Something I Can Live With

story by Jessica Nelson-Tyers , illustrated by Tohby Riddle

Creates poses to communicate feelings and plot points portrayed in illustrations.

At the outset of the lesson, do not allow students to view the story or the accompanying illustrations in the magazine.

Pose in the same position as the character in the first illustration that accompanies the story (standing with your back against the door, arms splayed wide, mouth turned down at the side). Instruct the students to stand in a semi-circle around you to examine the pose. Relax the pose and discuss what students interpret from the body language. Sample ideas include:

The stance, with the back against the door and the splayed arms and legs imply the teacher is trying to block someone or something from entering the room

The downturned mouth implies fear/discomfort/worry

Discuss other ways students could communicate the same feeling or plot point using different poses. Sample responses include:

Facing the door with hands pushing against it while looking back over their shoulder

Slumped on the floor with their back against the wall, knees bent and appearing to be pushing back on the door

Inform students that often viewers make similar inferences when viewing images. Tell them that this is because of the fact that there are many visual codes we are familiar with in society. For more on visual codes, show students the slide show, An Introduction to Visual Codes, found on SlideShare.

Place students in groups.

Those with a digital subscription can collaboratively complete the interactive activity now, collaboratively examining the second illustration.

Provide each group with one of the remaining illustrations from the magazine. Do not allow the students to see the images allocated to other groups.

Instruct students to discuss with their group the feeling or plot point the image might be representing. Once they have done this, tell them to discuss different ways they might communicate the same idea. After discussion, tell students to adopt one of the poses they identified. It is fine for multiple students in the group to adopt the same pose but encourage them to strive to include a few ideas of poses representing the same feeling or plot point amongst the students in the group.

Once students have had time to practise their poses, match groups with those that were allocated different images. Instruct students to take turns sharing their poses. While they do so the remaining students can rotate around viewing the poses and discuss their ideas about what feeling or plot point the pose communicates.

Discuss students ideas. Draw students’ attention to any common ideas they shared discussing whether visual codes assisted them to make their inferences.

After discussing the poses, read the story. Discuss similarities between the students’ inferences and the information in the story.


Instruct students to photograph the poses that differ from the ones in the illustration. Compile these as part of a class visual story to represent the narrative Something I Can Live With.