EDDIE SAYS
The clock in Stevenson's hall was probably a grandfather clock with a large, round face like a full moon.
  • Question 4

Robert Louis Stevenson also uses alliteration in his poem, choosing words that begin with the same sound.

 

He describes the cat as 'squalling' and chooses an alliterative word to describe the mouse. What is it?

CORRECT ANSWER
squeaking
EDDIE SAYS
Both words begin with the 'squ' sound.
  • Question 5

The next three questions are about the Christina Rossetti poem.

 

Is the rhyming pattern the same as the one in the Robert Louis Stevenson poem or different?

CORRECT ANSWER
the same
EDDIE SAYS
This poem is also written in rhyming couplets
  • Question 6

Christina Rossetti makes the moon seem alive in her poem. She refers to it as 'she' and suggests that it is wearing an item of clothing.

 

What is the moon wearing?

CORRECT ANSWER
veil
a veil
misty veil
a misty veil
EDDIE SAYS
Brides often wear veils at their weddings, and this adds to the picture of the moon as a young lady. The 'veil' is probably clouds that are passing in front of it.
  • Question 7

The poem was written a long time ago, and contains some old fashioned words. What word is used to mean 'climbs'?

CORRECT ANSWER
scales
EDDIE SAYS
To scale something means to climb it. Rossetti is suggesting that the moon is tired from climbing up into the sky.
  • Question 8

Now think about both poems.

 

In some ways the poems are similar, as they both consist of four line stanzas with pairs of lines that rhyme, but in other ways they are different. Match up the statements with the poems.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

The poem refers to the moon as 's...
both poems
The poem describes the moon as if...
the Rossetti poem
The poem mostly describes the way...
the Stevenson poem
EDDIE SAYS
The Rossetti poem uses personification, which means describing non-living things as if they were human.
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