It is our dog Pilli’s 10th birthday today. The boys wanted to write some poetry about her as a birthday present.


  • Magnetic letters and magnetic board
  • Paper
  • Pencils and felt tips
  • Dictionary
  • Paint sticks


Finn decided to do an acrostic poem. Acrostic poems spell out names or words with the first letter in each line. He was going to write P-I-L-L-I down the left hand side, but the letters ‘L’ and ‘I’ were repeated, leaving only three letters to work with. Instead, he decided to go for one of her pet names. He was thinking of “Pillikins’, but realised the magnetic letters took up too much space on his magnetic board. In the end he went for ‘Pils’ as ‘P-I-L-S’ fitted nicely on his board.

Ioan wrote a kennings poem about Pilli. A kenning is a much-compressed form of metaphor, originally used in Anglo-Saxon and Norse poetry. A noun (object or person) is described in a two-word phrase. Kennings are often used in poetry for effect.

Cian was busy doing some mark making. He kept checking that Ioan and Finn were still working alongside him, then would shout, “Bubba!” (brother) in excitement and carry on.

Finn listed as many words beginning with ‘p’ as possible, asking Ioan for help to make the sounds ‘aw’ and ‘ch’.

Ioan kept thinking of two-word phrases to describe Pilli and give clues to answer the question, “Who am I?’

When Ioan had finished his poem, he went back to check for mistakes. He spotted he had written, ‘love give’ instead of ‘love giver’. He wasn’t happy with the way he had spelt ‘cuderl’, so used the dictionary to find the spelling of cuddle, then added the ‘r’.

The other word he wasn’t happy with was ‘goberler’. Again he used the dictionary to help with the spelling. Meanwhile, Finn was writing some of his ‘p’ words inside Pilli’s card and Cian was still playing with some magnetic letters.

They finished off their poems and then got to work making their birthday cards.

They drew their pictures, used the paint sticks to colour them in, then glued them on their cards.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Physical development

ELG 04 – Moving and handling:

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.


ELG 10 – Writing:

Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

English Year 1 programme of study

Writing – composition

Write sentences by:

  • saying out loud what they are going to write about
  • composing a sentence orally before writing it
  • sequencing sentences to form short narratives
  • re-reading what they have written to check that it makes sense

Writing – vocabulary, grammar and punctuation

  • leave spaces between words
  • join words and joining clauses using and
  • begin to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark
  • use a capital letter for names of people, places, the days of the week, and the personal pronoun ‘I’

English Year 2 programme of study

Writing – composition

Develop positive attitudes towards and stamina for writing by:

  • writing narratives about personal experiences and those of others (real and fictional)
  • writing about real events
  • writing poetry
  • writing for different purposes