A Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Chris Riddell (Walker)
1. Explore it
What does the poem make you think about? How does it make you feel? Have you ever felt like this before?
Look at the mouse again. Have you ever seen somebody have a tantrum?
What does it sound and look like?
Read the poem aloud or watch Michael Rosen perform this poem on CLPE’s Poetryline and talk about what you have heard: https://clpe.org.uk/poetryline/poems/i-am-angry.
Did you enjoy listening to this poem?
Do you have any favourite parts?
2. Illustrate it
Look carefully at the mouse again.
Can you pretend to be the angry mouse? Now read your favourite line in the poem. Why do you like it so much?
If you were to draw the mouse scaring spiders or squashing the moon, for example, what would your picture look like?
3. Talk about it
What do you think made the mouse angry in the first place? Who is it shouting at? How do you think the mouse will feel when it wakes up? What do you think it will say then? Is it wrong to feel angry? If we feel angry, should we hold our feelings inside? What do you feel like doing when you are angry? Which line do you think shows the mouse at his angriest? Do you think the line you chose has the right colour and size to show how angry the mouse feels? Would you want to change it? How?
4. Imagine it
Sometimes feelings are hard to understand and talk about. Sometimes, like angry mouse, it is difficult to ask for A Great Big Cuddle or even to ask to be left alone for a while to cool off. Look at the colours of the text and the way the words are written again. If words in an angry poem are red, what colour might they be in a sad poem? Now think about other emotions. How would you show happy and joyful? How could you show fear? What about brave? Talk together about all the different emotions we can feel and the colours we might give them. Does this help to you to name and understand your feelings? You could talk about the colour of your mood next time you are feeling a certain way, to help others to understand your feelings too, if this helps. You could make a simple mood chart or colour wheel for everyone in your family to use too.
5. Create it
Think about how angry the little mouse was feeling before he went to bed. Have you ever felt like this? Can you remember why you were so cross? What helped you to feel better? Who was kind to you? What did they do? It is important to understand how you are feeling. How do you feel today? What does it make you feel like doing? Perhaps if you are sad, you might want a cuddle from someone special. If you are happy, you might want to jump up high. If you are worried, you might want to tell a toy or someone special about how you are feeling. Write a line or a few lines to make a poem inspired by I am Angry, expressing a different emotion, such as I am Happy or I am Worried.