Sport Retort

poem by Jessica Horn , illustrated by Queenie Chan

Experiments with creating a sequence of images to tell a visual story.  

Before reading the poem, analyse the two different illustrations of Sally. Use a table like the one below to record observations. Collaboratively complete an analysis of the first image of Sally, leaving the second image for students to analyse later with their partner. Sample answers are provided below:  


Image 1:

Facial expression:

Chin jutting upwards 

Eyes closed  

Eyebrows furrowed

Stance/body language:

Hand held behind her in a ‘stop’ sign 

Face turned away from whoever she is telling to stop 

Accompanying images:

Various types of bats and balls

Image 2:

Facial Expression:

Wide open smile 

Eyes glistening  

Stance/body language:

Arm reaching up in what appears to be a gesture of victory 

Other arm splayed wide/open body language  

Sweat dripping from her face  

Accompanying images:

Paint brushes in hand 

Paint flicking around her  

Other character watching on and sniggering 


Place students in pairs. Instruct them to analyse the second illustration of Sally, using their own table to record their ideas.  

Display the following questions:  

  • How is Sally feeling in the first image?  
  • How has this changed in the second image?  
  • What might have caused this change? 

Discuss students observations. Read the poem and discuss what causes Sally to change so dramatically (Sally’s PE teacher encourages her to paint rather than pushing her to take part in the sport’s class).  

Guide students through creating their own visual story, following the steps below:  

  • Share a time when someone has believed in you and encouraged you to do something you love. For example: you were worried about joining a drama group, but a neighbour encouraged you so you gave it a try.  
  • Role-play the type of body language you might have displayed when you were nervous to try the drama group, for example: slumping your shoulders forward, hanging your head down and avoiding eye contact. 
  • Instruct one of the students to take a photo of you in this position.  
  • Role-play how you felt when you were accepted into the drama group, for example: raising your hands in the air, smiling wide and jumping up and down.  
  • Again, instruct a students to take a photo of you.  
  • Show students how to upload these two images into a word processing document from this device. Model using the formatting tool to shrink or enlarge both images so they fit on one page. For more information on formatting images, view Formatting Pictures, on GCFGlobalLearnFree.Org. 

Discuss examples from students own lives. For those students who struggle with ideas, allow them to select from the following scenarios:  

  • You were nervous to try out for the soccer team but your sports teacher encouraged you to try and you were delighted when you were accepted.  
  • You wanted to learn to paint but felt nervous to attempt it. Seeing a peer take a chance, encouraged you to have a go. You tried painting and realized you love it.  

Place students in small groups or pairs. Instruct them to create two freeze-frames to reveal the stages in their visual story. Instruct students to photograph their freeze-frames before inserting them into a word processing document and formatting them to fit on one page. If access to photographic equipment is limited, students can show their freeze-frames to another group.