Winter's Grey

poem by Janeen Brian , illustrated by Peter Sheehan

Composes a presentation that features formal language, outlining which of two poems they most connect with.

View the scene out the classroom window, commenting on features including the following:

What the leaves on the trees and the plants look like

The color of the sky/the weather

The clothing people wear (e.g., warm jumpers or short-sleeved T-shirts)

How students feel about the weather (e.g., are they feeling happy and hopeful in the sunshine or cold and looking forward to getting cosy under a blanket when they get home on a rainy day)

Read both Winter’s Grey and With the Sun on my Face. Discuss the mood of each poem. Ensure students note the difference between the mood of each. Draw students’ attention to the following lines from With the Sun on my Face, that inspire hope:

To lie on the grass with the sun on my face

It is lovely to dive in the water with grace

To take in the world at a leisurely pace

Contrast these with lines from Winter’s Grey, that infer a sense of sadness and melancholy, such as:

Our eyes are dulled

It sucks the colours

Dampens smiles

till hearts beat sad

Discuss the sense of hope that is introduced at the end of Winter’s Grey, due to the onset of spring.

Share which poem best represents the way you personally are currently feeling. Suggestions for comments to share include:

I feel With the Sun on my Face best matches my mood because despite the cooler weather I still enjoy feeling the sun on my face.

Winter’s Grey is most like how I’m feeling because it is so cold and I just want it to be spring.

Place students in groups. Instruct students to share their ideas with their group. Encourage them to take part in a lively interaction commenting on each other’s ideas. While students are discussing their ideas the teacher should rotate around the groups highlighting examples of informal language such as:

Nah, I don’t agree

What the heck? How can you prefer winter?

Share your observations about the informal speech you heard while listening in on the groups discussions. Encourage students to share further examples of informal speech they used during the time they spent interacting with their group.

Inform students that they will be composing a brief formal presentation based on their opinions about which poem best represents their current mood.

View the article 30 useful phrases for presentations in English from

Scroll down until you find the formal phrases that are suggested to be used in presentations.

Good morning/afternoon everyone and welcome to my presentation. First of all, let me thank you all for coming here today.

Let me start by saying a few words about my own background.

My talk is particularly relevant to those of you who....

Instruct students to compose a brief one-minute presentation on which of the poems best represents their current mood. Students can work with a partner or independently on this task. Remind students to include formal language in their presentations.