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Mrs Butler poem

(37 Posts)
yvette37 Wed 24-Oct-12 21:38:48


My DD has to learn poetry by heart in Year 3. How many days should the school give to learn the whole of Mrs Butler by heart in addition to all the other homework? What do you think is a reasonable time?

Thank you

MrsRhettButler Wed 24-Oct-12 21:41:18

Oh <disappointed> I thought someone wrote a poem about me grin

Sorry, I don't know the poem so have no advice, how long is it?

brighthair Wed 24-Oct-12 21:42:21

<digs into brain>
Please Mrs Butler, this boy Derek Drew
(Or something like that) is it that one?

yvette37 Wed 24-Oct-12 21:49:12

yes it is
24 lines


PS: how do you insert smileys??

NellyBluth Wed 24-Oct-12 21:53:34

Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps stealing my rubber, Miss
What shall I do?

Sorry, I don't know anything about children over the age of 9 months but I LOVED Mrs Butler so I just had to comment. Oh, and Dog in the Playground too.

The smileys info is just below where you type smile

ratbagcatbag Wed 24-Oct-12 21:54:29

Dog in the playground rules, I even bought the book at an carboot once. smile

mameulah Wed 24-Oct-12 21:55:07

I would give a minimum of three weeks.
If I was really organised I would aim for more than that though. Avoiding annoyed parent problems.

yvette37 Wed 24-Oct-12 22:04:41

Thanks a lot.
She was given 6 days!!! Very annoyed parent ...

AbbyR1973 Wed 24-Oct-12 22:21:29

I read poems to my children 3 and 4 years old as part of their bedtime routine. They like this one. They often join in once they have heard the poem 3-4 times if it's a favourite. I find because of the rhythm and rhyming in poetry they pick them up really quickly. Please Mrs Butler has a regular pattern so shouldn't take too long for them to pick it up. You can make it fun by doing over the top voices for the children/teacher in the poem....PERlease Mrs. Butler this boy DEREK DREW....
I remember there was a big fuss made earlier in the year when it was suggested children should be able to recite poetry but I don't think it's really any different to learning a song which most children do with no difficulty.

EugenesAxe Wed 24-Oct-12 22:29:42

Sorry - I was going to say something close to what she got. My DS of 2.9 seems to have memory as a strong point; he will start quoting books back to me on about the third time of reading.

I think it would be easy to read that poem 5-6 times in about 10 mins, so you should have a fairly good grounding by night one and then use the others to perfect it. And 10 mintues I hope wouldn't eat too much into the rest of the homework.

Of course, you can ignore me as I have no child that age, nor have ever undertaken such a task. AbbyR seems to be thinking the same way though!

MrsRhettButler Thu 25-Oct-12 01:09:03

I think dd1 who is 7 could learn a poem that size in 6 days, I think the key is to get her to read it through once or twice as often as possible but not spend too much time on it at any one time. Just keep it random or say every time she walks into the kitchen for example she has to pick it up and read it through, by day 3 I would be asking her to try and recite it from memory and prompting her when needed.
Good luck smile

PrincessSymbian Thu 25-Oct-12 01:12:19

Please, Mrs Butler, this boy Derek Drew, keeps copying my work, miss, what shall I do?

WofflingOn Thu 25-Oct-12 04:19:55

I'd expect them to do it easily in a week or less, unless there were other reasons why it would be a challenge for them, such as having EAL or LDs.
We do a lot of singing, remembering words and drama anyway, so this would be perfectly normal homework. It has a very simple structure, lots of repetition, clear rhymes and no tricky words.

WofflingOn Thu 25-Oct-12 04:23:44

Please Mrs. Butler

*Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew*
Keeps copying my work, Miss.
What shall I do?

Go and sit in the hall, dear.
Go and sit in the sink.
Take your books on the roof, my lamb.
Do whatever you think.

*Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew*
Keeps taking my rubber, Miss.
What shall I do?

Keep it in you hand, dear.
Hide it up your vest.
Swallow it if you like, love.
Do what you think best.

*Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew*
Keeps calling me rude names, Miss.
What shall I do?

Lock yourself in the cupboard, dear.
Run away to sea.
Do whatever you can, my flower.
But don't ask me!

Allan Ahlberg

If she's finding it difficult, let her make up actions to go with it.

yvette37 Thu 25-Oct-12 07:16:11


Thank you for your thoughts.
The issue we have is not with the poem itself- I agree that it is a good exercise and simple to learn. i would also expect my DD to learn it in 6 days if in isolation.
However this poem was in addition to 20 spellings, sentence writing, street project work, grammar lesson, two reading books and a second poem which had to be learnt over two weeks.
Of course we have to include play, family time, reading and child development time in all this....

Still very annoyed and resentful...


WofflingOn Thu 25-Oct-12 07:17:02

Dripfeeding annoys me.

learnandsay Thu 25-Oct-12 07:20:34

Why do children have to learn poetry by heart. What's useful about that?

Tigresswoods Thu 25-Oct-12 07:21:00


mummytime Thu 25-Oct-12 08:17:44

I would be complaining all the time as that is far too much homework. The poem is not problem. {disclaimer I am a Homework in primary hating parent}

DeWe Thu 25-Oct-12 09:53:57

In all honesty I'm not sure how giving much longer helps considerably.

I learnt things like that for school with my short term memory on the basis I had to recite it once and that was it. So I'd learn it the night before, recite it perfectly, and have forgotten it two days later.

If I needed to learn it for longer (eg a concert) I could learn it over about 2-4 days much better, in fact I can recite most of those I learnt at primary including ones that are very long.

However I know I find poetry easy to learn, and we had a poem a week to learn and I never had a problem. My db found it a real grind. In fact usually me and my dsis could recite the poem he was learning before he could. But again, if he had 3 weeks, what he'd learnt the first week, he'd forgotten by the end of the second.

Dh says I can find a poem for each occasion. He doesn't say it in an admiring way either grin

But with the other homework that sounds ridiculously too much.

To compare in year 3, my dc have typically 8x spellings to learn, and write a sentence for each. 3 times tables or a maths sheet-about 20 questions, reading to a parent. That goes out on a Wednesday, is in the next Tuesday.
Dd2 had to learn a poem (similar length) one week, but that was instead of spellings. She had to copy it out and learn it. That was her literacy homework for the week.

I'd put the fight in that there is too much homework, full stop. Not focus on one particular one.

Takver Thu 25-Oct-12 10:20:05

"20 spellings, sentence writing, street project work, grammar lesson, two reading books and a second poem which had to be learnt over two weeks. "

I hate homework, but I have to say that unless the project work and grammar was massive, that doesn't sound like a vast amount. I'd expect reading books changed every 2-3 days (depending on length) anyway.

Learning poetry here tends to be an 'extra' and 6 days sounds like quite a bit of time, tbh - generally its quite a quick thing to do. (And if you have longer it will just be done at the last minute anyway as if you learn it earlier you'll likely forget it!)

yvette37 Thu 25-Oct-12 11:38:22


Thank you for all this.
Dewe, I think that you have put it in a nutshell.
I have no issue with spellings, tables etc.. but this is too much homework especially these stupid projects that eat into family time & life. Who are these people who think that family time should be used as an extension to school?
Some of the homework is for homework sake.
But then, this is a different debate. Best to join the Homework debate in Education ...

lakeofshiningwaters Thu 25-Oct-12 13:04:41

Going off topic, but thanks for bringing back some lovely memories. My favourite teacher in primary school was Mrs Butler, and we used to read that poem all the time. Happy days smile

funnypeculiar Thu 25-Oct-12 13:11:52

Agree with others - a week or so doesn't seem too long for the poem itself, which is both lovely & relatively easy to learn - your real problem is the rest of the homework...

Ds in Y3 had: spellings to learn (10); maths homework 1 night (20 mins); literacy one night (20 mins); theme 1 night (guess what, 20 mins!) Plus 5 mins reading 5x week.
And that is from a school with a local rep as giving out quite a bit of homework.

thegreylady Thu 25-Oct-12 20:12:23

A bit off topic but learning a poem by heart is giving a child a gift which lasts a life time.
When my parents were young [1920's] learning by rote was a big part of their education so both knew many many poems by heart.From babyhood I had a poem not a story at bedtime.I learned Blake's The Lamb,Keats' Meg Merrilies.Leigh Hunt's Abou Ben Adam and many more.
I did the same with my children and they loved Hiawatha, The Ancient Mariner etc.
One day your dd will be able to share Mrs Butler with her dc-wonderful.6 days is only 4 lines a day smile

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