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Reading a bonfire, top to bottom

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By Geoffrey Summerfield

Perfect to share in winter time, this poem is ideal for building children’s store of vocabulary and discussing the meanings of words using the context in which they appear. Its interesting form – describing a bonfire from the top down – provides a framework which children can use to create their own poems in the same style. As well as using similes, it provides the opportunity to introduce the concept of metaphor.

These teachers’ notes accompany the PRINT ONLY guided reading leaflet in Literacy Time PLUS Ages 7 to 9, November 2008.

reading-bonfire-image.jpg

Shared learning and teaching

Before reading

  • Talk about bonfires the children have seen. What is the atmosphere like at a Bonfire Night party? How would they describe the fire? List their ideas to compare with the poem later.
  • Practise decoding any words your children could find difficult to read, such as expire, dissolved, ruin and furnace. Discuss the silent ‘w’ in wrestle and wrist and the soft ‘g’ in singe. Think of other examples.
  • Discuss the title and what this might suggest about the poem to follow.
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Reviews

  1. Kirstin McCreadie Assistant Editor
    on 9 November 2010

    Poem

    Dear Keiran,

    The poem is on the Poster, ‘Reading a bonfire, top to bottom’. This is only available to subscribers of Child Ed PLUS. A 12-month subscription starts from just £15 visit www.scholastic.co.uk/subscribe for more information.

    Best wishes, Kirstin.

  2. kieran philis
    on 6 November 2010

    what??????????

    i cant even read the poem where is it?

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