2—Being a good neighbour; meanings in poetry and song
There are many poems with the theme of neighbours. Also, the television series Neighbours has in its theme music a message on the concept of neighbourliness.
Select a text with a logical sequence and a regular rhyming scheme such as the Neighbours Rap, or the theme song from the TV series Neighbours. Give students a copy of a poem or lyrics. The lyrics and theme music for the television series Neighbours can be found online, as can the poem 'Roller Skating Granny' by Passim, or the Neighbours Rap (.pdf 4 kB).
Read the text aloud as students listen and follow the printed words. Read the text a second time with students joining in. Ask for general comments about what the text is telling us about neighbours. Read the text aloud a third time and ask students to listen for the sound qualities of the text, such as rhyme, rhythm and repetition.
Cut the poem into single lines. Jumble the strips. Have students work as a class group to reconstruct the poem. When reconstructed, look at the poem for clarity and meaning.
Present the original version and compare. Make a class poster with the key messages on being a good neighbour. Ask students to consider how these key messages are evident in their own neighbourhood.
Select a humorous poem such as 'Roller Skating Granny', that has been written to make the reader smile or laugh. Point out the techniques used by the poet to achieve humour, such as irony in the way that phrases can suggest more than one meaning. The whole poem, for instance, might be read as saying, ‘I love my next door neighbours.’ (I must, to put up with all the noise!)
Provide a model of a short poem such as a cinquain and ask students (in pairs) to use the information to follow the model and compose their own poem. For example:
- Nearby, friendly
- Chatting, laughing, watching
- They help us when they know we need them