Stinky Sid

story by Zoë Disher , illustrated by Anna Bron

Learning Intention:

I am learning about the way figurative language is used to build an understanding of character traits so that I can incorporate this to develop a stronger sense of character in my writing.

Success Criteria:

• I can identify figurative language used to describe a character in a text and discuss the purpose of its use.
• I can extend on the figurative language used in the model text.
• I can work collaboratively to create a list of descriptions using figurative language to demonstrate a different character       trait.

Essential knowledge:

To ensure that students have an understanding of the figurative language used in this lesson, use the English A to Z glossary to define figurative language, hyperbole, imagery and similes.

Understanding text:

After reading the text, ask students to identify any figurative language, particularly hyperbole, imagery and similes. Answers should include:
• Flowers dropped their petals and the paint peeled off the walls
• Bert’s feathers dropped out and fell in his birdseed
• Sid smelt worse than an old sock in the bottom of a rubbish bin
• It was like being in a big hot oven of pong
• Sid raced to the creek like a pink cloud
• He looked like a dirty puddle.

Discuss the way the author has used these figurative language techniques to illustrate just how stinky / fluffy / dirty Sid is at that part of the story and how that increases the enjoyment for the reader because it is much more effective than just telling the audience that Sid really stinks.
Collaborate with students to come up with three more examples of figurative language that can emphasise just how sinky Sid is, or model some on the board, such as:
• Even skunks ran the other way when they smelled him coming
• He smelled like a garbage truck on a sweltering summer day
• His stench could make onions cry.

Divide students into small groups and give them a large sheet of paper or a pile of sticky notes. Have them collaboratively come up with and write down three more examples, then have each group share their ideas with the class.

Creating text:

Assign a character trait to each group or allow groups to come up with their own one. Some ideas may include:
• Grumpy
• Lazy
• Shy
• Brave
• Annoying
• Stubborn
• Smart
• Sneaky
Inform groups that they should attempt to come up with at least ten examples of figurative language to describe their character trait and write them on their poster or sticky notes. You may wish to start them off with some examples, such as:
• He had more brains than a zombie buffet
• She was steaming like a boiled kettle
• He’s as annoying as a rock in a shoe during a long-distance race
• She moved about as much as a sloth in a hammock.
Allow time for students to discuss and formulate ideas. Once all groups have completed their list, have each one take turns in sharing with the class. You may wish to also have students vote on their favourite for each group.
If possible, display these ideas in the classroom to allow students to use them in future story writing or character development tasks.

Assessment for learning:

Using information that can be gathered to determine what students know and can do from this explicit lesson provide the students with an exit ticket with the following questions:
1) In your own words describe what figurative language is?
2) How does it improve writing?
3) Provide an example of figurative language that you developed today.

Using this information determine where the students need to go to next. Do they need more exposure to this topic? Are they ready to progress?