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The Mock Turtle’s Song

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Poem Activity

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In this funny poem a character called the Mock Turtle from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland asks other sea creatures to come and join his dance. Imagine you want to persuade people to come and have lots of fun with you, and maybe dance . Look at the final four lines of the first and last verses - say these out loud in different ways that you think you would use if you were trying to persuade people. Maybe also move around when you are saying them.

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“Will you walk a little faster?”
said a whiting to a snail.
“There’s a porpoise close behind us,
and he’s treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and
the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle—
will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you,
will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you,
won’t you join the dance?

“You can really have no notion how
delightful it will be,
When they take us up and throw us,
with the lobsters, out to sea!”
But the snail replied “Too far, too far!”
and gave a look askance—
Said he thanked the whiting kindly,
but he would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not,
could not, would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not,
could not, could not join the dance.

“What matters it how far we go?”
his scaly friend replied.
“There is another shore, you know,
upon the other side.
The further off from England
the nearer is to France—
Then turn not pale, beloved snail,
but come and join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you,
won’t you, won’t you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you,
won’t you, won’t you join the dance?”

The Mock Turtle’s Song

by Lewis Carroll