Parrots are Pretty

poem by Rebecca Gardyn Levington , illustrated by Anna Bron

Learning Intention:


I am learning to understand the purposes and structures of different texts so I can appreciate how text types can be manipulated for different purposes.


Success Criteria:


  • I can compare and contrast different text types
  • I can investigate the purpose of texts
  • I can read and comprehend informative texts in different formats
  • I can question the common features of different text types.


Essential knowledge:



Oral language and communication:


Prior to reading the poem, ask students the following question:

  • If you were going to write a factual text about parrots, what kind of text would it be?

Discuss the answers given as they are offered, asking each student why that text type is suitable for a factual text about parrots.

Then ask a follow up question:

  • Can you write a factual text in the form of a poem?

Before students offer answers to the question, allocate one wall of the classroom as a ‘yes’ answer, one wall of the classroom a ‘no’ answer and the middle of the room as a ‘not sure’ answer. Ask students to move to the part of the classroom that aligns with their thoughts on the question. Once students have a chance to move to their chosen answer, ask students on each side of the room to offer an explanation for their answer. Hear arguments from both sides of the room.

Students return to their seats. Ask students to draw a Venn diagram, if you would like to use a digital version of the Venn diagram head to the digital learning selector website. The circle on the left should be labelled ‘Information texts’ and the circle on the right should be labelled ‘Poems.’ Students are to list features of poems and information texts in their Venn diagram and see whether there is any cross over in the middle. You will return to this Venn diagram later.


Understanding text:

Students are now ready to read the poem ‘Parrots are Pretty.’ Read the poem as a class.

After reading, ask students to identify whether the text is a poem or an information text. Discuss why.

Return to the previous question:  Can you write a factual text in the form of a poem?

Ask students to now move to the part of the classroom with their new answer. (The expected response should now be that most, if not all, students will answer ‘yes.’ This is because they have seen an example of an informative poem.)


If you have a digital subscription, you can complete the interactive crossword to check student understanding of the poem.


Turn to ‘Firehawks’ on page 11 of this issue of Blast Off! Read the article together as a class. Return to the Venn diagram from earlier. Now that students have read a factual poem about parrots and an information text article about firehawks, ask them to identify text features for each text type. Focus on the differences at this stage.



Ask students to look at the poem and the article again – are there any common features? These common features can be put into the overlapping section in the Venn diagram.


Sample answer:

Use of rhetorical questions, direct address to include the audience, factual information about the subject matter.


Creating text:

Extension Task: Use the information from the article ‘Will Wonders Never Cease? Talking Stamps’ on page 9 of this issue of Blast Off! And write an informative poem about the Bhutanese Talking Stamps. Students can share these with their classmates for enjoyment.


Assessment for/as learning:

Ask students the following question. Have them move to stand in the part of the room according to their answer (yes on one side, no on the other and not sure in the middle.)

  • Is it ok to bend the rules of a text type?


Once students have decided upon their answer, ask them to elaborate and explain why they have chosen their response. Hear from both sides of the room (and those who are unsure).