by Carol Ann Duffy, Helen Taylor and Gillian Clarke
Here is a rhyming story with a difference by Carol Ann Duffy for you to read to the class.
Small Joan lived alone in a stone home with no phone. She like a good moan; she moaned if it rained or snowed, she moaned about fog or hailstones. She boiled up a bone for soup and supped the soup with a chrome spoon. Small Joan owned an old trombone and played it in the evenings, sawing bluesy tunes into the air. Small Joan slept prone on her own in a cot, snoring.
One day, there was a knock on the door of Small Joan’s stone home. It was Wee Dave. Wee Dave was brave and lived on his own in a cave. He liked a good rave; he raved till the wee small hours, singing and dancing, but he craved company. Wee Dave gave a wave and Small Joan frowned.
“Do me a favour,” said Wee Dave, “and come to the cave for a rave.”
“I’ll bring the trombone,’ said Small Joan. “Shall I come on my own or shall we invite Slight Lyn?”
Slight Lyn was thin as a pin. She lived by herself in an empty tin and swigged pink gin from a thimble. She liked to play cards and win. Snap! Slight Lyn was in when they called at the tin. She gave them a grin.
“Party?” she said. “Before we begin the thing we must ask Little Fred.’’
But Little Fred was dead, having choked on a morsel of bread in bed at his shed. So Small Joan played a funeral march on the trombone, Wee Dave dug a wee grave, and Thin Lyn poured a pink gin and sobbed till tears dripped from the end of her sharp chin.
Photocopy the story for each child in the class.
Talk about all the rhymes you can all find in the story. Sometimes these will be half-rhymes. How many rhymes does each character have? Who has the most?!
Give each child a name to find rhymes for and write a short paragraph. Here are some suggestions- Crying Brian; Brave Dave; Late Kate; Silly Milly; Tall Paul. Perhaps some children could even find a rhyme for their own name!