From a Railway Carriage is one of my favourite children’s poems. It has so much imagery and I love the way that the rhythm of the poem sounds like a train.
This poem is from A Child’s Garden of Verses written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1885, and this 19th century poem is still popular and beloved today. A good poem should leave its listeners with a sense of wonder, and this one definitely does!
In many schools, year 5 or year 6 children are asked to memorise this poem so our printable activities for From a Railway Carriage are focused on games and tasks that will help children to memorise this poem.
You can download all of these activities in one file at the end of the post.
We have a lot of people searching for From a Railway Carriage PDF and coming to our post on Introducing Children to the Poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson so I decided to make a more in depth PDF file just on this poem, with a mixture of activities.
Check out that post if you would like some ideas of other Robert Louis Stevenson poems to explore, at home or in the classroom.
From a Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson
Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone for ever!
The Benefits of Memorising a Poem
Memorising a poem, a short story, or a song can have many benefits for children. They learn how to remember and use these methods to recall words, numbers, and stories later. A child who learns how to read and write at a young age may also grow up with a lifelong love of poetry.
If you read a poem and recite it to yourself out loud, you’ll notice it’s much easier to remember than if you simply read it. This is because of something called semantic congruence. When you memorise a poem, you are actually training your brain to remember information based on its relationship to the rest of the words and sounds.
Mix Up and Re- Order Activity
On these pages, each line of the poem is separated into a strip that you can cut out – marked along the dotted lines.
Once all of the lines are cut out, mix them up and see if you can remember how to put the poem back together!
Fill in the Missing Words Activity
This is a copy of the poem with some of the words blanked out. Print it out and see if you can remember the correct words to write back in.
A Little More About Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, essayist, poet, and travel writer. He is best known for the books Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and A Child’s Garden of Verses.
He was born and educated in Edinburgh, and suffered from serious bronchial health problems for much of his life, but continued to write prolifically and travel widely despite his poor health.
Read more on Wikipedia
Download the From a Railway Carriage PDF files
Click the download button below for your free instant digital download. The PDF file includes all activities in one convenient file
- Page 1 The Poem
- Page 2 – 4 Cut out the lines, mix them up and re arrange in the correct order
- Page 5 Fill in the missing words
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Thanks so much!