Poetry Day Ireland 2016 Lesson Plans: Primary (Junior)

Watch poet Tony Curtis read and discuss his poem 'Poet and the Mouse', then follow the lesson plan below. Ideal for Junior Infants - 2nd classes.


'The Poet and the Mouse'
by Tony Curtis

I killed the shy brown mouse
That came to winter in my house.
This quiet, natural part of God’s plan
Was set upon by Man.
I placed the trap upon the floor,
Waited behind the kitchen door.
I buried her in the garden
Beneath the leaves and tumbledown.
Where was the good in what I had done
When all she wanted was a few stale crumbs?
What ailed me to want to kill
The little creature from the hill?
Grey the hour, grey the day,
I went and took a life away.

Did you Know?

Rhythm is the beat of the poem. It gives a wonderful sense of music to the poem.

Rhyme is the repetition of sounds most usually at the end of lines in a poem.


  1. Read this poem out loud. Has it got a strong rhythm?
  2. Can you find the rhymes in this poem?

Quote from a Poet:

Good poetry is usually full of feeling. The American poet Robert Frost once wrote, ‘A poem begins with a lump in the throat.’


  1. Is this poem an emotional poem?
  2. How does it make you feel?
  3. How does the poet feel at the end of the poem?

Write a poem of your own:

In this poem, the poet does something and then feels saddened by the cruelty of his action.
Imagine you do something which afterwards you regret having done.
Write a poem about how you feel.

The More you Read the More you Write:

Reading is the key to becoming a writer. It inspires you.
Another poem you might like to read is the poem ‘The Mower’ by Philip Larkin.
Is it similar to the above poem by Tony Curtis?

Lesson plan by Enda Wyley

Download Poetry Day Ireland 2016 poetry posters for primary schools:

» Enda Wyley 'Bully' poster
» Michael Rosen 'Don't Put Mustard in the Custard' Poster

Share your students' work!

We'd love to read and share poems written by children in response to our lesson plans. Email us with any poems you'd like to share and we'll upload a selection to our website and Facebook page.