The Jacaranda

poem by Amy Dunjey , illustrated by Jasmine Seymour

Learning intention

I am learning to develop further understanding of the way words are used to create imagery, so that I can create my own interpretations of texts.


Success criteria

  • I can use comprehension techniques to understand words used in a text
  • I can share ideas to determine the imagery the author is creating through language
  • I can create an artwork that illustrates my own interpretation of the text


Essential knowledge

Information about recognising and creating imagery can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Connotation, Imagery and Symbol.


Read the poem aloud to the class, or if you have a digital subscription, you may wish to play the audio version. Ask students to close their eyes and visualise what is being described in each stanza. Split students into small groups and assign each group one stanza of the poem.

Inform students that they are going to work together in their group to interpret the meaning and imagery of the descriptive words and phrases in their stanza. Students should discuss their understanding of the meaning of unfamiliar words and use a dictionary to check their accuracy. These words may include:

  • Behold
  • Abloom
  • Haze
  • Bob
  • Bud
  • Velvety
  • Blanketing

Once definitions have been established, students should consider the deeper meaning of what the words and phrases are representing. Examples may include:

  • ‘Abloom with violet haze’ may mean the flowers of the jacaranda appear like a wispy cloud of purple
  • ‘Collecting powdered gold’ may refer to the bees collecting pollen to spread around
  • ‘Flowers fall like rain’ may refer to the way the petals fall from the tree to the ground.

Once students have discussed their analysis with their group, each student should use pencils and paper to create an artwork based on their interpretation of the imagery described in their stanza. Explain that they should think about what they visualise when they read it and figure out how to best represent that on the page. Read the following stanza as an example:

Bees bob bud to bud,

in lazy midday heat.

Collecting powdered gold,

velvety and sweet.

Discuss with students what they may include in their picture for this (e.g., Warm colours to represent the heat of the sun, bees on and around flowers, dots of yellow in the air).

The students from each group should then present their art works to the class together. Discuss the similarities and differences in the way each student has visualised their stanza and how this demonstrates the differences in our imaginations.

Classes may wish to display the artworks with a published version of the poem in the classroom.