A Cricket Chorus

poem by Neal Levin , illustrated by Jasmine Seymour

Learning Intention:

I am learning to use my topic knowledge and awareness of language to decode texts so that I can develop a deeper understanding of context when reading and writing.


Success Criteria:

  • I can use my understanding of language and topic to arrange a poem in a logical order
  • I can brainstorm information about a particular topic
  • I can compose a poem based on my topic
  • I can use my understanding to decode a partner’s poem



Understanding text:


Distribute scrap paper to students and have them cut it into seven strips. Display the lines from the poem on the board in the following order and have the students write each line on a separate strip:


  • and hums and sings
  • beneath the moon
  • A cricket in the thick of night
  • till all his cricket friends unite
  • strums his wings
  • until the early morning light
  • to play a tune


Ask students to rearrange the lines into the order they think the poem is really in. Ask them guiding questions, such as:

  • How many lines rhyme with each other
  • Are there the same number of lines for each rhyme?
  • What kind of pattern could these rhymes form?
  • Does the poem make sense when you arrange it into the order you think Is right?


Give students time to experiment with different patterns and orders. Once students are confident that they have solved the puzzle, give them a copy of the magazine to quietly check. Ask them to keep their answers to themselves until everyone has had a chance to check their own arrangement, then read the magazine text aloud as a class.


Creating text:


Students should then choose their own insect or animal to write a poem about. Ask them to brainstorm first by thinking about features, behaviours and interesting facts about their animals and writing down a few dot points. They should then look for rhyming opportunities and use a thesaurus to help them add more vocabulary as needed. Provide students with an explicit example of what a good one looks like. You may like to model an example on the board, such as this one or develop your own:




  • Live in the water and on land
  • Some live under rocks or burrow into the sand
  • Mostly walk sideways as it’s faster than walking forwards
  • Have two large claws at the front, also referred to as pincers


Use this brainstorm to create a poem, such as:


A crab enjoying the summer sun

Wanders along the sand

He wants to swim and have some fun

Away from busy land


Sideways he strolls down to the shore

His pincers snap with glee

He tests the water with his claw

And makes all the swimmers flee


Explain to students that they can use any rhyme scheme they like for this exercise. Once their poem is complete, they should cut it into strips and swap with a partner and attempt to reconstruct each other’s poems.


Assessment for/as learning:


Revisit the template of What a Good One looks Like previously shared with students via the digital learning selector. Ask children to reflect on their own text and that of their peers, collectively call on children to review each other's work using the success criteria. Ask children to identify if their work is good or great based on the success criteria clearly identified.