handmade baskets


Class 3 Main Lessons

Crafts       Farming     Grammar     

Building and Measurement     Speech Exercises     

farrier making horseshoe on anvil

Classes 1 to 3 (6-9 year olds) Classes 4 to 5 (9 to 11 year olds) Classes 6 to 7 (11 to 13 year olds)
Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4 Class 5 Class 6 Class 7




The potter sits at his potter’s stool
And the wheel turns round on its stand,
Upon it he throws a lump of clay
Which wobbles and bumps in his hand.
Slowly and surely he centres the clay
Till it’s steady and ready to form:
Only by finding a centre still
Can a pot of clay be born.

Paul King



Before her wooden spinning wheel
The maiden spins her woolen thread,
Busily turns the spindle spool,
Quick her fingers, light her tread.
Wheel is whirring, humming, stirring,
Turn the fleece and gently pull,
Spindle spinning, spool o’er-brimming
Thus the fleece is spun to wool.

Paul King



See the weaver sit at her loom,
Quietly humming the weaving tune.
The shuttle flies from left to right,
Swift as a swallow darting in flight.
Through the warp and the weft her busy hands go,
Under and over, now to and now fro,
Weaving a pattern of dark and of light,
Till a weavework is finished of joy and delight.

Paul King



Tubal Cain was a man of might,
He hammered tools from iron bright,
With fire ablaze from his bellows strong,
He worked with a will the whole day long.
With a clash and a clang on the anvil he rang,
With each hammer-struck blow falling true,
Till he’d forged from the fire, for all folk to admire,
A bright sword-blade and ploughshares new.

Paul King


The Village Blacksmith

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate’er he can.
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow.
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.



And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing floor.
Toiling - rejoicing - sorrowing,
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begun,
Each evening sees it close.
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night’s repose.
Thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou has taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


       Jabal Tames the Stallion

 The stallion runs wild and tramples the plain
 With mad staring eyes, and wild tossing mane,
 No-one could tame him with rope or with thong,
 Till Jabal came by, determined and strong.
With a wish and a whoop brave Jabal leapt high
And onto the horse with a jubilant cry.
The stallion kicked and bucked all around
And Jabal soon tumbled and crashed to the ground.
But Jabal’s undaunted and soon has a plan
To catch the wild galloping horse if he can.
He drops from a branch to the white back below
And clings for dear life as he’s tossed to and fro.
The stallion whinnies and snorts out with rage,
He bucks and he tosses and runs the rampage,
He shakes his wild mane and his hooves beat the air,
But Jabal holds tight and will never forbear.
At last the horse plunges and rolls with a will,
But Jabal can wrestle and holds the beast still.
At last he is calm, and tamed in the end,
To plough and to carry and be a true friend.

Paul King

                   FARMING                                                                                                     [back to top]


I will go with my father a-ploughing
To the green field by the sea,
And the rooks and the crows and the seagulls
Will come flocking after me.
I will sing to the patient horses
With the lark in the white of the air,
And my father will sing the plough song
That blesses the cleaving share.
I will go with my father a-sowing
To the red field by the sea,
And the rooks and the gulls and the starlings
Will come flocking after me.
I will sing to the striding sowers
With the finch on the flowering sloe,
And my father will sing the seed song
That only the wise men know.


I will go with my father a-reaping
To the brown field by the sea,
And the geese and the crows and the children
Will come flocking after me.
I will sing to the weary reapers
With the wren in the heat of the sun,
And my father will sing the scythe song
That joys for the harvest done.

Seosamh Maccathmhaoil

Farmer, Miller and Baker

The farmer ploughs and furrows the field,
And sows the seed for the harvest’s yield.
Earth, sun, wind and rain,
Swell the seed and ripen the grain.
The reapers reap and gather the wheat,
The miller grinds it to flour sweet,
The baker bakes it to golden bread
By which our body is nourished and fed.
Farmer, miller and baker true,
Bring forth the bread for me and you.
In every loaf their labour lies
Blessed by earth and sun-filled skies.

Paul King

 Johnny had a little dove,  coo, coo, coo.
Johnny had a little mill,  clack, clack, clack.
Johnny had a little cow, moo, moo, moo.
Johnny had a little duck, quack, quack, quack.
Coo, coo;  clack, clack;  moo, moo;  quack, quack;
Down on Johnny’s little farm.
Johnny had a little hen, cluck, cluck, cluck.
Johnny had a little crow, caw, caw, caw.
Johnny had a little pig, chook, chook, chook.
Johnny had a little donkey, haw, haw, haw.
Coo, coo;  clack, clack;  moo, moo;  quack, quack;
Cluck, cluck;  caw, caw;  chook, chook;  haw, haw;
Down on Johnny’s little farm.
Johnny had a little dog, bow, wow, wow.
Johnny had a little lamb, baa, baa, baa.
Johnny had a little son, now, now, now!
Johnny had a little wife, ha!  ha!! ha!!!
Coo, coo;  clack, clack;  moo, moo;  quack, quack;
Cluck, cluck;  caw, caw;  chook, chook;  haw, haw;
Bow-wow;  baa, baa;  now, now;  ha! ha!!
Down on Johnny’s little farm.


The Wind

The wind is a fellow to sport and to play,
He’ll billow and bellow and bluster all day,
He’s up from the hillside and over the lea,
He’s airy, contrary, and quick as can be.
“No-one can catch me!” he boasts with a shout,
But in the millsails his mistake he’ll find out!
Just harness him there and he’ll give you his power
To grind all your harvested wheatgrain to flour.

Paul King

Lovely Things

 Bread is a lovely thing to eat -
God bless the barley and the wheat!
A lovely thing to breathe is air -
God bless the sunshine everywhere!
The earth’s a lovely place to know -
God bless the folks that come and go!
Alive’s a lovely thing to be -
Giver of life - we say - bless Thee!


BUILDING AND MEASUREMENT                                                                           [back to top]


“Oh build for me builder
A house of my own,
With plank and with timber,
With tiling and stone;
A solid foundation,
Four walls stout and thick,
A roof of good oak beam,
And chimney of brick.”
“Yes, I’ll build you a house,
The best that I can,
But the measurements true
I’ll need for the plan.


How deep the foundation?
What height for the wall?
What length for the rooms,
And the passage and hall?
How high is the chimney?
How wide are the floors?
How broad is the staircase?
How narrow the doors?
Give me the measure
To build your house right:
The width and the length,
The depth and the height.”

 Paul King


(Nouns and Verbs For Class 2 or 3 Grammar)

Of all the things I can know and love,
Like the earth below and the sky above,
The wind in the trees
And the waves of the sea:
All these the noun will name for me.
The dolphin, the whale and fishes bright,
The lark at dawn, and the owl of the night,
The fox in his den,
And the buck that springs:
The naming noun will name these things.
Of all the things that as deeds are done,
I can leap or linger, romp and run,
I can weep salt tears,
And chuckle with glee:
And these the doing verbs decree.
I live, I learn, I wish for, I work,
But if a good deed I would lazily shirk,
Then a charm I can say
The good to fulfill:

I can,
I should,
I want to,
I will!
            Paul King 


Oh build me a bower where I may abide
And rest me in stillness and peace.

Mile after mile through the meadow,
The millsteam meanders along,
Meeting and merging and mingling,
The mallows and shallows among.

Deep in the earth, when days are darkest
Dwells the summer's dawn.

Now the night is nigh its noon,
Gnomes go nimbly 'neath the moon.

Goodly Gabriel guards the gate.

Gleeful goblins gather the gold.

I found a fish in a fountain pool
With fins a fine as a filigree fan.

Homeward we hie with a happy heart.

Two diggers digging a ditch
Down in the dales of Dorset.


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Classes 1 to 3 (6-9 year olds) Classes 4 to 5 (9 to 11 year olds) Classes 6 to 7 (11 to 13 year olds)
Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4 Class 5 Class 6 Class 7