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Pippa McGeoch

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A Literary Leaf for Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats


KS: Lower KS2

Year Group: Year 3

Literary Theme: Overcoming Adversity

Author(s): T. S Elliot

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a 12-session Literary Leaf for the poems, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S Elliot in which children begin by exploring the vocabulary associated with the title before delving further into a selection of the poems within.  Children will make inferences about the characters in the poems and have the opportunity to create some small performances. Alongside this, we have signalled in several sessions for you to add key poetry terminology to your working wall as examples of each arise. This will create a working glossary that will then be used by the children towards the end of this comprehension sequence but will also be useful in future.

Synopsis of Text:

We chose these poems for a Literary Leaf as we adore the playfulness of the language used by T.S Elliot and we love the idea of a community of animals with distinct roles and personalities. 

Using the classic collection of poems by T.S Eliot (Old Possum), inspired by letters between the poet and his godchildren, this twelve-session leaf first explores the origins of his literary work before focusing on four of the poems. Included in this is an in-depth study of one of the poems – Mr. Mistoffelees. In addition to the use of the two texts, we have suggested that audio/music (and visuals, if liked) from the hit musical ‘Cats’ and of T.S Eliot reading ‘The Naming of Cats’ are used to bring elements to life, promote understanding and to also explore the potential for performance poetry and how it can be linked to other art-forms such as music and dance. Through this, the children will be exposed to narrative and lyrical forms of poetry as well as developing understanding of a host of poetry conventions. Almost complete coverage of the reading programmes of study for year 3 is planned for due to the narrative nature of the poems, whilst poetry and poetic conventions are examined in detail too. 


Cats, poetry

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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