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Read Poetry to Analyse Meaning: 'Tich Miller'

In this worksheet, students will read and answer questions based on the poem 'Tich Miller' by Wendy Cope.

'Read Poetry to Analyse Meaning: 'Tich Miller'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Reading

Curriculum subtopic:   Understand Meaning

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

This worksheet is designed to help you explore modern poetry. It is based on a poem by Wendy Cope called 'Tich Miller'. In 1998 Wendy Cope was the Listeners' Choice as Poet Laureate in a BBC Radio 4 poll.

 

 

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

Tich Miller

Tich Miller wore glasses

with elastoplast-pink frames

and had one foot three sizes larger than the other.

 

When they picked teams for outdoor games

she and I were always the last two

left standing by the wire-mesh fence.

 

We avoided one another’s eyes,

stooping, perhaps, to re-tie a shoelace,

or affecting interest in the flight

 

of some fortunate bird, and pretended

not to hear the urgent conference:

‘Have Tubby!’ ‘No, no, have Tich!’

 

Usually they chose me, the lesser dud,

and she lolloped, unselected,

to the back of the other team.

 

At eleven we went to different schools.

In time I learned to get my own back,

sneering at hockey-players who couldn’t spell.

 

Tich died when she was twelve.

 

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

What are the differences between the narrator and Tich? And what do they have in common?

Thinking about rhyme and rhythm, comment on the style of this poem.

What strategy does the narrator adopt later in her childhood, for facing up to her tormentors?

What is the effect of the last, isolated line?

Imagine you are Tich. Write a diary entry about a day at school, including outdoor games. Remember to describe your feelings.

  • Question 1

What are the differences between the narrator and Tich? And what do they have in common?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Award one mark for each of these points:
  • The narrator is teased because she is overweight. Tich has birth defects.
  • They are both picked last for the team.
    • Question 2

    Thinking about rhyme and rhythm, comment on the style of this poem.

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    Award one mark for each of these points:
  • The lines are in groups of three. They do not rhyme and there is no rhythm pattern.
  • This suggests the lack of symmetry and balance in Tich's physique.
    • Question 3

    What strategy does the narrator adopt later in her childhood, for facing up to her tormentors?

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    She becomes good at her school work so she can laugh back at those who can't spell.
    • Question 4

    What is the effect of the last, isolated line?

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    It is isolated because it represents Tich's isolation and her loneliness - and it shocks the reader.
    • Question 5

    Imagine you are Tich. Write a diary entry about a day at school, including outdoor games. Remember to describe your feelings.

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    Award up to four marks for a good diary entry.
    The diary entry could read, for example:
    Today at school no one spoke to me, as always. Our first lesson was games, which is my worst subject. I never get picked to be in a team and it makes me feel very sad. I sat by myself at lunch too and all the other children played together. I always feel so lonely.
    Try it ---- OR ----

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