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Michael Rosen's top tips for performing poems and stories

Sick by Shel Silverstein

"I cannot go to school today,"

Said little Peggy Ann McKay.

"I have the measles and the mumps,

A gash, a rash and purple bumps.

My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,

I'm going blind in my right eye.

My tonsils are as big as rocks,

I've counted sixteen chicken pox

And there's one more--that's seventeen,

And don't you think my face looks green?

My leg is cut--my eyes are blue--

It might be instamatic flu.

I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,

I'm sure that my left leg is broke--

My hip hurts when I move my chin,

My belly button's caving in,

My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,

My 'pendix pains each time it rains.

My nose is cold, my toes are numb.

I have a sliver in my thumb.

My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,

I hardly whisper when I speak.

My tongue is filling up my mouth,

I think my hair is falling out.

My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,

My temperature is one-o-eight.

My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,

There is a hole inside my ear.

I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?

What's that? What's that you say?

You say today is. . .Saturday?

G'bye, I'm going out to play!”

You need to pick a poem to learn for recital this week. You can use the poetry archive link to help find a poem that you like. Within this archive, you can read and/or listen to poems to help you pick one. Michael Rosen's tips will help you engage your audience once you have learnt your poem off by heart and are ready to perform it from memory. If you'd like to, you could record your performance at the end of this week to share with children in school. It will take you a few days - maybe even the whole week - to learn your poem.

Punctuation: Introduction to speech marks (KS2)