Recommended: ‘Please Mrs. Butler’, a collection of poems about school by Allan Ahlberg

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One book I wouldn’t be without is ‘Please Mrs. Butler’,

a collection of poems on the theme of school by Allan Ahlberg.

Children readily identify with the poems in this book

and each year, ‘Please Mrs. Butler’ quickly becomes

a class favourite.


When I reach for it to pick it up and read from it,

the class immediately look expectant and interested.

Often too, classes will ask me to read from it.

‘Please Mrs. Butler’ has contributed to

some of the best times I have ever spent in class.


As well as the title poem ‘Please Mrs. Butler’,

other favourites include:

* As I was coming to school Teacher

* Excuses

* When I was young

* Scissors

* Supply Teacher

* and Complaint.


Children enjoy the written work

that follows on from these poems.

Click here to see a class poem inspired

by Allan Ahlberg’s poem ‘Excuses’.


Scroll down this link from and you will see

an abundance of videos which feature

Allan Alhberg reading and explaining his poetry.

The introduction he gives really add to

our understanding and enjoyment of his poems.

This videos are on Vimeo, which unlike YouTube

is not blocked in Irish schools

‘Excuses’ – a class poem inspired by one of the same name by Allan Ahlberg

Sorry I’m late Teacher.

The car slept it in

and we lost the key to my Mum.

the alarm clock forgot

and the bus was lost.

I was taken away in a space ship by aliens 

who made me do all their housework.

Sorry I’m late Teacher.

Spider Kid
Photo Credit: Sukanto Debnath via Compfight

Sorry I didn’t do my homework Teacher.

A tiger ate my schoolbag

A monkey took my pencil

My copybook grew legs and walked.

My eraser and parer hopped away.

My reading book was squashed by a Tyrannosaurus Rex

A Stegosaurus flew off with my Mum.

So I didn’t do my homework Teacher

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Alex Eylar via Compfight