Rain in Spring

poem by Elena de Roo , illustrated by Sylvia Morris

Learning intention:

I am learning to experiment with poetry and reflect on the effect that my writing has with the reader.

Success criteria:

  • I can read a variety of poems that focus on imagery, sharing language or celebrating culture.
  • I can recognise the qualities of a poem and include these features in my own writing
  • I can reflect on my writing
  • I can create an illustration that I feel represents the poems’ imagery, meaning or mood

Firstly, ask students “What is a poem?” Generate ideas from the class and create a word wall of word and phrases. These may include, imagery, rhyming, short verse, description, raps, song, taking the reader to a place or on a journey, a feeling.

Compare the class ideas with these Macquarie Dictionary definitions,


  1. a composition in verse, especially one characterised by artistic construction and imaginative or elevated thought.
  2. a composition which, though not in verse, is characterised by beauty of language or thought.


  1. the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting please by beautiful, imaginative or elevated thought.
  2. literary work in metrical form; verse.
  3. prose with poetic qualities.
  4. poetic qualities however manifested.
  5. poetic spirit or feeling.
  6. Something suggestive or likened to poetry.



Explain to students that poetry is an opportunity to share ideas, feelings and experiences. Poetry is technically varied, with few rules and criteria to follow which gives the writer the chance to choose words with the perfect meaning, sound or rhyming pattern to allow the piece to flow. Sometimes poets use typography to reflect the meaning of a poem as a shaped poem.

Students can work with word choice, image, colour and shape to create a typographical poem using wordart . Students can share their typographical poem and reflect on their work.


Ask the class, “what criteria could students use to reflect on their work? They could ask a partner to read their poem and interview them on these points;

  • Can you describe how the poem made you feel?
  • What image did you get as you read the poem?
  • Change some words, colours or shapes to alter the mood or feeling in the poem and ask the person to read it again. Can you describe the change you felt or different image the poem depicted?

As a class, read the poem Rain in Spring by Elena de Roo.

I’d sell the smell of rain in spring
In bulbous cut glass puffer things
With grassy notes of new green shoots

And deep damp tones of earth and roots

A burst of wet narcissus flowers
A spritz of sunshine mixed with showers

A splash of thunder somewhere high

The fleeting hint of fresh blue sky

A puff of drops
A waft of song
A trace of rainbow ... then it’s gone

But when you think the scent is done

Lingering like glistening

sun, on every tree- drop pendant hung

The promise
Of what’s yet to come

Ask students to reflect on the poem with these directions.

Write down in your student workbook your reflections on the poem and answer these questions.

  • Can you describe how the poem made you feel?
  • What image did you get as you read the poem?
  • What word choice or technique from the poem gave you this image and feeling?
  • Look at the last two lines, what do you think is “the promise of what’s yet to come”?


Present to the students a poem that was written in a First Languages Gumea Dharawal workshop and listen to a recording by Alan Giddy from 2019.


Poem 1.

The Red Room Poetry Project aims to share and conserve knowledge of the First Nations languages and culture through poetry

Read Banggliga by Jacob Morris

Co-authored by Jacob Morris, Ethan Bell and Adrian Webster
~ with Gumea Dharawal interpretations by Adrian and Jacob.


Students can listen to a reading of this poem at the Poetry in First Languages Gumea Dharawal workshop. Recorded by Alan Giddy, 2019 (Sound will need to be turned up or access speakers to ensure the audio can be heard)


After reading and listening to the poem, ask students to reflect by answering these questions in their student workbook.

  • Can you describe how the poem made you feel?
  • What image did you get as you read the poem?
  • The poem was written in a different language and was translated in the second stanza. Even though you may not have understood some of the words, could you capture the image and feeling that the poet wanted to share?

Read the following poem by Dan Davis and listen to the reading by the artist. This poem is a celebration of the power of nature and can be compared to the first poem, Rain in Spring by Elena de Roo.



Poem 2.

Mookari , A poem by Dan Davis, central Queensland

Listen to this poem read by the poet Dan Davis.


As a reflection of the imagery in this poem, ask students to create an artwork that represents. Create a crayon etching by using crayons to cover a sheet of art paper. Paint over the crayon with black paint. Students can use a toothpick or paperclip to etch out their image presented from one of the three poems. Rain in Spring by Elena de Roo, Banggliga by Jacob Morris, Mookari , by Dan Davis,