Little Dragon

poem by Amy Dunjey , illustrated by Marjorie-Fairall

Learning intention

I am learning to understand how points of view are conveyed through the use of vocabulary so that I can express a point of view in the texts I create.

Success criteria

  • I can identify vocabulary that expresses a point of view.
  • I can incorporate vocabulary that communicates a point of view into descriptions.
  • I can include descriptions in a poem.

Essential knowledge

View the video Point of View from The School Magazine. Ensure students identify that the point of view a text is told from refers to the lens through which the subject is viewed.


Prior to reading Little Dragon, discuss students’ opinions on the following creatures:

  • Lizards
  • Snakes
  • Beetles

Emphasise where students’ opinions differ, for example some students may love snakes while others dislike them. Select one of these creatures and compile a list of vocabulary to describe them, sorting the language into positive and negative. For example:















Use the vocabulary identified to compose two descriptions of the creature, one for each point of view. For example:

Positive: Majestic snakes slip through the rainforests, gliding elegantly over rocks and hills. They pause to bake in the sun, but these adept hunters are ready to pounce in a split second on any prey that crosses their path.

Negative: Slippery, slimy snakes, sneak through the rainforests, clambering over rocks and hills. They pause to bake in the sun, but beware, they’re ready to pounce and inject their deadly venom on any prey that crosses their path.

Read Little Dragon. Discuss the poet’s point of view about lizards (that they respect and admire them). Place students in pairs and instruct them to identify examples of vocabulary that expresses this point of view. Share responses. Examples include:

  • The title, little dragon, which makes the lizard sound endearing
  • Vocabulary such as, swiftly, slinking, peeking
  • Negative descriptions of the encounter with the snake, such as

She hides in tufts of woolly grass, slowly watching danger pass.

  • Descriptions of the beetle, such as:

and snacks upon her insect treat.

Inform students that they will be composing their own poem about an animal they admire. Tell them that they should select the vocabulary they include carefully so they express their point of view clearly. Complete an example with the students first. Refer to the descriptions of the snakes. Select the positive point of view to write the poem from. Inform students that they can choose to make their poem rhyme or not. Refer back to Little Dragon to identify the rhyming scheme (rhyming couplets) should students wish to make their poem rhyme. Use the descriptive sentences to compose a poem, for example:


The majestic snakes slips and slides,

Ready for a playtime ride,

Through the rainforest she will go,

Till she finds a rock to slow.

Then she’ll bake in the sun,

Until she finds a treat, yum.


Students can work in the same pairs as previously or independently if they prefer. Display the following steps for students to follow:

  • Select an animal you admire
  • Identify vocabulary that expresses your point of view
  • Incorporate the vocabulary into descriptions
  • Use these in a poem


Peer assessment

Once students have completed their poem, instruct them to swap with another student/group. Tell students that they should identify vocabulary that expresses the point of view the poem is told from and make suggestions for further vocabulary to be added where appropriate.

The webpage Effective Feedback has more information on the types of feedback.