The past few posts have outlined how we gently and naturally enjoy poetry and learn about a variety of topics through it. Sometimes I might ask the boys to fill out a 5W and H sheet but usually it is just an informal process involving discussion. Below are some of the 5W’s and a H we’ve discussed, while enjoying The Man from Snowy River, using the 5W’s and a H Observation sheet, which you can download from the downloads page.

  • Who wrote the poem?
  • What can you tell me about A.B. Paterson?
  • On which Australian banknote would you find a picture of Mr. Paterson?
  • Do you know when this poem was written?
  • When do you think this even took place in Australia’s timeline?
  • Who is major character or who is the poem referring to?
  • What other people are mentioned?
  • What is the main event or events?
  • Tell me what you know about the bushmen. Describe them.
  • Where did this event take place? Describe the location and surroundings.
  • Along with the Poet Biographical Outline, I have the boys choose one or more activities from the Activity Sheets (also available from the downloads page) to complete.

I’ve found that using the Observation Sheet is a key element in the art of narration. Whilst the girls seemed to be able to narrate for days on end, the Observation Sheet has been invaluable for the boys. It helps them to look for the main points in a story, poem or movie. Whilst I certainly don’t like to reduce any art form or literary medium to a basic ‘who-why-what-when-where’ format, it is helpful for those who find a rich, literary style rather superfluous.