3rd ESO

Title: Teaching narrative skills
Year/s: 3rd ESO
Proposed by: América de la Torre

The aim of this fantastic unit is that students become  proficient at writing narrative texts in English. 

Download the unit here

     Bear in mind that writing skills in a second language can be a challenge to develop but América has broken them down into manageable building blocks that not only give students the tools to develop their own creative writing, but help them to gain of understanding of the traits of any narrative they read. 

Poems: "Ladybird, ladybird," "August 6, 1945"
Year/s: 3rd ESO 
Cross-curricular links: Science, History, Classical Studies, Values
Proposed by: Rita Rabanal


Year 10 (age 14-15)  * Bilingual class

Targets of the unit:

1 Understand the social, historical and cultural context of poetry.

2 Use this understanding in your evaluation of texts. Identify imagery, language and structure used by the poet

3 Use poetry as a powerful weapon to evoke a variety of emotions


Ø  Write a poem individually

Ø  Discuss the decision to drop atomic bombs and the consequences of the decision. (mind map)

Lesson timing:

As it involves several subjects, up to four-five periods. To give students a sound understanding of the poem, some prior knowledge of the atomic bomb such as facts and the historical context would be essential.

* However, I’m trying to aim this lesson plan at a non-bilingual group. Most of them are high achievers and eager to learn.


Is this picture familiar to you? What do you think it shows?

·       When and where do you think the picture was taken?

·       How does it make you feel?

·       Who is this woman?

·       Have you seen her before?

·       Can you think of a story behind this iconic scene?

How do these two pictures differ from each other? Can you spot any similarity?


Read the following nursery rhyme

"Ladybird, ladybird,"

Ladybird, ladybird,
Fly away home,
Your house is on fire
And your children all gone;
All except one
And that's little Ann,
And she has crept under
The warming pan.

Can you think of any connection between the first picture and the nursery rhyme?

Watch the following video:

·       Have you heard of Hiroshima? What happened there?

·       What is the first thing that comes to mind after watching this video?
·       How did it make you feel?

·       If you had the opportunity to ask the people responsible for dropping the bomb three questions, what would those questions be?

Cross-curricular links





Classical myth



Poem ‘August 6, 1945’ by Alison Fell

Science behind the bomb

The events around the bomb

The power of salamander

What do you think?


Identify the context of the poem.

Analyse the effects of the poetic techniques used by the poet.

Pick out a word which has made an impression on you. Explain why.

How was the atomic bomb made?

What is the basis of a nuclear bomb?

What is fission?

What does the equation E=mc2 explain?

What was the Manhattan Project?

Who piloted the plane?

Hiroshima bombing key events.

What were the effects of the Hiroshima bombing in the days and years following its detonation?

What were salamanders believed to be immune to?

What might have happened if Nazi Germany had made the bomb before the United States?

Were there justifiable moral grounds for dropping the bomb?

The poem

August 6, 1945

In the Enola Gay

five minutes before impact
he whistles a dry tune

Later he will say

that the whole blooming sky
went up like an apricot ice.
Later he will laugh and tremble
at such a surrender, for the eye
of his belly saw Marilyn’s skirts
fly over her head for ever

On the river bank,

bees drizzle over
hot white rhododendrons

Later she will walk

the dust, a scarlet girl
with her whole stripped skin
at her heel, stuck like an old
shoe sole or mermaid’s tail

Later she will lie down

in the flecked black ash
where the people are become
as lizards or salamanders
and, blinded, she will complain
Mother you are late. So late

Later in dreams he will look

down shrieking and see


                                                       by Alison Fell

1 Context of the poem. Go into detail.


Enola Gay
Little Boy

2 Poetic techniques



1 like an apricot ice



1 The poet is comparing the mushroom cloud of the bomb to ice cream




1 for the eyes of his belly














Individual word

1 whistles a dry tune









1 hot colour, it gives the sensation of heat




3 Focus on the stanzas. Is there anything in particular you would like to comment on? Who are the characters in the poem?

4 The poem is set in the present. Why do you think the poet jumps from the present to the future?

5 The poem has no regular rhyme. What do you think the poet is trying to convey?

6 What are Paul Tibbets’ emotions before and after the bomb was dropped? How will he feel in later years?

7 How does the poet represent the horror of the Japanese girl?

8 What is the writer’s attitude towards war?

9 Discuss the decision to drop atomic bombs and the consequences of the decision. (Mind map)

10 Write about something you have seen or experienced which somehow made a strong impression on you. Use imagery to make your poem come alive. You must hand in your assignments by the end of the following week.

 You may want to consider when planning this activity:

An introduction and some socio-historical context are essential in order to understand the poem, which also makes it a cross-curricular exercise.

Consider if your students need any other preparatory work before asking them to write a poem.  

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