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An Emotional Menagerie

SKU E6CS900670
Poetry Writing to Entertain Key Stage 2 English Year 6
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This Year 6 Poetry scheme is as much about emotional literacy as it is about English literacy! Introduce your class to the gorgeous 'An Emotional Menagerie' by the School of Life which explores an A-Z of emotions and how they affect us, as well as advice on how to handle these sometime complex emotions.

NB: We are unable to provide a copy of the book with this pack due to copyright. These lessons require the book to be purchased separately.

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Challenge your class to build and grow their vocabulary around emotions and different calming techniques that can be used to regulate emotions in a safe way. Then, the children will explore the structure and common features of the poems in the menagerie to prepare them for creating their own emotion poem.

Each of the seven lessons in this scheme comes with a detailed lesson plan, differentiated activity ideas, lesson slides and accompanying printable resources to support your class. You'll have everything you need to teach your Year 6 class some important emotional literacy as well as creating beautiful poetry.


Use this first lesson to broaden your class's vocabulary around emotions and discuss more complex emotions. The children are challenged to define and combine simpler emotions and use these to explore more complex emotions. Along the way, they will be making links in vocabulary and gaining a mental bank of words which they can use in their future writing.

With a detailed lesson plan, lesson input slides and printable resources, this lesson download will give you everything you need to teach a lesson based around the book 'An Emotional Menagerie' by the School of Life.

What's included:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Slides
  • Activity ideas
  • Quote cards
  • Vocabulary cards
  • Example scenarios sheet
  • Differentiated worksheets
  • Scale card
  • Synonym cards
  • Blank synonym cards

How do our bodies and minds react to different emotions? This second lesson revolves around discussion about what happens to us as individuals when we experience different emotions. The children will think about physical effects that we may or may not see in another person, as well as some of the mental effects and thoughts that emotions can provoke.

This lesson download gives you everything you need to engage your Year 6 class in a thorough discussion about emotions and the reaction we can have. The pack comes with a lesson plan, lesson slides and all the printable resources you'll need to support the children in their independent activity.

What's included:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Slides
  • Activity ideas
  • Verse cards
  • Emotion labels
  • Worksheet
  • Body outline

After discussing different emotions and how they affect our minds and bodies, this lesson requires the children to think about how they can regulate emotions. Your class will discuss how when our emotions make us (or someone else) unsafe, we need to think about how we can calm the emotions. Alternatively, your class can think about ways to appreciate and re-create emotions we like.

In a lesson that is as much about emotional literacy, as writing and expanding our vocabulary, the children will match emotions to calming techniques, or offer advice to someone who may need help regulating emotions.

Download everything you need to teach your class about appreciating and regulating emotions.

What's included:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Slides
  • Activity ideas
  • Calming techniques cards
  • Calming techniques challenge cards
  • Situation cards
  • Meditation sheet

Now that your class have studied how emotions can affect us, and how we can regulate them, the children will have an initial go at mimicking the style of the menagerie poems by writing their own animal comparison verses.

Using a selection of poems from the book to inspire their own writing, the children will think about how to create an image of an animal (real or imaginary) to compare their chosen emotion to. They may wish to challenge themselves by choosing a less common emotion and bring it to life in a short comparison poem to fit with the other poems in the menagerie.

This lesson download comes with a detailed lesson plan, lesson slides as well as the accompanying printable resources, giving you everything you need to provide differentiated and engaging activities.

What's included:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Slides
  • Activity ideas
  • Writing frame
  • Challenge cards
  • Worksheet

In this lesson the children will focus their discussions on the structure and features of the poems in preparation for creating their own poem to fit in the original menagerie.

The children will put on their detective hats and search the poems for common structural features including the rhyming pattern as well as the rhythm. They will then go on to search the individual poems for poetic features that have been used and how these create a mood within the poem. The independent activity can be a set of comprehension questions on selected poems, or group discussion about the mood created by the poems.

This lesson download comes with everything you need to teach an engaging discussion based lesson with differentiated activities and accompanying printable resources.

What's included:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Slides
  • Activity ideas
  • Differentiated worksheets
  • Terminology card
  • Challenge cards

Challenge your class to create their own poems to fit into the menagerie of emotional poems. You can let them choose their emotion, or really challenge them and create your own class emotional menagerie.

This lesson requires your class to take all the different elements of the existing menagerie of poems, as well as what they've learnt about emotions and calming techniques to create their own poem.

With engaging lesson slides, printable resources and a detailed, differentiated lesson plan, this pack gives you everything you need to help your class plan out a poem to describe an emotion.

What's included:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Slides
  • Activity ideas
  • Differentiated worksheets
  • Emotion word bank

Using all their hard work throughout the previous lessons, your class will finally draft their own poem to fit into the emotional menagerie. They will be challenged to mimic all the structural features of the existing poems so that their poem could easily replace one of the poems in the original, or you could create your own class 'Emotional Menagerie'.

This lesson comes with supporting printable resources as well as lesson slides, differentiated activity ideas as well as ideas on how the poems can be presented by the children.

What's included:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Slides
  • Activity ideas
  • Verse cards
  • Reminder card
Free Overview (Medium-Term Plan)

Download a free overview to support your teaching of this scheme of work.

Free Assessment Grid

Download a free, editable assessment grid to support your teaching of this scheme of work.

Curriculum Objectives covered

Reading - Comprehension Objectives:

  • continuing to read and discuss an increasingly wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks
  • making comparisons within and across books
  • checking that the book makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and exploring the meaning of words in context
  • Identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning
  • discuss and evaluate how authors use language, including figurative language, considering the impact on the reader
  • provide reasoned justifications for their views.

Writing - Transcription Spelling Objectives:

  • use a thesaurus

Writing - Composition Objectives:

  • identifying the audience for and purpose of the writing, selecting the appropriate form and using other similar writing as models for their own
  • selecting appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning
  • assessing the effectiveness of their own and othersโ€™ writing
  • proposing changes to vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to enhance effects and clarify meaning

Spoken Language Objectives:

  • ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
  • use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
  • articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
  • participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play/improvisations and debates

Get the book

These lessons are based on An Emotional Menagerie: Feelings from A-Z by The School of Life, available to buy now from our Bookshop store: is an online bookshop with a mission to financially support local, independent bookshops. 10% of every sale via our store goes to independent UK booksellers and the carbon emissions from every delivery are offset.

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