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Write a Poem Based on the Structure of Familiar Poetry

In this worksheet, students read a poem by Christina Rossetti and use it as a framework to structure a poem of their own. This includes the use of interesting adjectives and verbs to enhance their writing.

'Write a Poem Based on the Structure of Familiar Poetry' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Writing: Composition

Curriculum subtopic:  Plan What to Write

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Read this poem by Christina Rossetti, who lived from 1830 to 1894.

 

 

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

What is pink? A rose is pink

By a fountain's brink.

What is red? A poppy's red

In its barley bed.

What is blue? The sky is blue

Where the clouds float through.

What is white? A swan is white

Sailing in the light.

What is yellow? Pears are yellow,

Rich and ripe and mellow.

What is green? The grass is green,

With small flowers between.

What is violet? Clouds are violet

In the summer twilight.

What is orange? Why an orange,

Just an orange!

 

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

 

 

In this activity, you will answer questions about the poem and then use it as a framework to write a poem of your own.

The poem is divided into couplets (sets of two lines).

 

The first line of each couplet asks the question 'What is...?' and then answers the question by giving an example of something of that colour. (Only the last two lines are different.)

Colours are adjectives because they describe nouns (objects). Rossetti uses colours (adjectives) to help structure her poem.

 

Look at the poem again by clicking the "Previous" button and then match up the colours with the examples.

Column A

Column B

pink
sky
red
pear
blue
grass
white
poppy
yellow
cloud
green
swan
violet
rose

The second line of each couplet gives more details about the object that has been described in the first line.

Rossetti uses adjectives and verbs to enhance her sentences.

 

Look back at the poem again and match the objects with their descriptions.

Column A

Column B

rose
where the clouds float through
poppy
by the fountain's brink
sky
sailing in the light
swan
in the summer twilight
pear
with small flowers between
grass
rich and ripe and mellow
clouds
in the barley bed

Now that you have looked at Christina Rossetti's poem carefully you can write one of your own, using her poem as a framework.

 

Choose around five colours and write a couplet for each one, beginning with the question 'What is..?' and answering it with an example as Christina Rossetti did. Use the second line of each couplet to add more information.

You can choose colours that were not used in the poem, such as red, turquoise or grey. 

Or choose your own examples for the same or similar colours, such as you could have piglets instead of roses for pink, and you could choose the sunset for orange.

 

Try to think of original ways of describing your objects to make your poem more interesting. For example, just saying that a yellow sun is shining in the sky is not very exciting, but if you said the yellow sun was melting children's ice creams that would be more original. Remember to use interesting verbs and adjectives to enhance your writing.

 

It is not important for your poem to rhyme. If you can think of good rhyming words that fit your ideas well then use them, but sometimes when people try to write rhyming poems, they end up choosing less powerful words just because they rhyme.

 

Write your poem in the space below then ask an adult to read and review it. 

  • Question 1

The poem is divided into couplets (sets of two lines).

 

The first line of each couplet asks the question 'What is...?' and then answers the question by giving an example of something of that colour. (Only the last two lines are different.)

Colours are adjectives because they describe nouns (objects). Rossetti uses colours (adjectives) to help structure her poem.

 

Look at the poem again by clicking the "Previous" button and then match up the colours with the examples.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

pink
rose
red
poppy
blue
sky
white
swan
yellow
pear
green
grass
violet
cloud
EDDIE SAYS
Use the poem to help you match each colour to the object it describes.
Clue: the object and colour that describes it appear in the same couplet!
  • Question 2

The second line of each couplet gives more details about the object that has been described in the first line.

Rossetti uses adjectives and verbs to enhance her sentences.

 

Look back at the poem again and match the objects with their descriptions.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

rose
by the fountain's brink
poppy
in the barley bed
sky
where the clouds float through
swan
sailing in the light
pear
rich and ripe and mellow
grass
with small flowers between
clouds
in the summer twilight
EDDIE SAYS
If you mis-matched any of the descriptions and objects, then look back at the poem to re-read the lines you forgot.
  • Question 3

Now that you have looked at Christina Rossetti's poem carefully you can write one of your own, using her poem as a framework.

 

Choose around five colours and write a couplet for each one, beginning with the question 'What is..?' and answering it with an example as Christina Rossetti did. Use the second line of each couplet to add more information.

You can choose colours that were not used in the poem, such as red, turquoise or grey. 

Or choose your own examples for the same or similar colours, such as you could have piglets instead of roses for pink, and you could choose the sunset for orange.

 

Try to think of original ways of describing your objects to make your poem more interesting. For example, just saying that a yellow sun is shining in the sky is not very exciting, but if you said the yellow sun was melting children's ice creams that would be more original. Remember to use interesting verbs and adjectives to enhance your writing.

 

It is not important for your poem to rhyme. If you can think of good rhyming words that fit your ideas well then use them, but sometimes when people try to write rhyming poems, they end up choosing less powerful words just because they rhyme.

 

Write your poem in the space below then ask an adult to read and review it. 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A total of six marks is available for the poem.
1 and 2) Award two marks if the poem is structured in couplets, asking and answering the question in the first line and giving more detail in the second line. Award one mark if an attempt has been made to do this.
3) Award one mark if the student has chosen his or her own examples and has not used the same ones as in the original poem.
4 to 6) Award up to two additional marks for the quality of the descriptive vocabulary used.
Preview ---- OR ----

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