Plant Talk

story by Kathryn England , illustrated by Anna Bron

Learning Intention:

I am learning to identify the way similar characteristics can be applied to a range of characters across different texts so that I can consider this when creating my own characters to be used in stories.


Success Criteria:

  • I can identify the use of anthropomorphism in different texts
  • I can create my own anthropomorphised characters
  • I can use my character to create a character profile that can be used in a story.



Essential knowledge:

To familiarise students with giving anthropomorphised characters an identity, watch the English Textual Concepts video Character.


Understanding text:

After reading the text, discuss the use of anthropomorphism with the class. Ensure students understand that anthropomorphism means attributing human characteristics and behaviours to something that is not human. Ask students to identify the use of anthropomorphism in the text. Answers should include:

  • Rose telling Pop she feels fine
  • Tom the tomato plant says he has a sore back so Pop ties him to a wooden stake
  • Iris and Violet are thirsty, so Pop gives them a drink
  • Daisy and Lily are hungry so Pop feeds them
  • Basil talking to Pop and making suggestions for the homework and the garden.

Discuss Pop’s conversation with Basil and the way this anthropomorphism incorporated factual information about the plant. For example, basil repels bugs with its smell (‘Basil smells so they stay away from him’) and basil is more effective when planted alongside certain other plants (‘Now Basil has someone to talk to all the time’).

View the video Dreamtime Stories – Tiddalick the Frog with the class. Ask students to identify the use of anthropomorphism in the story and animation (e.g. the animals holding a meeting, the kangaroo juggling, the kookaburra performing stand-up comedy) and how factual information has also been incorporated (the eel wriggling in its dance, the frog storing water, the owl having a reputation as being wise).

Creating text:

Inform students that they are going to create their own anthropomorphised character. To do this, they should decide on a plant, animals or object that they want to ‘bring to life’ in their writing. They should then create a character profile, including information of their choosing, such as personality traits, appearance, background, and skills.

Create a profile on the board to model this process for students. For example:


Character type: Yellow pencil (object)

Name: Daisy

Background: Comes from a large family in a long pencil tin, has since moved into a soft rainbow pencil case with a bunch of friends

Personality: Sunny disposition, very positive, always trying to brighten everyone else up

Likes: summer days, ice cream, making others laugh

Dislikes: Grumpiness, hot chillis

Fears: Darkness, thunder clouds

Goals: To create an artwork for the national gallery

Best friends: Amber the orange pencil, Skye the blue pencil, Shayla the sharpener


Explain to students that they may want to include different information in their character profile, but the purpose is to shape their character and build an understanding of who they are so that these characters can be used in narrative story writing.


Assessment as learning:

Students conduct a peer review of their partners narrative including examples of anthropomorphism. Using the above success criteria to create a feedback and checklist for students to provide to their partner, such as:

In my partner's writing:

Observed in writing Y/N


  • I can identify the use of anthropomorphism in different texts.
  • I can see that they can create their own anthropomorphised characters.
  • I can see that they can use their character to create a character profile that can be used in a narrative story.