At the End of the Day

poem by Jackie Hosking , illustrated by Jasmine Seymour

Learning intentions:

I am learning to understand the way figurative language can be used to create imagery so that I can integrate it into my descriptive writing.

Success criteria:

  • I can identify different types of figurative language used in the text poem.
  • I can interpret meaning from the author’s figurative language words and phrases.
  • I can demonstrate my understanding of the difference between figurative language and literal meaning through an illustration.

Students should not have a copy of the magazine for the reading of this poem as they are to use their imagination for the imagery first. Before reading the poem, discuss the meaning and use of figurative language. Remind students that it is a way of phrasing words that go beyond their literal meaning, often using comparisons and exaggerations to make a point. Ask students if they can name any types of figurative language and give a meaning or example. These may include:

Similecomparing two things by using their similarities, e.g. as quiet as a mouse.

Metaphor – comparing two things by substituting one with another, e.g she is an angel.

Hyperbole – an exaggerated statement or claim, e.g. I’ve told you a thousand times.

Personification – applying human characteristics to something that is not human, e.g. the grass danced in the breeze.

Onomatopoeia – A word created from the sound it is associated e.g. I made a huge splash as I jumped into the pool.

Without showing students the picture, read the poem aloud to the class. Ask students to identify any figurative language they notice in the text. Suggestions may include:

The tips of gum tree leaves catch fire (Hyerbole)

Glinting and glistening, like embers aglow (Simile)

Igniting the branches.. (Hyperbole)

...that wave to and fro (Personification)

Discuss the imagery that the figurative language in the poem gives us, particularly related to the changes of light created by the sunset. Highlight the use of words such as fire, aglow, alight, ablaze, and dusky haze. Discuss the feeling of warmth these words give us and how we can use warm colours to project that in visual arts.

While reading the poem again, ask students to draw their interpretation of it in colour, based on the figurative language. If possible, write the poem on the board so students can keep referring to it to inform their illustration.

Once completed, the collection of student art works could be displayed in the classroom with a typed version of the poem.