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11+ English Reading and Writing

1. How can you tell this poem is set in a hot, dry place?

2 Marks

‘cracks like a pod’ suggests everything is dry

‘never enough water’ suggests a place where there is not much rain and people are always hot and thirsty

Up to 2 marks for a clear explanation with or without a quotation

2. In your own words, explain what happens when the “municipal pipe bursts”.

3 Marks

Water pours out on to the ground

The people become excited

Everybody rushes to the broken pipe

They bring lots of containers to collect the water

Any three of these point, 1 mark for each point made

3. Write down two short quotations from stanza 3 which tell you that the people have been longing for water. Explain your choices.

2 Marks

4 Marks

‘roar of tongues’ suggests that the water brings a huge amount of excitement

‘congregation’ suggests the people worship the water

‘every man woman child for streets around’ suggests everyone is equally desperate for water

‘butts in’ suggests they cannot wait to get this water

‘frantic hands’ suggests desperation

1 mark for each quotation, up to 2 marks for each comment

5. The sentence which begins on line 11 is very long. Why do you think the poet uses such a long sentence?

2 Marks

The long sentence reflects the fact that a lot is happening

It creates a sense of the action and excitement which the water has created

It contrasts with the shorter sentences at the start of the poem to show the change from hot and dry to wet and refreshing

Accept any sensible idea, reward clarity of explanation

6. Throughout this poem there are many examples of different sounds.  Write down three short ‘sound’ quotations and explain how they bring the poem alive for you.

3 + 3 Marks

possible examples could include:


‘drip of it’ – small amount resounding in the tin mug

‘small splash’ – alliterative/onomatopoeic


‘crashes’ – powerful sound/ onomatopoeic

‘roar of tongues’ – sudden burst of noise from villagers or increased flow of water

‘screaming’ – children/excitement/happiness

water ‘sings’ – gentleness/brings joy and pleasure; children are splashing and playing in the water illuminated by the bright sunlight

1 mark for each quotation, 1 mark for each comment

7.  Having read the poem, how has it made you feel about these people and their lives?

Explain your views.

4 Marks

open to individual interpretation

candidate may express concern/sadness for the people and the situation/plight


perhaps share their excitement/joy that they have water

reward accordingly

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