My Ideas Are....

poem by Bec Nanayakkara , illustrated by Cheryl Orsini

Learning Intention:

I am learning to identify imagery in a text so that I can compare its use in different kinds of texts.

Success Criteria:

  • I can find examples of imagery in a text
  • I can identify language devices in a text that gives meaning
  • I can compare texts with an understanding of purpose, audience and subject matter

Essential Knowledge:

Introduce imagery in Poetry to the students by discussing this English Textual Concept-Connotation, imagery and symbol.

“Words and images can signify more than what they denote, extending us beyond their literal everyday meanings to understand and experience one thing in terms of another.” 

Students can view this short clip to investigate imagery.


Ask students to read or listen to the audio recording (digital subscription) of the poem, My Ideas are… As a class, discuss the poem in terms of imagery, visual connection with the illustration and the feelings students had when they read the poem. Alternatively, you might like to give the class the opportunity to respond in a visual format, allowing children time to record what they visualised whilst hearing or reading the poem. Discuss, and compare the differences and similarities between the illustrations across the class. Particularly pay attention to the differences. Pose the question: “I am wondering why we have differences in our visual interpretations?” Allow time for children to reflect and then respond (preferably to their thinking partner first) and then allow a cross class discussion. Answers may include: Prior experience, culture, interests, connections to similar texts (possibly multimodal)

Ask students to write their answers to these stimulus questions in their workbooks. Co-construct a visual organiser to help students record their thoughts and opinions. This may be in the form of a table, sub-headings or dot points.

Remind students that imagery is descriptive language that appeals to the readers’ sense of taste, touch, smell, sight, sound and feeling. Imagery paints a picture in the readers mind. The language devices that are used to depict imagery include alliteration, onomatopoeia, personification, simile and metaphor.

Identify imagery in the text.

  • The poem has 4 stanzas, what is each stanza about? Justify each statement with an example for each point.

Sample answers are included in this table.

  • Find examples of imagery in each stanza.

Remind students that imagery is descriptive language that appeals to the readers’ sense of taste, touch, smell, sight, sound and feeling and paints a picture in their mind.

As a class, choose one students’ example for each stanza and discuss the  language devices used by the poet.

Answers may include:

  • Discuss the visual imagery in the poem and explain the meaning of each stanza with the represented visual element.


Comparing the use of imagery in texts

Choose one text to compare with the poem My Ideas Are…

Use this link to explain to students what is the meaning of purpose and audience in a text.

Compare the text with the poem My Ideas Are ……. in terms of

  • Purpose
  • Audience
  • Subject matter
  • How is the imagery created

Answer may include:

Provide a selection of texts to enable a class discussion and comparison of imagery used in contrast to the poem, My Ideas Are…..


These suggestions all have a common theme of internal reflection by the child (or dog in Hip Hop Dog and Bear in Honey) and the character identifying positive ideas or thoughts of gratitude. A variety of cultural books and different reading levels have been included.

  • Ohana means family by Ilima Loomis illustrated by Kenard Pak a reading can be access here
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak a reading can be access here
  • Hip Hop Dog by Chris Raschka and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky a reading can be accessed here
  • Honey by David Ezra Stein a reading can be accessed here
  • Wilam by Aunty Joy Murphy, Andrew Kelly and Lisa Kennedy a reading can be accessed here
  • Sam’s Bush Journey by Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina and illustrated by Bronwyn Bancroft a reading can be accessed here
  • My thoughts are clouds Poems for mindfulness by Georgia Heard and illustrated by Isabel Roxas a reading can be accessed here
  • The Hidden Forest by Jeannie Baker a reading can be accessed here