Sun Fishing

poem by Lisa Varchol Perron , illustrated by Anna Bron

Learning intention:

I am learning how language influences mood so that I can consider the words that are being used when I interpret mood in texts as well as when I am composing my own.


Success criteria:

  • I can discuss my ideas about the mood of the text.
  • I can identify language that is used by the author to create mood.
  • I can create an illustration based on my interpretation of the mood of the poem and evaluate the interpretation of others, including the magazine’s artist.


Essential criteria:

The English Textual Concept video Representation may help students consider how mood is represented through the text and illustration of this poem. The Australian Curriculum glossary may be used to familiarise students with the meanings of different figurative language techniques such as rhetorical question, personification, and idioms.


Prior to reading, watch the video ‘What’s the Mood?’ from Scholastic. Read the poem aloud without students seeing the illustration, or if you have a digital subscription, play the audio version. After reading, ask students to summarise what the poem is about. They should conclude that it is about someone who decides to go fishing around dusk to try to catch the reflection of the sun as it goes down, but it moves out of reach as the sun disappears from view.

Ask students what mood they think is created by the author (e.g., fun, relaxed, hopeful) and discuss the language used by the author to create this mood, including the figurative language. If the class is familiar with figurative language techniques, you may wish to ask them to identify any that they can find in the poem. Otherwise, you may prefer to use the poem to give them explanations and examples of these techniques.

Figurative language Meaning Example from poem
Rhetorical question A question that is to be thought about rather than answered. Why would I stand idly by as day gives way to night?
Metaphor Using something to represent something else. Ball of light
Idiom A phrase that does not literally mean what it says. Catch of the day
Personification Applying human characteristics or behaviours to something that is not human. The sun has swum away

Analyse the setting created by the figurative language and other words and descriptions in the poem and discuss how the setting, including place and time of day, contribute to the mood of the poem.

Students should then create an illustration for the poem based on the mood. They should consider the setting, events and colours they would use to bring this poem to life.


Assessment for learning:

After they have completed their illustrations, conduct a gallery walk to compare the different interpretations of mood shown in their art works. Finally, show the students the illustration used for the poem and ask students to analyse the colours, tones and style the artist has chosen in their interpretation. If you have a digital subscription, our digital interactive can be used to analyse the way the artist has used colour to create mood for this poem.