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Nonsense Poetry: I went to the pictures tomorrow Lesson Plan

I Went To the Pictures Tomorrow is one of the greatest examples on nonsense poetry. It’s no wonder teachers from around the world use it, especially given all the extensive activities you can do!

Below is a sample lesson using I went to the pictures tomorrow, along with some nice activities, follow up lesson plans, assessments and homework options!

Objective:

  • To introduce students to the concept of nonsense poetry and its unique characteristics.
  • To analyze and understand the nonsensical elements present in the poem “I went to the pictures Tomorrow.”
  • To encourage creativity and imagination by allowing students to create their own nonsense poems.




Materials:

  • “I went to the pictures Tomorrow” poem (provided separately)
  • Projector or board for displaying the poem
  • Whiteboard or blackboard and markers
  • Copies of the poem for each student
  • Writing materials (pencils, pens, colored pencils, etc.)

Poem: I Went To the Pictures Tomorrow

I Went To the Pictures Tomorrow,
I got a front seat at the back.
I fell from the pit to the gallery,
And broke a front bone in my back.
I went around a straight crooked corner,
To see a dead donkey die.
I took out my pistol to stab it,
And it kicked me right in the eye!
A lady she gave me some chocolate,
I ate it and gave it her back.
I phoned for a taxi and walked it
And thats why I never came back.

Warm-up Activity (10 minutes): Start the class by engaging the students with a warm-up activity:

  • Ask the students if they have heard of nonsense poetry and if they can give any examples of nonsense rhymes or stories they know.
  • Share a famous example, like “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll, and ask students what they think makes it nonsense.
  • Briefly discuss the main characteristics of nonsense poetry: playful language, made-up words, exaggerated situations, and absurd imagery.

Introduction to “I went to the pictures Tomorrow” (15 minutes):

  • Display the poem “I went to the pictures Tomorrow” on the board or projector.
  • Ask a volunteer to read the poem aloud.
  • Lead a discussion to identify some of the nonsensical elements in the poem, such as the title’s contradiction, the invented words, and the unusual imagery.
  • Explain that this poem was written by an anonymous author and exemplifies the essence of nonsense poetry.

Analyzing the Poem (20 minutes): Divide the class into small groups and provide each group with a copy of the poem. Instruct them to analyze the poem together:

  • Identify the made-up words and discuss their possible meanings in the context of the poem.
  • Find instances of absurd or exaggerated imagery and discuss how they contribute to the poem’s nonsensical nature.
  • Encourage students to express their interpretations and reactions to the poem’s unusual elements.




Group Presentations (15 minutes): Each group should present their findings to the class. Facilitate a discussion after each presentation, encouraging other students to ask questions or share their thoughts on the group’s analysis.

Creating Nonsense Poems (30 minutes): Now that students have explored “I went to the pictures Tomorrow” and understand the elements of nonsense poetry, it’s time for them to try their hand at creating their own nonsense poems:

  • Provide some sample words, both real and made-up, on the board to inspire their creativity.
  • Encourage them to play with language, create absurd scenarios, and use exaggeration to make their poems nonsensical.
  • Allow time for students to work on their poems individually or in pairs.

Sharing and Feedback (10 minutes): Give each student or pair an opportunity to read their nonsense poem aloud to the class. After each presentation, allow their peers to offer positive feedback and share what they enjoyed about the poem.

Wrap-up (5 minutes):

  • Summarize the main characteristics of nonsense poetry and its unique appeal.
  • Encourage students to explore more nonsense poetry in their free time and share any interesting findings with the class.
  • Emphasize the importance of creativity and imagination in writing, and how nonsensical elements can add a fun twist to their work.

Homework (optional): As an optional assignment, students can write a short reflection on the experience of writing their nonsense poem, explaining what they found most challenging and enjoyable about the process.

Assessment: Assessment will be based on students’ participation in class discussions, their understanding and analysis of “I went to the pictures Tomorrow,” and the creativity demonstrated in their own nonsense poems.

Read Next: Wind On the Hill Poem Lesson Plan

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