Hedgerow kennings (poems)
England and Wales: Forms of writing should include poetry.
Scotland: Writing a poem, using appropriate organisation and vocabulary.
Northern Ireland: Writing: pupils should have opportunities to write in different forms and to develop control of the different writing conventions demanded by these forms. Their writing should include poems.
Kennings are one of the styles of poetry suggested for use in the Literacy Hour. They are a useful way of encouraging children to use vivid language. Kennings come from Old English and Norse poetry, which names something without using its name eg 'mouse catcher ' was a cat, a sword was a 'skull-splitter' and a river a 'swan road'. It may be helpful to write a kenning together as a class, before attempting individual work.
On the worksheet is a kenning. Read together and try to guess what it is describing (a blackbird). The term 'worm murderer' gives human characteristics to something which is not human: the blackbird is not 'murdering' worms - they simply need them as food.
The children should then select a topic from the worksheet and write a kenning, using their own research about how it looks, what it eats, where it lives, and so on.
You could use any of these creatures for your kenning:
Voles are furry creatures that look a little like a mouse with a short tail. Like mice and rats, they are rodents. They are mainly active at night, and are hard to see during the day as they stay well hidden in the hedgerow. They have teeth like chisels, and they can cut through nut shells as well as plant stems. Voles create 'runs' through long grass, which look like tunnels. This helps to keep them hidden from predators such as owls and cats.
An active, perky bird who forages amongst leaf litter for food. The wren is small and brown and has a very loud, scolding cry that goes 'tic - tic - tic'. Its nest is a neat little dome with a side entrance, and is made from any handy material such as grass, leaves, moss, hair or feathers.
A plump mammal which curls up when threatened so that its spines stick out to protect it. It has a damp black nose which it uses to poke into leaf litter to look for its favourite food - slugs, beetles and other small creatures. The hedgehog is mainly active at night and hibernates in winter - often in compost heaps or piles of leaves.
This bird lives in open farmland, where it nests in hedgerows, low down near the ground.
The nest: usually quite bulky, made of grass or straw, and will be low down in a bush, or possibly a clump of grass. It has a high pitched call that sounds a bit like 'twink.' The song sounds like 'little bit of bread and no cheese'. The male yellowhammer has brighter, more yellow feathers than the female.
There are many different types of hawkmoth. As a group, they share some features. They tend to be large - often quite spectacular - and have furry bodies and feathery antennae. They are nocturnal, which means you are more likely to see them at night. Their chrysalides (the hard case they make when they are metamorphosing, or changing from caterpillar to moth) are usually buried in the soil under the plants which the caterpillars feed on.
This spider is commonly seen in gardens and on hedgerows. It spins an orb web - the beautiful net that can be seen covered in dew on an autumn morning. It catches insects in its web and sucks out the juices. It has a wonderful dark brown pattern on its back, and stripy legs.