Resource 1: Preparing lessons on name or praise poems

Background information / subject knowledge for teacher

Decide whether you wish to choose name or praise poems/stories to work on with your pupils.

  1. Choose one or more examples from Resources 2 or 3 OR from other resources that you have OR write your own poem or story.
  2. Write the poem(s)/story(ies) on large sheets of paper or cardboard so that when you use them in class pupils will be able to read the large print with you and then refer to the poems and stories when they are writing their own. If you don’t have large sheets of paper, write on your chalkboard.
  3. Prepare some questions to ask pupils about the poem(s)/story(ies). Obviously, the kind of question will depend on what you have chosen.

    For example, if you chose Tade’s or Thabo’s poem, you could begin with: ‘What do you notice about the way this poem is written?’ (Answer: Each line begins with one letter in Tade’s or Thabo’s name).

    If you chose Hugh Lewin’s praise story about Jafta’s mother, you could ask: ‘Would you like to have a mother like Jafta’s? Give me a reason for your answer.’

When you have completed this preparation, you are ready to teach lessons about name and praise poems and stories. When pupils begin writing, move around the class to help anyone who finds it difficult to get started. Some may need help with ideas, others with vocabulary.

Resources 2 and 3 are all name or praise poems, songs or stories but the language is much more difficult in some than in others.

3. Focus on the writing process

Resource 2: Name poems and stories