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Walking the Dog

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By Brian Mosespoet

This humorous poem by Brian Moses will appeal to most children from Year 1 up. The vocabulary is fun and words are easy to decode using phonics and simple word patterns. To support your use of the poem, have a selection of nursery rhymes, poetry books and posters about pets available for the children to look at.


Shared reading

  • Look at the poster together. What sort of text is it? How do we know?
  • Remind the children of reading strategies learned so far. Explain that, in this poem, rhyming words might be a good strategy to use.
  • Read the text together, focusing on spotting digraphs and trigraphs to work out unfamiliar words.
  • Emphasise the rhyming words as you read, or cover the last word in the line to see if the children can guess what the missing word is.
  • After reading, ask how the poem made the children feel and why. Discuss how the dog gave the family a shower.
  • Discuss, with speaking partners, other things the dog could have got up to on the walk. Share ideas with the class.

Shared writing

  • Model how to make your own class version of the ‘Walking the Dog’ poem. Remind children of their ideas from the shared reading session. Take one of the sentences the children gave you and model how to make it more interesting, with a different choice of verb or adjective. Encourage the children to make the sentence longer by adding a conjunction.

Further reading

Pet Poems by John Foster, illustrated by Korky Paul (OUP, 978 01927 63457). Pet Poems by Jennifer Curry, illustrated by Sarah Nayler (Scholastic Young Hippo, 978 04399 93593).

About the author

Download a Brian Moses Author Profile. Listen to some of Brian’s poems, find out more about him and watch an interview with him at

  • Model how to make a pair of sentences that rhyme by choosing a word that would fit the theme of the poem, such as dog, then making a list of words that rhyme with it. Next think of two sentences – one that ends with the word dog and another that ends with one of the other words you thought of – eg:

We have a bouncy, friendly dog
Who likes to go for a walk in the fog.
  • The children will probably find this concept difficult. They can often put the two rhyming words into a sentence, but may find it difficult to put them at the end of the sentence. Reassure them that it is often quite difficult to make the sentences rhyme, and that not all poems have to rhyme.

Guided and independent activities

  • Place acetate over the poem or, using IWB tools, highlight digraphs and trigraphs. Who can find the most digraphs? If necessary, provide a list to remind the children what they are looking for.
  • Think about alternative ways of spelling certain phonemes – eg, look at our, mouth, hour, howled and shower. Say/clap the words and look at the spelling patterns. Can the children think of other words that have the same ou phoneme but sound different, or the same spelling pattern but different sound?
  • Look for other examples of words that have the same sound but alternative spelling – eg, caught, walk. Ask the children how else the or sound can be spelled. Alternatively, look at really which has the ee sound in it, or fly, sky, slide which all have the ie sound.
  • Ask the children to make a comic strip based on the poem with a different scene for each naughty thing the dog does.
  • Role play the poem in pairs: ask one child to read the poem; the other to be the dog.

Literacy Framework

See the Using this issue chart here to identify the Learning Objectives covered by these activities, to track progression from Reception through to Year 3, and to identify links with Year 1 and 2 Planning Units.

Using the activity sheet

Use the activity sheet below to write new poems about walking the dog. Differentiated versions, with less and less scaffolding, are also available below. Remind the children of the points mentioned during shared writing – using interesting adjectives and verbs, and conjunctions to make longer sentences. Challenge more able children to use rhyme. Display the finished poems or make them into a class poetry book.


Share some of the role play performances. Encourage the child that is reading to think of the audience and use a loud, clear voice with emphasis on pausing so that the audience can take in the actions from the dog.