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Read Poetry to Analyse Meaning: 'The Way Through the Woods'

In this worksheet, students read the poem 'The Way Through the Woods' by Rudyard Kipling. Then they use their analytical skills to deduce hidden meaning and allusion in the text.

'Read Poetry to Analyse Meaning: 'The Way Through the Woods'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Reading

Curriculum subtopic:  Use Inference and Evidence

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Read this poem.

 

 

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

The Way Through the Woods
by Rudyard Kipling

 

 

They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse's feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods ...
But there is no road through the woods.

 

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

 

 

Now, we will go through some questions based on the poem. If you need to look at the poem again, click on the Help button as you go through the worksheet.

Including the title, how many times does Kipling use the word 'woods' in the poem? Write your answer as a word, not a number.

 

Kipling uses the word 'woods' ____________ times.

What does the use of repetition in the poem suggest? Choose three answers.

It would be pointless to try to change anything.

He is bored with seeing trees everywhere.

The way things are will not alter now.

There is nothing anyone can do about some things in life.

It shows the woods are overgrown.

Re-read this extract from the poem:

 

Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods

 

Could you argue that there were some positives to the road being shut? Which of the following could be a positive outcome, from reading the extract above?

Nature has overwhelmed the road.

Animals are free to enjoy the woods now.

There was a road, but is is gone now.

Read this student's work and choose the best quotation to fit the point they are making:

 

Kipling is clearly hinting here at a ghostly presence in the woods. The words _______  __________ make the reader feel that the phantoms are not a threat but a very real presence there.

not men

horses feet

misty solitudes

Re-read this line from the second stanza:

 

You will hear the beat of a horse's feet

 

The words 'beat' and 'feet' have been used because they rhyme. What kind of rhyme is it?

Perfect rhyme: exactly the same word is used twice.

Assonance: the vowel sounds rhyme.

A rhyming couplet: the last words in two consecutive lines rhyme with each other.

What reasons could you give as to why we should not fear the ghosts? Choose two answers.

They move steadily.

They charge about.

They are strong knights.

They are female.

Kipling uses the second person singular 'you' as well as the third person plural 'they' to describe everyone from the animals to the ghosts. What does this suggest about the writer?

He is attached and involved in the poem.

He is detached and distant in the poem.

Read this student's work and complete the word below.

 

There are undertones of d_______ in this poem. The ghosts obviously convey this, but also the way the last line is so final suggests that things are bad and will never improve again.

  • Question 1

Including the title, how many times does Kipling use the word 'woods' in the poem? Write your answer as a word, not a number.

 

Kipling uses the word 'woods' ____________ times.

CORRECT ANSWER
eight
  • Question 2

What does the use of repetition in the poem suggest? Choose three answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
It would be pointless to try to change anything.
The way things are will not alter now.
There is nothing anyone can do about some things in life.
EDDIE SAYS
The poem has a fatalistic tone; that the way things are is not positive, but it won't change now.
  • Question 3

Re-read this extract from the poem:

 

Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods

 

Could you argue that there were some positives to the road being shut? Which of the following could be a positive outcome, from reading the extract above?

CORRECT ANSWER
Animals are free to enjoy the woods now.
  • Question 4

Read this student's work and choose the best quotation to fit the point they are making:

 

Kipling is clearly hinting here at a ghostly presence in the woods. The words _______  __________ make the reader feel that the phantoms are not a threat but a very real presence there.

CORRECT ANSWER
misty solitudes
  • Question 5

Re-read this line from the second stanza:

 

You will hear the beat of a horse's feet

 

The words 'beat' and 'feet' have been used because they rhyme. What kind of rhyme is it?

CORRECT ANSWER
Assonance: the vowel sounds rhyme.
EDDIE SAYS
The vowel sounds rhyme: 'beat' and 'feet' are spelled differently but the central sound is the same. This is assonance.
  • Question 6

What reasons could you give as to why we should not fear the ghosts? Choose two answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
They move steadily.
They are female.
EDDIE SAYS
The ghosts 'steadily canter' and wear skirts.
  • Question 7

Kipling uses the second person singular 'you' as well as the third person plural 'they' to describe everyone from the animals to the ghosts. What does this suggest about the writer?

CORRECT ANSWER
He is detached and distant in the poem.
EDDIE SAYS
Kipling has detached himself by using 'you' instead of 'I'.
  • Question 8

Read this student's work and complete the word below.

 

There are undertones of d_______ in this poem. The ghosts obviously convey this, but also the way the last line is so final suggests that things are bad and will never improve again.

CORRECT ANSWER
death
---- OR ----

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