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NSW Syllabuses

Stage 4 - Activity 6

Poetry analysis

Description of activity

Information about this activity is given to the students orally.  The teacher explains personification.  The class reads and discusses a range of poems that use personification and discusses the similarities and differences between personification, similes and metaphors.  Students form groups and each group is given a teacher-selected poem with focus questions that guide them in identifying examples of personification and other poetic techniques, and how they shape meaning.  They work independently on their allocated poem and responses and then meet in their groups to compare and refine their individual responses to their allocated poem.

Students form pairs from different groups and teach their poem to the other member of the pair.  They write an individual response to the two poems explaining what each poem is about and how personification and other poetic techniques contribute to their understanding and enjoyment of the poems. (The teacher will guide the length of the response.)

In their workbooks or journals students reflect on their collaborative skills, ability to teach a poem to another student and what the activity revealed to them about their own learning.


The unit of work involved students undertaking a wide reading of poetry. The learning experiences and instruction covered poetic techniques, such as simile, metaphor, personification, sound devices and symbolism, and the conventions of some poetic forms. Individually, and in groups, students were asked to identify particular techniques and explain their effects in the poems they were studying. As part of this unit students analysed poems to understand how meaning is shaped.  Students wrote their own poems and engaged in writing responses to poems. The assessment for learning activity selected is an integral part of the scope and sequence of learning in this unit. The activity involved individual, group and pair work, peer teaching, individual responses with teacher assessment and self-reflection.


EN4-1A responds to and composes texts for understanding, interpretation, critical analysis, imaginative expression and pleasure
EN4-3B uses and describes language forms, features and structures of texts appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts
EN4-4B makes effective language choices to creatively shape meaning with accuracy, clarity and coherence
EN4-9E uses, reflects on and assesses their individual and collaborative skills for learning

Criteria for assessing learning

(These criteria would normally be communicated to students with the activity.)
Students will be assessed on their ability to:

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the conventions of writing a persuasive letter
  • understand the relationship between audience, purpose, language choices and form
  • demonstrate understanding of the use of persuasive techniques
  • select and provide appropriate information about Australia

Graded student work samples - End Stage

Grade AGrade B
no samples no samples
Grade CGrade D
no samples