48 Negative

The weather wasn’t great as The 8:08 train to London screeched to a halt at the platform. A woman, who wasn’t dressed casually, got onboard and arrogantly moved to find a seat, dropping her scarf in the process.
No longer standing, she was confronted by a man, with disheveled hair, who was holding her scarf that she hadn’t realised she had dropped. She didn’t keep her cool and blushed a little, she said thanks. He lingered, maybe he couldn’t find any words to say before walking off. The next morning the weather wasn’t much better but they were seen exchanging smiles.

47 NVA +7

Replace every noun with the 7th noun after it in a dictionary. Then Repeat with Verbs and adjectives.

The 8:08 transistor to London stretched at the platypus under a wonky slate. A workaholic, who was drooped in a bereaved overspill and bloated bosses, glazed onboard and mumbled radiantly to flag a section. Upon skipping down she was connected by a manger, with a cutting halo, who was honouring her schedule that she had ducked. She boiled a little, scanned her thank you. He lived, it sensed like he had wasted to scan something, but didn’t and wangled off. The next mortgage they were sold executing snails.

46 The Headlines


45 Gastronomical

It was cold enough to freeze your buns off as the gravy train to the salt mines stopped to ingest some sardines. One sardine, who was off to bring home the bacon, had good taste in clothing and was souped up in a potato skin jacket and black liquorice boots as she hopped into the tin before you could say sushi.
Upon slipping down she was confronted by a scrumptious sardine with curly fries who was holding her bacon wrap that she had dropped.
She went as red as a beet as she digested the situation and offered grace.
He lingered like a fish out of water, but something had his tongue so he moved off awkwardly like a rolling lemon. The next morning they exchanged watermelon slices. Could these slices bear fruit? There’s food for thought.

44 Inventory

ARTICLES: the, a
NOUNS: 8:08, train, London, platform, sky, woman, overcoat, boots, seat, man, hair, scarf, morning, smiles
ADJECTIVES: wintry, beige, black, onboard, curly, little, next
VERBS: to stop, to be, to dress, to get, to find, to move, to sit down, to confront, to hold, to drop, to blush, to linger, to seem, to want, to say, to do, to walk off, to see, to exchange
PRONOUNS: who, she, her, that, he, it, something, they
ADVERBS: quickly
PREPOSITIONS: to, at, under, in, upon, by, with
CONJUNCTIONS: and, but, like

43 Sijo

The grey sky, reflecting her day
          the routine, the must find a seat
But then him, out of the blue
          returned part of her, he couldn’t speak
the next day, the sun came out
          the world sings, when we smile

42 Rhyming Couplets

The 8:08 service came to a stop
Under a sky the colour of a mop

A woman got on, nice and quickly
And found a seat, delightfully slickly

All of a sudden there stood this man
Who held her fallen scarf in his hand

He gave it back and as she spoke
She turned the colour of a can of coke

As she blushed he hung about
Wanted to speak but nothing would spout

Then without warning he walked away
And that was all that particular day

Until the next morning, in their individual styles
They were seen on the platform exchanging smiles

41 Adverbs (A to Z)

Almost always on time, the 8:08 arrived.
Bitterly cold weather though as briskly a woman got onboard.
Cleverly dressed she was for this type of weather.
Doubtfully she looked for a seat.
Easily one was found.
Fortunately she usually found a seat.
Gracefully a man appeared in front of her.
Helpfully he had picked up her fallen scarf.
Instantly she blushed.
Justly he felt he’d done the right thing.
Keenly he stood.
Loosely hung his hair.
Mechanically she offered thanks.
Nervously he now stood.
Oddly he didn’t speak.
Patiently she waited.
Quickly he walked off.

Roughly 24 hours later
Swiftly onto the platform they came again.
Truthfully they looked at each other.
Upwardly turned their mouths.
Vis-a-vis for a moment.
Warmly they exchanged smiles.
Yesterdays meeting, this was because of yesterday.
Zestfully they went on with their day.

Apologetic Verse II


I have used
your computer

Forgive me
I was watching
videos on YouTube.


I have sold your bracelet

Forgive me
I thought that
it wasn’t special
I’m going to get it back.


I have sold a photo of you sleeping

Forgive me
It was my brother


I have taken your bike
and it has broken

Forgive me
I was only playing


I have spent your money
on some new shoes

Forgive me
I will pay you back.


I have taken your mobile

Forgive me
I will return it tomorrow


I have lost
your mobile

Forgive me
I will find it


I have lost
your mobile

Forgive me
Someone has stolen it


I have done a bad thing.

Forgive me
I did some graffiti in the street
and the police caught me


I have lost the trophy
that we won last year

Forgive me
I’m going to look for it


I’ve gone
to the party
with Juan

Forgive me
It won’t happen


I have gone out.

Forgive me
I was bored 🙂

40 Question Tags (falling intonation)

It was the 8:08 train to London, wasn’t it?
The sky was wintry, wasn’t it?
A Woman was wearing a beige overcoat and black boots, wasn’t she?
She got onboard and found a seat, didn’t she?
When she sat down she was confronted by a man, wasn’t she?
He had curly hair, didn’t he?
He was holding her scarf, wasn’t he?
She had dropped it, hadn’t she? 
She blushed and said thanks, didn’t she?
He lingered and said nothing, didn’t he?
Then he just walked off, didn’t he?
The next morning they were seen exchanging smiles, weren’t they?

Apologetic Verse

I asked my students to write a note of apology similar to that written in the poem below by William Carlos Williams entitled: This is just to say.

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Thanks to Jane Revell for bringing the poem to my attention at the recent ACEIA conference in Seville. Here are their efforts:


I forgot to
send you a message

Forgive me
I was in the street
and I didn’t have wifi


I have done
your homework

Forgive me
I was bored
VERY bored 🙂


I have finished
watching the film
because you are late

Forgive me
Do you want something to eat?


I have finished
the dinner
You haven’t got
anything for dinner

Forgive me
I was hungry


I have used
your pen
because I didn’t
have one

Forgive me
I had to write
something 🙂


I forgot to return
the pen you lent me

Forgive me
I have been so stressed
I’ll give it back tomorrow


I lost the
football match

Forgive me
I went to a party
last night
and I was
very tired


I haven’t made
the cake

Forgive me
I was
feeling lazy


I looked at you
when I was
kissing another girl

Forgive me
I don’t want to be
with you now


I have lost
your one million

Forgive me
I left it in the bar


I have made
the Christmas balls

Forgive me
I forgot you like to do it.


I have left home

Forgive me
I left at midnight

Family Errors

A verse of errors from my classes.
Can you correct them?
Their words. My Verse.

He have a 40 ages
He job is the police
He likes the films
He likes doing tennis
Is my dad

He 17 age
He likes play the football
he play football every day
He go to school
Is my cousin

He has 12
He go to school
Is very simpaticate
This children is my brother

She like dancing
She likes play doll in my house
She going every day to school
She play with her mobile
She love my and my love her
Is my cousin

He have 71 years
He don’t work because now is old
Is my grandfather.

39 Rhopalism

A rhopalic sentence is where each consecutive word is one letter longer than the next.

So the dawn train London heading respites, concealed underneath hyperborean overcastness.
Up the girl moves, climbs onboard carriage acquiring convenient positioning.
As she sits, curly fellow holding neckwear abandoned.
So her face turns maroon, nodding, thanking gentleman, hesitating.
He may want words, though silence prevails, therefore disappears.
As new dawn rises couple spotted swapping bilateral tenderness.

7 ways of looking at…

Random word

It is 60 minutes past 11

On an analogue clock
In a room with no windows
I could be forgiven for thinking it midnight

It is all downhill for the sun
from here

Both her arms and hands point to the sky
she dives into the afternoon


Thoughts turn to lunch
Two hours to go (on a weekday)

Palms clasped together above her head
A farewell to the morning
A greeting to the afternoon
Anjali mudra

38 Cockney Rhyming Slang

The day’s a-dawning hail and rain to London stopped at the platform under a wintry apple pie. A Gooseberry Puddin’, who was dressed in a beige weasel and stoat and black daisy roots, got onboard and moved her bacon and eggs quickly to find a tony blair to park her myleen klasse. Upon sitting down she was confronted by a heap of coke, with curly barnet fair on his loaf of bread, who was holding her centre half that she had dropped. Her once a weeks turned red and she said tom hanks. He lingered, it seemed like he had wanted to rabbit and pork, but didn’t and ball of chalked off. The next day’s a-dawning they took a butchers hook at each other and exchanged roof tiles. Sorted mate.

37 Pangram

A Pangram is a sentence that contains every letter of the alphabet.

Upon the train, a snazzy female gave thanks and blushed as her scarf was quickly returned by a man who lingered but said not a jot before making his exit.

The next daybreak, they quietly exchanged smiles, amid the everyday waltz and jostle of the morning platform.

36 First Conditional

When the train stops, she will get on
When she gets on she will find a seat
When she finds a seat she will sit down
(If she doesn’t find a seat she will stand)
When she sits down she will be confronted by a man
When she is confronted by a man he will return her dropped scarf
When he returns her dropped scarf she will say thanks and blush a little
When she says thanks and blushes a little he will linger and say nothing
When he lingers and says nothing it will be awkward
When it is awkward he will walk off
When he walks off that will be it for the day
When that is it for the day they will see each other the next day
When they see each other the next day they will smile at each other
When they smile at each other that will be the end of this story.
(If that is the end of this story what do you think will happen with them next?)

Home Alone

Examples of the past perfect in bold

When I got home
My mum had gone out
I was at home on my own
I had never been at home on my own before

So I thought about making a delicous snack
of crisps and chocolate and jam on bread
but then she came back
and said…
‘Go and do your homework.’

The Cockroach

There was a cockroach in the classroom
quietly sitting on the floor
I tried to get there before
any of the students noticed it
but I failed
and pandemonium ensued
until it was safely under the sole of one of my shoes.

The A to Z of last weekend

Students in class came up with the verbs (apart from q,x,y and z) and wrote appropriate past sentences. I put them all together into this: #Theirwordsmyverse.

I asked my mother a question
I bought some sweets from the sweet shop
I cut my leg on some scissors (by accident)
I drove my dad’s car (my dad on the pedals)
I explained the homework to my cousin

I fell down the stairs and (see hurt)
My sister gave me an ice cream
I hurt my leg
I imagined life without the internet
I jumped onto the sofa and (see cut)

I kissed my sister because (see gave)
I listened to pop music with my friends
My mum made me do my Biology homework but (see quit)
I needed new trainers so I went to the shop
I opened the window because I was hot

I played in a football match and (see won)
I quit doing my homework because I was bored
I ran around in the park with my friends
I spoke Spanish
I talked to my family about life and (see imagined)

I used my phone to go on the internet
I visited my Grandmother because she was ill
I won a medal
The doctor x-rayed my leg because (see fell)
I yawned because my mum was saying blah blah blah
I zigzagged in the street with a basketball.

35 Abecedarius (A to Z) Version 2

A train came to a halt, at eight past eight
Beneath a bleak sky
Coated Beige and booted black a
Delightful damsel
Ended up
Finding a seat quite quickly.
Goodness! As she sat down
Her scarf held
In front of her face
Just picked up
Kindly by a gentleman
Laden with curly hair.
Many thanks she said
Nodding, her cheeks turning a shade
Quietly he
Standing for a while, didn’t say a
Thing before walking off.
Until the next day came into
Where they smiled at each other as wide as
Yes. Directing their
Zeal and energy at each other.

Things our teachers say

Sentences written by my tefl classes of 10-12 year olds organised into free verse by me. Starting word: Don’t. Activity inspired by Michael Rosen. Their Words. My Verse.

Don’t do that
Don’t shout
Don’t stand up
Don’t stand up without permission
Don’t talk
Don’t talk when I’m explaining
Don’t talk when I tell you not to
Don’t talk when a classmate is speaking
Don’t talk when a classmate is saying the answer
Don’t speak so loud
Don’t speak in the exam
Don’t copy in the test
Don’t say bad words
Don’t hit your friend
Don’t chat with your friends
Don’t run in the classroom
Don’t play with soap
Don’t play games
Don’t throw paper balls in class
Don’t make paper planes
Don’t hit the table
Don’t sit on the table
Don’t dance on the table
Don’t make funny noises
Don’t be silly
Don’t laugh
Don’t play with your pencils
Don’t look out the door
Don’t play with the lockers
Don’t eat sweets (dippers)
Don’t sleep
Don’t daydream
Don’t do that