poem by Elena de Roo , illustrated by Ana Maria Méndez Salgado

Composes a poem featuring imagery, workshopping poems and supporting their peers to edit.  

Ensure students are aware what the concept of imagery is (figurative language to represent objects, actions and ideas in a way that appeals to the reader’s senses). Read the poem and discuss the various images relating to the colour indigo that the poet has managed to evoke.  

Emphasise that each line of the poem features a new image. Sample responses include:  


An inky hue
The line where violet turns to blue
A shadow in the fading light 

Display a colour palette, such as The Martian Colour Wheel, found on the WarrenMars site. Discuss students favourite colours. Select a colour to focus on, such as red. Collaboratively compose ideas for descriptions of the chosen colour to conjure imagery. For example:  


  • The colour of fire trucks, flashing lights and fast cars  
  • Shiny shoes, a winter coat,   
  • Leaves in autumn, rustling on the ground 
  • Hot lava cascading down a volcano  

Model incorporating these into a brief poem. Refer to Indigo, to identify the rhyming structure (mostly rhyming couplets). 

Edit the lines composed to form rhyming couplets. A rhyming dictionary, such as RhymeZone, might be useful here. For example:    

The colour of fire trucks, flashing lights and fast cars  

Shiny shoes, a winter coat, the glowing sight of Mars 

Leaves in autumn, rustling on the ground at night 

Hot lava, cascading down a volcano, causing a fright. 

Place students with a partner and instruct them to compose lines of imagery about a colour before composing a poem, incorporating the imagery.  

Once students have completed their poems, tell them that they will be workshopping each other’s poems. Display the following success criteria:  

  • Incorporates multiple lines of imagery to describe a colour 
  • Includes rhyming couplets  

Tell students to decide which of these two criteria they feel they were most successful when composing their poems. Instruct those students who feel they were successful with incorporating imagery to stand on one side of the room. Tell these students that for now they will be the ‘experts.’ Match these with students who identify that they found incorporating imagery challenging. Tell these students that for now they will be the ‘students. Form small groups, aiming for equal amounts of ‘experts’ and ‘students.’ Instruct the students to workshop each other’s poems, with the ‘experts’ supporting and guiding the ‘students.’ Allow time to workshop the ‘students’’ poems.  

Repeat this process, this time having those who felt they were successful with composing rhyming couplets acting as ‘experts’ while the others act as the ‘students.’ Allow time for the rhyming couplet ‘experts’ to support and guide the ‘students,’ assisting them to improve their poems.   

Reflect on the process, discussing how students felt their work improved by identifying their challenges and collaborating with others to improve their work.