11+ English Reading and Writing
1. How can you tell this poem is set in a hot, dry place?
‘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”.
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.
‘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?
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.
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