Boy at window
Boy at window

Weather is one of the biggest resources a teacher can use in the classroom – children are fascinated by it. Waiting at the Window by famous poet and author A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh) is of no exception, as it’s a poem teachers can use to great lengths in class.

The poem tells of the narrator commentating on a race between two drops of rain water. And there are a number of lessons you can focus in on including:

  • personification (making something seem human-like)
  • List onamatipea words – what words sound like rain? Thunder? To describe fog/sunshine?
  • Beautiful vocabulary used (ooze, smear etc.)

And if you’re looking for more poems to use in class, make sure to visit our poems page!

Waiting At The Window

By A. A. Milne

These are my two drops of rain
Waiting on the window-pane.

I am waiting here to see
Which the winning one will be.

Both of them have different names.
One is John and one is James.

All the best and all the worst
Comes from which of them is first.

James has just begun to ooze.
He’s the one I want to lose.

John is waiting to begin.
He’s the one I want to win.

James is going slowly on.
Something sort of sticks to John.

John is moving off at last.
James is going pretty fast.

John is rushing down the pane.
James is going slow again.

James has met a sort of smear.
John is getting very near.

Is he going fast enough?
(James has found a piece of fluff.)

John has quickly hurried by.
(James was talking to a fly.)

John is there, and John has won!
Look! I told you! Here’s the sun!


Poetry Ideas:

  • Check out our Poetry Page for lots of poems to use in your classroom
  • Keep a poetry diary for kids to record read work – read more poems by favourite poets
  • Adjective / Onomatopoeia word hunts
  • Write a response verse from the perspective of a different character
  • Write a response verse in a different style – nonsense, rhyming, haiku, cinquain etc. Does this change the poem?
  • Think up of 5/10 Questions you would ask a character in a poem/the author
  • Illustrate your favourite image from the poem – in black & white, colour.
  • Storyboard the poem: each verse gets a scene
  • Create a diorama of the poem out of recycling materials
  • Illustrate a book cover/movie poster that could accompany the poem
  • Write the poem using appropriate fonts / why did you choose this to reflect the poem?