Slimy and slippery
Snails are such fun
Slowly they move
They can’t even run!
Leaving their trail
behind as they go
You can see where they’ve been
And how very slow
On their back is a shell
It’s really their home
It’s ever so small
But it goes where they roam
On stalks are their eyes
That wave all around
One can point up
And one to the ground
They eat lots of plants
And all of the flowers
Especially in showers.
Shiny and slippery
Snails are such fun
They eat and they eat
They must weigh a ton!
Gareth Lancaster from Fizzy Funny Fuzzy
All of these ideas lend themselves to learning indoors and outside.
Learn the poem as a call and response e.g. divide the children into two groups and each group takes it in turns to recite a line each one after the other.
Let the children accompany the rhythm of the poem by marching as it is recited and using percussion instruments to accompany the beat and rhythm of the poem as it is said.
Challenge the children to explore ways to add musical sounds to the poem e.g. high and low sounds, fast and slow sounds and different ways of illustrating key words.
Encourage the children to ‘act out’ the part of the snail as the poem is read to them.
Find all the words in the poem that begin with the sound ‘s’. Make a list and talk about why the poet has used these words. Can you find more words that begin with the same letter to help describe a snail or other minibeast?
Experiment with writing an acrostic poem using minibeast names e.g. SNAIL, WORM, SPIDER.
Ask the children to think of as many words as they can about snails. Write these words on shells/stones/card and put them in a bag. Ask the children to pull out a selection of words and use them to construct a simple poem.
Write a poem using at least 4 words with the ail/ale endings in the shape of a snail trail or a spiral shell.
Encourage the children to think about what they like/don’t like about snails. Record their ideas and use them with the children to create a poem starting with I like snails because… I don’t like snails because…
Does a snail really weigh a ton? How heavy is a ton? What do you think would weigh a ton? How could you find out? How much does a snail really weigh? How many snails would you need to make a ton?
A snail’s favourite food is a cabbage leaf. True or false? How would you find out? Investigate the answer.
Record the poem and play it to the children. As it is playing encourage them to close their eyes and visualise the snail in the poem. Ask them to draw what they see in their imagination.
Provide the children with a variety of different sticky substances e.g. honey, glue, washing up liquid and ask them to investigate how to make the best slimy trail.
Talk to the children about carrying your home on your back. Provide them with large pieces of paper and encourage them to draw and label their own shell with items that they would need to carry with them.