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Understand Poetry and Apply Comprehension Skills to a Poetry Text

In this worksheet, students will be asked to use a range of comprehension skills in order to answer questions about a poetry text in preparation for the SATs reading test.

'Understand Poetry and Apply Comprehension Skills to a Poetry Text' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Exam-Style Questions: SATs English

Curriculum subtopic:   Exam-Style Questions: Poetry Questions

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

You have already made the smart choice to invest your time in preparation for the SATs reading test.

In the SATs reading test, there will be three different texts to answer questions on.

One of the texts may be a poem. It will really help you to feel more prepared if you spend some time reading a range of poetry.

The poetry questions in the test will be similar to those used about a fictional text. Let's recap those types of questions.

 

Text marking to answer 'right there' questions

Text marking is the skill you should first use when you read the poem. This refers to you highlighting or circling keywords and phrases. 

This strategy will then help you to answer some of the more simple, literal questions that have the answer 'right there'. 

For example: 'find the phrase that...' or 'copy the group of words that...'

 

Word questions

This type of question will ask you to give or explain the meaning of a word in a text. 

You may find you have already text marked the word!

 

Retrieval questions

Retrieval questions often begin with: ‘who, what, where, when, why, how…?’

Sometimes you may very easily spot the answer, other times, it may be more difficult, and you may have to carefully search the text.

Although it can be tempting, do not guess. Always carefully check the answer, by referring to the text.

 

Inference questions

To answer an inference question, you will need to look for clues.

You will need to prove your answer. Think, what evidence is there to support your claim? How do you know a statement to be true?

Use ‘because’ to show the detail you have found in the text.

Look carefully at the number of marks available for the question, two marks mean two pieces of evidence needed, three marks means three pieces of evidence required and so on.

 

Right, it's over to you now to answer a range of questions on 'The Jabberwocky' by Lewis Caroll, published in 1872.

 

You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples. These quotations are for reference only.

Jabberwocky

Lewis Carroll

(from 'Through the Looking-Glass' and 'What Alice Found There', 1872)

 

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

 

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

 

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

 

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

 

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

 

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
  He chortled in his joy.
 

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

 

Who is the author of the poem?

Jacqueline Wilson

David Walliams

David Mitchell

Lewis Carroll

Jabberwocky 

Lewis Carroll

(from 'Through the Looking-Glass' and 'What Alice Found There', 1872)

 

Which year is the poem written in?

 

Jabberwocky

Lewis Carroll

(from 'Through the Looking-Glass' and 'What Alice Found There', 1872)

 

" ... Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!"

 

What does the poet warn his son that he needs to 'shun'?

The frumious Bandersnatch.

The Jubjub bird.

The Jabberwock.

The Tumtum trees.

What do you think a "vorpal sword" is?

An animal.

A plant.

A fruit.

A weapon.

What word class do you think "galumphing" belongs to?

 

Throughout this activity, you can look back to question one if you need to or refer to your own text.

Adverb

Verb

Adjective

Noun

Why did our hero have to rest by the "tumtum tree"? (1 mark)

Throughout this activity, you can look back to question one if you need to or refer to your own text.

 

 

 

 

​Did out hero slay the Jabberwock? How do you know?

 

Throughout this activity, you can look back to question one if you need to or refer to your own text.
 

Jabberwocky

Lewis Carroll

(from 'Through the Looking-Glass' and 'What Alice Found There', 1872)

 

Is the Jabberwocky portrayed as a friendly or a scary creature? How do you know?

Throughout this activity, you can look back to question one if you need to or refer to your own text.
 

The Jabberwocky's eyes are described in the poem like "flames", what colour are they likely to be?

 

Throughout this activity, you can look back to question one if you need to or refer to your own text.
 

Red

Green

Brown

Blue

Where is the poem set?

 

Throughout this activity, you can look back to question one if you need to or refer to your own text.
 

Red

Green

Brown

Blue

  • Question 1

Jabberwocky

Lewis Carroll

(from 'Through the Looking-Glass' and 'What Alice Found There', 1872)

 

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

 

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

 

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

 

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

 

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

 

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
  He chortled in his joy.
 

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

 

Who is the author of the poem?

CORRECT ANSWER
Lewis Carroll
EDDIE SAYS
Great start. What do you think of the poem? Did you spot that Lewis Carroll is the author of the poem? He included this poem within his novel, 'Through the Looking Glass' and 'What Alice Found There'.
  • Question 2

Jabberwocky 

Lewis Carroll

(from 'Through the Looking-Glass' and 'What Alice Found There', 1872)

 

Which year is the poem written in?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
1872
EDDIE SAYS
Great job if you identified it was written in 1872. The answer can be retrieved near the top of the poem, underneath the title. Remember to use the skill of text marking to highlight key information such as the publication date, it makes it much easier to scan back for the answer later on.
  • Question 3

Jabberwocky

Lewis Carroll

(from 'Through the Looking-Glass' and 'What Alice Found There', 1872)

 

" ... Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!"

 

What does the poet warn his son that he needs to 'shun'?

CORRECT ANSWER
The frumious Bandersnatch.
EDDIE SAYS
Are you beginning to wrap your head around this? There are a lot of nonsense words in 'The Jabberwocky' so make sure you take your time to carefully unpick each verse. The poet warns his son to shun "the frumious bandersnatch".
  • Question 4

What do you think a "vorpal sword" is?

CORRECT ANSWER
A weapon.
EDDIE SAYS
This is a tricky one as you have to read around the phrase "vorpal sword" and work out how the term is used in the poem, in order to grasp the meaning. Hopefully, you spotted that the sword is used to go "through and through" and "snicker snack" and causes the poet's son to chop off the Jabberwock's head!
  • Question 5

What word class do you think "galumphing" belongs to?

 

Throughout this activity, you can look back to question one if you need to or refer to your own text.

CORRECT ANSWER
Verb
EDDIE SAYS
Nice job, if you chose 'verb'. 'Galumphing' describes how the son's poet travels back once he had chopped off the Jabberwock's head! This nonsense word implies the son traveled back quickly and happily, to tell of his victory upon beating the Jabberwock. You only have two questions left in this activity, well done!
  • Question 6

Why did our hero have to rest by the "tumtum tree"? (1 mark)

Throughout this activity, you can look back to question one if you need to or refer to your own text.

 

 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
To gain the mark for this question, the student will need to retrieve from the poem that the hero looked for the Jabberwock for a long time therefore he had to rest. The phrase used is: "Long time the manxome foe he sought -- So rested he by the Tumtum tree.."
  • Question 7

​Did out hero slay the Jabberwock? How do you know?

 

Throughout this activity, you can look back to question one if you need to or refer to your own text.
 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
There are two marks available here. Mark 1 is for answering 'yes', the hero did slay the Jabberwock. Mark 2 is for explaining how they know. The poem states that the hero chopped off the Jabberwock's head with his sword. The student can refer to this verse in order to support their answer: "One, two! One, two! And through and through The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with its head He went galumphing back."
  • Question 8

Jabberwocky

Lewis Carroll

(from 'Through the Looking-Glass' and 'What Alice Found There', 1872)

 

Is the Jabberwocky portrayed as a friendly or a scary creature? How do you know?

Throughout this activity, you can look back to question one if you need to or refer to your own text.
 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
There are two marks available here. Mark 1 is for stating that the Jabberwocky is portrayed as a scary creature. Mark 2 is for using some evidence from the poem such as, "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!" "The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!" Or, "The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame".
  • Question 9

The Jabberwocky's eyes are described in the poem like "flames", what colour are they likely to be?

 

Throughout this activity, you can look back to question one if you need to or refer to your own text.
 

CORRECT ANSWER
Red
EDDIE SAYS
The answer was 'red'. To describe the Jabberwocky's eyes as "flame" likens them to a fire, which has vibrant red, orange and yellow colours. Therefore, 'red' is the best option available. You're making huge strides in your progress!
  • Question 10

Where is the poem set?

 

Throughout this activity, you can look back to question one if you need to or refer to your own text.
 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? Did you identify that the poem is set in a wood? We know this because: "The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, Came whiffling through the tulgey wood". Fantastic work, that's another activity completed and you are now more prepared for the SATs reading test. Why not take a little break before attempting another worksheet?
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