I See Icicles

poem by Charles Ghigna , illustrated by Rosemary Fung

Learning Intention:

I am learning to identify, analyse and experiment with figurative language so that I can understand how meaning is enhanced through language choices.


Success Criteria:

  • I can identify rhyming words and similes in a poem
  • I can experiment with rhyming multi-syllabic words
  • I can create my own simile using a pair of rhyming words for emphasis.



Read the poem as a class or listen to the audio.Ask students to circle the two rhyming words in each stanza (four words total). (Answer: icicles/bicycles, clear/chandelier).

Discuss the following:

  • What do you notice about these pairs of rhyming words that make them stand out to readers (They have multiple syllables).
  • Which pair has an exact rhyme and which pair rhymes only part of the word? (Icicle/bicycle have the exact rhyme, clear/chandelier rhyme only the final syllable of chandelier).
  • When hearing the poem read aloud, what is the impact of using these rhyming sets? (The words in the rhyming pair are emphasized. In this poem it emphasizes the shape and appearance of the icicles)


Challenge students to find words that rhyme with the following list of multi-syllable words using the Hexagonal Thinking graphic organiser. To prepare for the task, print and cut out the blank hexagon templates. Organise the class into 5 groups and assign each group one of the five words listed below. They are to write this word in the centre of one hexagon. Group members then work together to think of words to rhyme with their core word. They write one on each hexagon and place them around the central word. Students are allowed to change consonants, as long as the vowel sounds still mimic (as an example, the words ‘scribble’ rhymes with dribble and nibble – but also can rhyme with middle or riddle). These are near rhymes and are accepted.

As additional preparation, write the words on the board and talk about the different syllables – marking those on the words. Then underline the final syllable of each word and explain that most of the rhyming words that the class will create in the hexagon task will only have the final syllable rhyming – especially in the 3 syllable words like ‘Education.’






Extension task: Add hexagons around the new rhyming words (particularly in examples where near rhymes are used – As in the example previously described: scribble and middle).


When groups have had time to write their rhyming words on hexagons and place them with the core word, allow groups to do a gallery walk where they look at each of the hexagonal thinking activities in the class.


Understanding text:


Return to the poem. Ask students to underline two similes. (icicles Like spokes From broken bicycles/ Like a new Chandelier).

Project the image from the State Library collection, Tennis fashions, 20 September 1952 showing a woman riding a bike. Point to the spokes on the bicycle.

Ask students to explain how icicles could look similar to spokes on a broken bicycle.

Project the photograph of a chandelier from the State Library collection. Town Hall interiors, [August 1956-1960s].

Ask students to explain how an icicle could look like a chandelier.

Ask students to answer the following questions in their workbook:

  • From the 2 similes in the poem ‘I see Icicles,’ which simile is the best to help you understand what an icicle looks like?
  • Why have you chosen this simile as the strongest?
  • Can you suggest something else that an icicle looks like?


Creating text:


Have students make their own simile about a weather event (for example: dust storm, snow, wind, rain, hail). They are to use the same structure as lines 1 and 2 of the poem ‘I see icicles.’

I see _________



A suggestion to scaffold this for students is to ask them to choose their weather event first and create a shortlist of words associated with that weather event. Thinking of sensory images – what can be seen, heard, felt. Once they have created this list, they can make a sub list for each word including a range of rhyming words. They now have the word bank they need to create their own simile.


Assessment for/as learning:


Students complete a self-reflection using dice. Simply use dice from the classroom, or an online dice such as roll-a-dice from Online Stopwatch. Students roll the dice and answer the question associated with the number they have rolled as follows:

1.What was one thing you learnt from this lesson?

  1. Why do poets use similes in their poems?
  2. Why is rhyme used regularly by poets?
  3. Which part of your own simile are you most proud of?
  4. What was the hardest thing about writing your own simile?
  5. Choose any word with 2 or more syllables. Then list three words that rhyme with your chosen word.