*Stealing* by Carol Anne Duffy

by Carol Anne Duffy
Learning Intentions
 To understand how a poet uses structure and
language for effect
 To learn how to analyse these structures and this
 To practice writing about the poet’s techniques and
the meaning they create for the reader
 To come to appreciate poetry
Success Criteria – how will I know I have
succeeded with the learning intentions?
 I will have involved myself fully in the pair work
 I will have involved myself fully in the class
 I will have identified particular ‘tricks’ used by the
poet to create meaning/to tell their story
 I will be able to talk about these and write about
 I will be able to back up my views by making
reference to particular lines in the poem
First impressions.
 Read the poem to yourself several times. Think about
the feelings and reactions you have to it. What is it
about? How is the ‘story’ told?
Understanding the story.
 The first step is to be sure you understand what the
poem is about.
 In your own words briefly explain what happens in
the story.
 I also want you to think about who is telling the story
 Can you find lines in the poem to support what you
are saying? To prove it?
‘Unpacking’ the poem.
 Move into groups of three.
 On a piece of paper put the following table
These lines
tell us
what the
thief has
These lines
what they
are like as
a person
These lines
imply this
is a
These lines
how the
thief is
 In each column write any lines that match the
statement – you may use lines more than once…
Tone is the way something is said or the emotional
atmosphere created by the words. Tone is very important
in poetry and is often created by punctuation.
Consider these examples:
 The most unusual thing I ever stole?
 Life’s tough.
 I sigh like this – Aah.
 Again. Again.
1. How does the punctuation and sentence structure force
you to say these lines? What tone is created? Why?
2. Choose one and explain your views in a paragraph.
Make sure you use the line.
Other ‘tricks’ used.
The sounds of words are important in this poem.
 ‘the slice of ice’ may be said with a hiss
 Alliteration can emphasise key words eg the first
verse has a lot of ‘m’ words – how does this make a
connection between these words? Why?
 Repetition – ‘Again. Again.’ – what emotion does
this repetition of a single, ‘hard letter word’, suggest?
 Run on lines
Looking further
1. What is suggested by the time the snowman was
2. Why does the snowman appeal to him?
3. What seems to be the thief’s philosophy of life?
What does he believe in?
4. Why do you think he needs to make a mess, to be a
‘mucky ghost’?
5. What do you think his life is like? Justify your
answer by referring to at least two lines.
An introductory paragraph.
 The poem ‘Stealing’ by Carol Anne Duffy tells the
story of a thief who once stole a snowman. The thief
says this is the most ‘unusual thing’ they ever stole.
Throughout the poem we learn a lot about the thief
from what they say and the way they say it. The
impression created by the poem is that the thief is a
cold and heartless person who may have had an
unhappy life.
Do you agree that the thief is cold and heartless?
Do you think he had an unhappy life?
Creating a poetry ‘mash-up’
A ‘mash-up ‘ is a text created by taking two or more
texts and joining them together. It is not necessary to
use all of both texts – you select the parts from each
that you need to create your new text. Obviously you
need to think about the effect you are trying to create
with the new text – what message? What
characterisation? What story are you trying to tell?
A mash up may also use images and music to enhance
the effect you want to create.
Mash-up of ‘Zombie’ and ‘In Flanders Fields’ (a
song and a poem)
Mash-up of ‘Stealing’ and lyrics from ‘Been caught Stealing’
How do I do it?
The previous examples were created using Photostory.
Other programs you could use include Power point or
The most effective mash-ups are between texts with
similar ideas or themes.
Create your own mash-up using ‘Stealing’ and another
text OR two different texts of your choice. Include
images and music.

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