Pause for Thought: Daffodils
Beautiful spring flowers
by Janice Ross
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To celebrate the colour and joy that early daffodils bring.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a bunch of daffodils on display.
- Have available the YouTube video ‘Daffodils’ and the means to play the audio of it during the assembly. It is 1.27 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9a7aSB43fo
- Optional: you may wish to display the poem ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ by William Wordsworth. It is available at: https://tinyurl.com/ydfmpct3
- Show the children the bunch of daffodils.
Ask the following questions.
- What do we know about daffodils?
- What colour are they? Are they always the same colour?
- Do they grow all year round?
- When do they appear?
- How do they make you feel?
- Identify that daffodils might make us happy because they are one of the very first flowers to pop up after the long, dark days of winter. Their bright colour is a cheery sight.
- Explain that you are going to play a recording of someone reciting a very famous poem about daffodils, lots of them. It was written by a man called William Wordsworth and it is called ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’. Many years ago, William Wordsworth was holidaying with his wife in the Lake District, a beautiful area of hills and lakes in the north of England. They must have come across a lot of daffodils because that night, William’s wife wrote about them in her diary. We think that William must have been rather naughty and read his wife’s private diary because it is believed that he wrote this poem from her words!
- Before playing the recording, split the children into two groups.
- Ask Group 1 to listen for any words that describe the daffodils and what they are doing.
- Ask Group 2 to listen for words and phrases that tell us where the daffodils are growing.
- Play the audio of the YouTube video ‘Daffodils’, which is read by Dave Matthews.
- Ask the children whether they could picture the poem. Allow them to share any images.
You may wish to show the video of the poem to the children and ask whether they feel that the pictures conjure up the same images for them.
- Ask Group 1 to describe the daffodils and what they were doing. Suggestions should include phrases such as ‘a crowd’, ‘a host of golden daffodils’, ‘fluttering’, ‘dancing’, ‘stretched in never-ending line’, ‘tossing their heads’, ‘gleeful’, ‘dancing’ and so on.
- Ask Group 2 to describe where the daffodils were growing. Suggestions should include phrases such as ‘beside the lake’, ‘beneath the trees’, ‘along the margin of a bay’ and so on.
- Optional: display the poem and read it together. See whether the children can make any additions to their lists above.
Time for reflection
Ask the children to close their eyes.
Ask them to imagine the lakeside with its bright daffodils.
Ask the children if it is easier to imagine the scene now that they have listened to the poem.
Point out that in the last verse, the poet tells us that the image of the daffodils comes back often to his mind.
Suggest that maybe this will be the same for the children.
Thank you that you made daffodils to bloom in early spring.
Thank you for their bright colour after dark winter days;
For their cheery fluttering and dancing in the breeze;
For all the places where we come across them
And for the way they make us feel.
- The children may like to draw their lakeside pictures.
- Ask the children to look closely at a daffodil. If possible, have magnifying glasses available. Encourage them to make detailed drawings or label the parts of the flower.
- The children may enjoy listening to and comparing other poems about daffodils or even writing one themselves.