Space Pirates

part one of a story by Duncan Richardson , illustrated by Greg Holfeld

Learning intention:

I am learning to identify text structures and language features such as imagery, metaphor and word choice from the text so that I can experiment and create texts in different media and technologies.

Success criteria:

  • I can identify examples of imagery from the text
  • I can define the meaning of a simile and metaphor and create examples of this technique
  • I can use multimedia to illustrate a section of the text using elements of imagery


Essential Knowledge:

Discuss with the students the use of imagery in texts, by exploring Textual Concepts video Connotation, Imagery and Symbol.

Remind the students that figurative language includes similes, metaphors, descriptive word choice and sentence variation. Using these quick memory prompts:

  • Simile – uses like or as to compare one thing with another
  • Metaphor- one object or idea is used in place of another
  • Word choice- words add description and detail
  • Sentence variation- a sentence that develops the imagery of the text


Learning Resource 1:

Explain to the students that this episode of Space Pirates is part two with the story in Issue 8 jumping right into the action.

Read -The story so far and stop at the end of this introductory paragraph.

Ask the students to make predictions of their knowledge so far, ask students to discuss their predictions with their thinking partner seated next to them. You may like to ask prompting questions such as:

  • What do you think is going to happen next?
  • Imagine what the space pirates may be like and describe them to the person next to you.

Now as a class, small group or independently, continue to read the story. Stop at regular points within the text to check in which students. Ask them to confirm or change their predictions. Continue this procedure until the children have been able to read the entire text.


Ask students to look through the text with their partner and find examples of each figurative language device that was discussed in the essential knowledge aspect of this lesson.


Model skimming and scanning the text identifying simile such as “The asteroid loomed, grey and pitted, like ancient faces with blank eyes,” or metaphor such as “A place that is littered with bones.” Model how you require students to record these language devices. Continue this process for children who require guided support and allow time for students who are confident in this task to work their way through the text with their thinking partner.


Learning Resource 2:

 Review the Learning Intentions and Success Criteria from the previous lesson, allowing time for children to reflect on their prior learning.


Tell the students that they are going to continue exploring the use of language devices today, through analysing how the language devices contribute to the formation of strong imagery within the text. We are then going to use this mentor text to develop cartoons which highlight and create vivid imagery for the reader.


As a class, identify the characters in the text and record them visually so that all students can contribute to the whole class discussion.

  • Zapp
  • Captain
  • Bosun Gruff
  • Shipmates

Students can have a go at describing each of the characters using figurative language, recording notes in their workbook.

Share student samples by writing them around each characters’ name on the board. For example.

  • Dasher- as clever as a monkey (simile)
  • Zapp- is small, speedy, and reliable (word choice)
  • Captain- has the weight of his ship on his shoulders (metaphor)
  • Bosun Gruff- is a giant (metaphor)

To consolidate students use of imagery, instruct them to choose a segment of the text to create a cartoon or comic strip of events. This can be done with online multimedia using a comic creator, from readwritethink.  Alternatively, if students do not have access to a computer, they can generate a comic strip by ruling up a table in their student workbook and illustrating the comic by hand.