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Teacher Ammani Jeya

Poem Form 1: Newsbreak

NEWSBREAK

Now why so loving, darling,

And why the sudden kiss?

You'd help me with some little jobs?

For goodness sake, what's this?

Your face is clean for once, dear.

Your clothes without a crease.

You saved your luncheon money?

Will wonders never cease?

No dropping of your school books,

No shrieking, childish treble.

Today you are a lamb, love,

Where yesterday a rebel.

But surely you're some stranger,

No rage or hullabaloo.

Come closer, let me look, dear,

Can this be REALLY you?

Now were you struck by lightning

Or were you stunned at sport?

Ah ... now I see the reason.

You've brought your school report!

Synopsis
Teacher Ammani Jeya
Poem Form 1: Newsbreak

(a) This poem is about a child's sudden change of behaviour because the child needs to show the school report to the parent.

(b) In stanza 1, the parent is baffled as to why the child is behaving in the most polite way he can. All of a sudden the child shows
love and affection for the parent and gives the parent a sudden kiss. The child also offers to help around the house which further
surprises the parent.

(c) In stanza 2, the child indicates more signs of good behaviour. The child keeps his face clean and wears clothes without a crease.
Besides that, the child saves his money for lunch. Quite clearly, the child goes to extraordinary lengths to please the parent. This
good behaviour is described by the parent as wonders that will never cease.

(d) In stanza 3, the poet introduces more examples of the child's good behaviour to please the parent so he may get away with a
bad school report. The child takes care of his school books and makes no noise. According to the parent, today the child is a lamb
as he is being very gentle, whereas yesterday he was a rebel.

(e) In stanza 4, the parent jokingly asks the child if he is a stranger because of his gentle nature showing no rage or hullabaloo.

(f) In the last stanza, the poet reveals the reason for the child's good behaviour - the child has brought home the school report. We can
understand from the poem that the parent already has a fairly good idea of the child's play-acting.

Persona

The poet writes in the second person point of view.

Theme

(a) The poem brings back many happy memories of growing up as a child, especially if it is a school-going child with a questionable
school report. Most of us can relate to the child's sudden good behaviour.

(b) The poem also reveals the understanding nature of the parent who may have guessed the child's antics and is probably acting
along. In the last stanza, we can sense this in the line Ah ... now I see the reason.

Moral Values

(a) The poem is about how a child who puts on a sudden good behaviour because of the school report that the child needs to show to
the parent.

(b) Throughout the poem, the poet highlights many examples of the child's good behaviour. In the last stanza, we find out that the
school report is the cause of his change of behaviour.

Setting

The poem is set in the home of the child. We can conclude this because the child has to go home to hand the school report to the
parent.

Tone and Mood

(a) The tone of the poem is light-hearted. The child's behaviour is amusing and this comes across throughout the poem, which is
delightful to read.

(b) The mood of the poem is happy, funny and touching.

Language and Style


Teacher Ammani Jeya
Poem Form 1: Newsbreak

(a) The poem has five stanzas. Every stanza has four lines.

(b) The second and the fourth lines in each stanza rhyme. For example, in stanza 1, the word kiss (line 2) rhymes with the word this
(line 4). Another example can be found in stanza 2. The word crease (line 6) rhymes with the word cease (line 8).

(c) There are figurative lines in the poem that make it funny. For example, you're some stranger and you are a lamb or a rebel.

Understanding and response


Teacher Ammani Jeya
Poem Form 1: Newsbreak

PT3 practice

Read the poem carefully and answer the following questions.

Practice 1.

(a) In stanza 1, who is surprised by the child's sudden kiss?

_________________________________________________________________________________________ [ 1 mark]

(b) What action of the child is the parent referring to in the line For goodness sake, what's this?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 mark]

(c) In stanza 2, state one good behaviour of the child.

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 mark]

(d) Based on the poem, do you think the child brings home a bad school report? Give a reason for your response.

_________________________________________________________________________________________ [ 2 marks]

Practice 2

(a) Who is the persona in the poem?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 mark]

(b) In stanza 2, describe the child's clothes.

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 mark]

(c) In stanza 3, what does the word lamb tell us about the child?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 mark]

(d) In your own words, explain the meaning of News Break

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 2 marks]

Practice 3

(a) What is the tone of the poem?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 mark]

(b) Based on stanza 3, what was the child like yesterday?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 mark]

(c) In stanza 4, why does the parent say Can this be REALLY you?
Teacher Ammani Jeya
Poem Form 1: Newsbreak

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 mark]

(d) Why do you think the parent called the child some stranger? Give a reason for your response.

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 2 marks]

Practice 4

(a) In stanza 2, what did the child do with his money given for lunch?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[1 mark]

(b) How does the parent react to the child's sudden change of behaviour?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 mark]

(c) What is the reason for the child's change of behaviour?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 mark]

(d) What do you think the line will wonders never cease mean?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 2 marks]

Practice 5

(a) In stanza 3, state one of the things that the child always does.

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 mark]

(b) In stanza 4, what does the word 'you' refer to?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 mark]

(c) In stanza 5, what does the phrase struck by lightning tell us about the child?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 mark]

(d) Why do you think we should be honest to our parents? Give a reason for your response.

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 2 marks]

Practice 5

(a) Based on stanza 1 the parent seems a little taken aback by his child's behaviour. Why is this?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 marks]

(b) What has the child done to make the parent feel surprised at the change in the child?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 marks]

(c) In stanza 5, what did the parent think was wrong with his child at first?
Teacher Ammani Jeya
Poem Form 1: Newsbreak

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 marks]

(d) What was the child's actual reason for behaving in such a way?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 marks]

(e) Do you behave like this towards your parents before report card day?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 marks]

Practice 6

(a) Who wrote this poem?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 marks]

(b) Who are the two people in this poem?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 marks]

(c) What do you think this poem is about?

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 marks]

(d) Do you think this poem is funny? Give a reason.

_________________________________________________________________________________________[ 1 marks]

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