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Understand How to Apply Comprehension Skills to a Poetry Text

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

'Understand How to 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

Great stuff! You have decided to spend some time practising 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. You will 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 in reference to a fictional text.

Let's recap the different types of questions:

 

Text marking to answer 'right there' questions

Text marking is the skill you should first use when you read the poem, highlight or circle 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 require that you 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' and '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 using the text.

 

Inference questions

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

You will need to prove your answer by thinking what evidence there is to support a particular claim? How do you know a certain statement to be true?

Use 'because' in your answer to show the evidence you have identified in the text.

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

 

Right, now it's over to you now to answer a range of questions based on 'My Shadow' by Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

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

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

 

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;

But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

 

Who is the author of the poem?

 

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

Which year is the poem written in?

 

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed....

 

 

 

Who is 'he' in the poem? (1 mark)

 

 

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

 

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;

But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

 

Can you choose the phrase below that use 'personification'?

 

"One morning, very early..."

"He stays so close behind me..."

"I rose and found the morning dew..."

"On every buttercup..."

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all...

 

Is the language used in the poem old or modern? (2 marks)

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

...He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

 

Does the narrator think the coward is courageous or feeble?

Courageous

Feeble

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

 

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;

But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

 

Why does shadow stay at home in the last verse? (1 mark)

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

 

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;

But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

 

Can you record the number of rhyming couplets in this poem?

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

 

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;

But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

 

Can you explain what the word "nursie" means in the poem? (1 mark)

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed...

 

What does the shadow do when the narrator jumps into bed? (1 mark)

  • Question 1

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

 

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;

But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

 

Who is the author of the poem?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Robert Louis Stevenson
EDDIE SAYS
The first question was easy. Robert Louis Stevenson is the author of the poem. 'My Shadow' is a very old and famous poem, written for children.
  • Question 2

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

Which year is the poem written in?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
1885
EDDIE SAYS
Well spotted if you wrote 1885. 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 after you've read the poem.
  • Question 3

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed....

 

 

 

Who is 'he' in the poem? (1 mark)

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
  • Question 4

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

 

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;

But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

 

Can you choose the phrase below that use 'personification'?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
"He stays so close behind me..."
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on? Did you spot that the example of personification is "He stays so close behind me..." Personification is a device used in writing in which the author gives human characteristics to something that isn't human, in this case, a shadow! You're making great progress, let's push on.
  • Question 5

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all...

 

Is the language used in the poem old or modern? (2 marks)

CORRECT ANSWER
  • Question 6

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

...He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

 

Does the narrator think the coward is courageous or feeble?

CORRECT ANSWER
Feeble
EDDIE SAYS
The narrator states that his shadow is a "coward" as he stays so close to him. Feeble is another way of saying that someone lacks strength of character.
  • Question 7

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

 

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;

But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

 

Why does shadow stay at home in the last verse? (1 mark)

CORRECT ANSWER
  • Question 8

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

 

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;

But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

 

Can you record the number of rhyming couplets in this poem?

CORRECT ANSWER
8
eight
EDDIE SAYS
Nice job, if you counted eight! A rhyming couplet is two lines of the same length that rhyme and have the same meter (syllabic pattern). For example, in this poem, there is "up and buttercup".
  • Question 9

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

 

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;

But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

 

Can you explain what the word "nursie" means in the poem? (1 mark)

CORRECT ANSWER
  • Question 10

'My Shadow'

By Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1885.

 

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed...

 

What does the shadow do when the narrator jumps into bed? (1 mark)

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Fantastic work, that's another activity completed and you're now even more prepared for the SATs reading test.
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