An Exotic Bouquet

poem by Beverly McLoughland , illustrated by Anna Bron

Learning intention:

I am learning to participate in class discussions, developing arguments and expressing opinions.

Success criteria:

  • I can analyse two poems to identify their features.
  • I can reflect on which of these poems I prefer.
  • I can provide reasons for my preference.
  • I can participate in a class discussion.
  • I can develop arguments when I express my opinion.

Read An Exotic Bouquet. Analyse the poem by discussing the following questions:

  • Does the poem include language features such as rhyme, alliteration, metaphor? (e.g. Metaphor is used to describe the flamingos as a bouquet of long-stemmed flowers)
  • What imagery is included? (e.g. Describing how the flamingos look, comparing them to long-stemmed flowers in a vase)
  • What impression does the poem have on you? (e.g. It causes me to imagine a calming image of the flamingos in my mind while making me view the creatures in a new and unexpected way.)

Read the poem Top Dog, found on page 12 of this issue of Touchdown. Place students in small groups. Instruct them to discuss the same questions as they did previously with their group. Discuss students responses. Sample responses have been provided below:

  • Does the poem feature language features such as, rhyme, alliteration, metaphor? (e.g. Rhyming couplets)
  • What imagery is included? (e.g. Describing how the cat looks balancing on the dog)
  • What impression does the poem have on you? (e.g. I find it entertaining and funny and I like the unexpected image of a cat balancing on top of a dog)

Pose the question:

Which poem do you prefer?

Instruct students to form two groups, those who prefer An Exotic Bouquet and those who prefer Top Dog. Tell them to discuss with their group their responses to the questions above and why they prefer the poem they have chosen. Tell students to note each of their reasons on a slip of paper.

Once students have each noted at least one reason for their choice on a slip of paper, place the slips of paper into two bowls or hats, one for comments relating to Top Dog and one for comments about An Exotic Bouquet.

Tell students that you will be taking turns to select one comment at random to read out from each of the hats. The group who did not choose the poem the comment relates to should present an argument that explains why they do not agree with the comment. For example, if a comment about An Exotic Bouquet states that students enjoyed the poem due to the vivid imagery, students who selected Top Dog might argue the imagery in that poem is just as vivid and that it is also humorous.

Select comments relating to each of the poems and allow time for students to present their ideas about why they might disagree with the comments.