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SPAG Starter


Reading Task

Yesterday you read the poem and looked up any words that you did not know. You may even have videoed yourself performing it. Today your challenge is to answer these questions. 



I stayed with her when I was six then went

To live elsewhere when I was eight years old.

For ages I remembered her faint scent

Of lavender, the way she’d never scold

No matter what I’d done, and most of all

The way her smile seemed, somehow, to enfold

My whole world like a warm, protective shawl.


I knew that I was safe when she was near,

She was so tall, so wide, so large, she would

Stand mountainous between me and my fear,

Yet oh, so gentle, and she understood

Every hope and dream I ever had.

She praised me lavishly when I was good,

But never punished me when I was bad.


Years later war broke out and I became

A soldier and was wounded while in France.

Back home in hospital, still very lame,

I realised suddenly that circumstance

Had brought me close to that small town where she

Was living still. And so I seized the chance

To write and ask if she could visit me.


She came. And I still vividly recall

The shock that I received when she appeared

That dark cold day. Huge grannie was so small!

A tiny, frail, old lady. It was weird.

She hobbled through the ward to where I lay

And drew quite close and, hesitating, peered.

And then she smiled: and love lit up the day.


Keep looking back at the poem to help you find the answers.  If you get stuck, leave that question and go on to one you can do.

1. Find and copy one word from the first verse that shows that the poet's grannie made him feel safe when he was a boy. 


2. How did the poet's grannie react when he behaved badly?


3.The poet describes his grannie as standing mountainous between me and my fear. This makes her sound big and powerful.  What other impressions do you get of his grannie in the same verse?  Give two impressions. 


4. What was one effect of the poet getting injured in the war?


5. Look at the verse beginning: Years later  Find and copy a group of words that means the same as ‘took the opportunity’.


6.  What does the poet ask his grannie to do?


7. She came. And I still vividly recall…  What do the words vividly recall mean?


8. Explain what the poet finds weird about his grannie in the last verse.


9.      She hobbled through the ward to where I lay

        And drew quite close and, hesitating, peered.       Why does she hesitate?


10. What is one thing that did not change about the grannie as she got older?


11. Look at the last verse, beginning: She came.

Find and copy a group of words that shows that his grannie makes a difference to the poet during her visit.


12. The experience in the last line could best be described as…  Tick one








13. Number the following sentences from 1-5 to show the order in which they happen in the poem.  The first one has been done for you.


The poet arrives

in France.

1. The poet lives with his grannie.

The poet is injured.

The poet’s grannie visits him.

The poet writes to his grannie.



The poet describes different stages of his life.  Tick the two verses that are mainly about the poet’s adult life.


Verse 1

Verse 2

Verse 3

Verse 4