Would you be impressed if your 6 yo wrote this....?

(48 Posts)
lonelyredrobin Sat 08-Dec-12 10:57:08

If a 6 year old wrote the following on their own, with no assistance, no spelling mistakes etc would you think it was good for their age? I've written it below as it was written:

I saw a little girl bright and gay
dancing for the school fair in May.
She wore a Summer dress of red,
and pretty flowers around her head
She wore a pair of shoes that shone,
and as she danced she sang a song.

I'd honestly be interested to know if this is average / good / really good for the age group as I have no clue. Thanks

DamnBamboo Sat 08-Dec-12 11:03:30

Honestly, why are you asking this...
What are you going to do with the information anyway?
What do you think of it?

crazygracieuk Sat 08-Dec-12 11:03:48

I think it's excellent and I have a 6 year old and 2 older ones who were once six.

My daughter could do it at 6 but my sons couldn't at all.

messybedhead Sat 08-Dec-12 11:05:16

If you honestly have no clue then she obviously doesn't get it from you! grin

lonelyredrobin Sat 08-Dec-12 11:12:59

It wasn't written by my dc, so no definitely not from me!

It was written by a friend's dc and they asked for my opinion on it - not sure why they asked me really, I'm quite academic, did well at school so maybe that's why...

Anyway, I don't and have never had a 6 yo so I really don't know whether this is average / good / exceptional. Thought other people with 6 yo might be able to give me a steer that's all.

HazeltheMcWitch Sat 08-Dec-12 13:21:28

I'd think the child lived in the 1950's. I'd be jolly surprised that a 6yo would use gay in that sense, or would write/say "...of red" .

learnandsay Sat 08-Dec-12 13:31:08

It's very good. It's almost all comprised of simple vocabulary and in that sense not truly exceptional, but still very good. However, the first line is actually quite accomplished and I'd be surprised if a six year old could come up with it on her own unless she'd seen it used elsewhere. Bright is a term usually meant to refer to intelligence. But in this context it means lively and healthy. How would a six year old know that? And gay isn't often used to mean happy and carefree nowadays. So, all in all, I'd say it's a good effort but slightly enigmatic.

EuphemiaInExcelsis Sat 08-Dec-12 13:34:45

I teach P2 and there's not a single one of them who could write that.

HDee Sat 08-Dec-12 13:44:50

I'd be very surprised is a 6 year old used language like that.

My five year old wrote a note to me this morning which read 'to mummy I will love love you for ever and ever even when you are dead' followed by a picture of a dead me, and a sad her. I was well impressed.

It's well constructed.

Certain expressions such as 'bright and gay' have clearly been pinched fron nursery rhymes but the child understands their meaning well enough to use them so I don't think that's a bad thing.

The child seems to have a good ear for language and the ability to construct simple poetry at that age is definitely not the norm ime

SolomanDaisy Sat 08-Dec-12 13:49:14

Most of it scans, which most adults wouldn't manage.

Angelico Sat 08-Dec-12 13:53:28

HDee grin

Myliferocks Sat 08-Dec-12 13:55:54

My 10 yr old DD used to write poems like that when she was about the same age.
Turns out she was memorising them from books, writing them down and pretending they were hers.

lonelyredrobin Sat 08-Dec-12 13:55:56

So it seems my friend's dd is an enigmatic 50's throwback!

She's definitely 6yo. Not sure where she would have learnt the words / phrasing others have referred to above. Other books, poems, TV presumably. I know she has a copy of A Child's Garden of Verses (quite old fashioned I think?).

It sounds like she's doing quite well and her interest in poetry should be encouraged.

learnandsay Sat 08-Dec-12 13:58:36

If she's interested in reading generally I'd encourage that. Personally I think six is a bit young to start specialising in poetry.

DearJ0hn Sat 08-Dec-12 13:58:43

I'd be beyond impressed as my 6 year old cannot write a word, bar his name and 'mum' and 'dad'

lonelyredrobin Sat 08-Dec-12 14:02:13

...Of course all children should be encouraged to take an interest in poetry. What I meant was it seems she has a flair (even if she's been "inspired" by other poems) and should be supported as much as poss.

I was actually most impressed by the absence of spelling mistakes, good grammar and very neat handwriting in straight lines (on unlined paper)!

learnandsay Sat 08-Dec-12 14:12:55

Flair? It's difficult to say from one poem. What adults call poetry involves all kinds of techniques, emotions, experiences and knowledge of the classics.....

A child should be encouraged, certainly, but encouraged generally. She might well win junior poetry competitions if she carries on in that style. But poetry is harder to express oneself in generally than prose is. And a young child needs to develop in all areas. I'd suggest prose is better for doing this in.

Lougle Sat 08-Dec-12 14:28:24

I think her Mum should be really proud that she wanted to try and do it. Regardless of whether it was 'good' or not.

DD2 made up a song:

I want to see my Dad, when he's at work,
who would like to see me go.
When will I be gone by now?
Who would like an awful sound?
Yar yor yi, yaba cossa free.
Who will want to make me three?"

She didn't write it, but she made up her own tune and her own lyrics (obviously - you wouldn't get those lyrics written down anywhere wink).

I was really proud of her for coming up with a varied tune, some rhyme, filling in gaps..I liked it. Who cares what it 'means' for her future? She just needs to be encouraged to enjoy doing what she does.

SolomanDaisy Sat 08-Dec-12 14:36:53

The fact it scans suggests to me that she has an instinctive understanding of the rhythm of language. So she will probably really love reading a variety of poetry and playing with sound in poetry and prose. I say this knowing a lot about poetry and nothing about 6 year olds! I'd be happy if it was my child because that is a great way to learn to love language.

Tgger Sat 08-Dec-12 14:53:21

It sounds like something she's learnt and is repeating. Have you googled it? My 4 year old would be able to repeat something like that she's heard often enough. My 6 year old could probably repeat it and write it if so inclined, probably with a few spelling mistakes, but he is just 6 grin. Are you sure she didn't copy it from a book?

mrz Sat 08-Dec-12 14:59:06

I agree with Tgger it sounds as if she has based it on something she has read

ISeeThreadPeople Sat 08-Dec-12 14:59:37

5yo dd wrote that 'christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, please put a penny etc' down on a piece of paper at school the other day. After the teacher had gushed about it, I had to break it to her that's it's an extremely well known rhyme. Spelling and metre was accurate however! I think there's probably some degree of sponge at work here. DD regurgitates all manner of stuff.

Shall I transcribe for you what dd wrote this morning as an example of a 5yo's efforts? Title is 'irregular verbs are really strange' and it comprises a list of verbs, their past participles and then a paragraph on drink/drunk/drank and a little post script about alcohol being poisonous. It's marvellous!

Tgger Sat 08-Dec-12 15:04:55

I think it's still great when they regurgitate stuff though smile. Shows they have engaged with it.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sat 08-Dec-12 15:12:53

I would assume the child had copied it from somewhere.

lonelyredrobin Sat 08-Dec-12 15:13:03

Googled it - didn't find anything. Think it's original but prob inspired by ACGofV or something similar. I think it's good on spelling, sentence layout. I think it was written at school so not directly copied afaik. Anyway, thanks for the comments, will paraphrase them back to my friend.

thornrose Sat 08-Dec-12 15:15:12

Has she read The Mother goose rhymes?

I had two pigeons bright and gay,
They flew from me the other day.
What was the reason they did go?
I cannot tell, for I do not know.

Lovingthecoast Sun 09-Dec-12 23:21:59

I have 4 kids and my dd1, who is almost 8 was writing stories, songs and poetry at 6yrs. She is considered gifted and has an IEP. However, despite her poems and songs being really quite good, she would never have used the expression 'bright and gay' as I doubt she would have encountered such expressions. Nor would she ever have phrased the last line in such a mature way. She would almost certainly have written, 'she danced as she sang a song.'

Tgger Mon 10-Dec-12 09:58:16

I love some of the language she uses though, thought I should say that after first being rather lacking in praise as I thought she'd copied it. Seems she hasn't. Most likely she got the first line from the Pigeons poem, but not the rest, some of which is beautiful. Well done her! smile.

MerryMarigold Mon 10-Dec-12 10:01:07

I'd say it was copied for sure. Unless they read a LOT of poetry and old fashioned books then it could be quite genius!

SavoyCabbage Mon 10-Dec-12 10:03:20

I would assume it was copied from a book if my six year old gave me that, because of the language.

Tgger Mon 10-Dec-12 10:05:41

Ah but what is it MNetters who think it's copied? It doesn't seem to be on google where most things can be found? Although google does have some glitches for certain subjects and perhaps old fashioned poetry is one of them? I would love someone to find the poem. I challenge you! wink.

HardKnottPass Mon 10-Dec-12 10:06:02

Dt1 would come up with something like this. dt2 wouldn't be able to write like this.
Dt2 is far brighter. Make of that what you will!

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Mon 10-Dec-12 10:21:51

I would imagine that there are many such poems not findable by google.

mercibucket Mon 10-Dec-12 10:32:26

Google isn't going to turn up things like that! Someone could run it thro university plagiarism software and it still probably wouldn't register. Old books and poems that aren't famous don't make it onto the www. Although of course, this one now has.

I'd assume it was copied or a 'cut and paste' job of a few different poems. Cute though

Tgger Mon 10-Dec-12 11:16:20

You'd think someone would recognise it though. Perhaps the OP can get her friend to search through her poetry books at home. I'm intrigued smile.

piprabbit Mon 10-Dec-12 11:37:28

Did the child write this at school?

There are various poems that school might have been looking at in relation to a topic, and then asked the children to write their own poems.

For example the poem "An Autumn Greeting" talks about a "dress of red and gold" and the poem "5 Little Leaves" talks about the leaves being "bright and gay". A child who enjoyed language and words might reuse these phrases if asked to write their own poem about a season of their choice.

I think it is a lovely poem, which certainly seems to show the child is very familiar with the way poetry works. As a parent, I would be very proud but maybe not assume it was 100% original.

Tgger Mon 10-Dec-12 11:42:06

Ah yes, think OP said it was written at school. Makes sense if it's a bit of a pot pourri of rich language put together from different sources. Impressive nonetheless [fsmile Thanks piprabbit.

Tgger Mon 10-Dec-12 11:42:21


Startail Mon 10-Dec-12 11:49:07

DD2 could have (googled it an copied it down).

It sounds very dated, apart from gay which a 6 year old might well know in it's old meaning from a song or story.

It's shoes that shine that grates. Modern DCs are not obsessed with polishing their shoes, most school shoes look awful in 5 min.

Startail Mon 10-Dec-12 11:55:54

to be fair the shoes line doesn't google.

DD2's brownie page write up did, she was most annoyed, she insisted she´d reworded it.

DeWe Mon 10-Dec-12 13:47:22

I once searched for several unusual poems I know from childhood trying to find the authors. About half didn't turn up, particularly if it wasn't the first line I could remember, or if I couldn't remember the exact (ie 1-2 words out) wording.
So it could be the second verse, or slightly altered and wouldn't come out in google.

If you wanted to find out how original, you could discuss the poem and it's meaning. For example what does "bright and gay" mean? Why was she wearing flowers round her head?

Also children are big mimics. So if you say "write your own poem" like "The cat sat on the mat" a fair number will write (eg) "The horse sat on the mat" and think it's original.
Dd1 went through a stage in year 5 where she thought doing a project mean finding a passage on google and going through the passage with a thesaurus and changing key words. She would then swear it was original. hmm

I think if you want to know whether it is hers, or an imitation, probably need to see several examples of her poems. Either they will all look as good as that one-but one will be a well known one, showing she's copied it, the others will be nothing like as good, so probably that one was an imitation, or they will all be good and unknown in which case I suggest you offer to be her agent grin

mercibucket Mon 10-Dec-12 14:00:03

Dewe, my students still go through passages changing key words and then swearing it's their own work. They're all adults!! Your daughter has done very well to stop doing it in Year 5 smile

FloatyBeatie Mon 10-Dec-12 14:29:39

Even if it is pure pastiche it was good. Pastiche is what children do when they are asked to write a poem after studying poems. They don't reliably get the difference between the essentials of poetry, that they are being asked to replicate, and the variable features, that they are being asked to innovate.

And to some extent pastiche is probably what all but the best poets do.

So unless the piece was more or less copied, I'd say it was quite talented.

canoodle Mon 10-Dec-12 20:19:46

I would think that it was copied - agree with the poster above that the last line is very well phrased (and as she danced she sang a song.) I just read a wonderful story that I thought was dd2's retelling of a storybook she had read once. I was so impressed and then later realised it had been written by her friend... and finally figured out that she had copied the entire book out.

A school friend wrote a brilliant poem that started 'Twas the night before Christmas' It was read out in assembly and I felt soo jealous of her. Once the hm had finished reading he asked the dc to stay behind. She had copied it out of a book.

Pythonesque Wed 12-Dec-12 13:59:07

I agree with much of what has been said above. It is very likely that a lot of it reflects things she has read or heard - however writing it down like that spontaneously is still a mark of an able child and I would suspect very able. Especially impressed by the tidy writing. My son (now 7) has produced a lot of stuff that is similar in standard including echoes of words and phrases he's read. Mostly untidily written though getting a lot better now - with the lure of a "pen licence" to use a fountain pen (in year 3)... Increasingly over the last year he's looking to be quite gifted. I don't think his still pretty bright older sister would have produced such work at 6 or 7.

kilmuir Wed 12-Dec-12 14:01:15

i hyave a 6 year old, and would not use vocabulary like that. old fashioned

MagicHouse Thu 13-Dec-12 23:36:24

My dd (6) would probably write something like that if she had read similar poems recently. She loves writing stories and poems, and playing about with words. She "borrows" plot lines and phrases, and I would guess that's what your friend's dd has done. I think it's lovely.

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