The Mountain

poem by Lisa Varchol Perron , illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

Learning intention:

I am learning to analyse language features of texts so that I can make connections between texts with similar themes.

Success criteria:

  • I can identify common themes between two texts.
  • I can identify common uses of language features between two texts.
  • I can evaluate the use of language features in texts.


Essential knowledge:

  • More information about linking texts can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Intertextuality.
  • More information about language features can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Connotation, Imagery and Symbol.


After reading aloud The Mountain or listening to the digital recording, view the song Surface Pressure from Encanto and brainstorm as a class any connections students discovered between the texts. Students might have heard words such as mountain, strong and drip in both texts, and might discuss how both texts use rhyme.


Google Surface Pressure lyrics to bring the lyrics up. Give students time to study the words in both the song and the poem. In pairs, students write down any further connections they find between both texts. Encourage them to look for language features such as imagery and personification – remind them that a simile compares two things using the words ‘like’ and ‘as’, while a metaphor says one thing is something else. Focus questions can include:

  • What are each of the texts about?
  • Can you see if something is being compared to something else in each text? What similes and metaphors can you find in each text?
  • Can you see any description that links to the other text?
  • Are there any links between the emotions portrayed in both texts?


When students have done a thorough search, have a class discussion about their discoveries. Sample answers are below.

Both texts are about strength.

Both texts mention mountains in relation to strength.

Both texts mention dripping (note The Mountain mentions dripping like rain in an implication of easing pressure, while Surface Pressure mentions dripping relating to building pressure).

Both texts mention burdens.

Both texts use repetition.

Both texts describe the weariness of the subject (Surface Pressure is implied).


Similes (s) and metaphors (m) in each text are below.


The Mountain

drip like rain (s)

float along like song (s)

burden that it bears (m)

as if its stones were stairs (s)


Surface Pressure

as tough as the crust of the Earth (s)

a tough indestructible surface (m)

berserk as a tightrope walker (s)

pressure like a drip (s)

pressure like a grip (s)

pressure like a tick (s)

Additional: Luisa compares herself to Hercules, an athlete running with the ball and a ship not swerving to miss an iceberg; the pressure is compared to a bomb about to explode and a line of dominoes.


Ask students to define personification (giving human qualities to a non-human thing). Ask students what is personified in The Mountain and ask students to find evidence in the text to prove their answer. Human qualities ascribed to the mountain are:

- tires

- wishes

- weary

- restless

- longs for something new

- wonders


Ask students if the mountain could be compared to Luisa, the singer in Surface Pressure. Read the poem aloud again, replacing the word “the mountain” with Luisa, and ask students if it fits. Explain that this comparison could be used as a metaphor - that Luisa is a mountain, weary and restless.


On the board, model a paragraph evaluating the use of imagery in Surface Pressure. A sample paragraph is below:

Surface Pressure is a powerful song about a strong young woman taking on the burdens of her family and village. She is feeling the weight of these expectations and is starting to crack under the pressure. It uses imagery such as Luisa being as tough as the crust of the Earth and a ship heading towards an iceberg. The lyrics say how Luisa feels useless if she can’t do all the jobs assigned to her. This song explores Luisa’s feelings using a variety of metaphors and similes that help me understanding of the kind of pressure she’s experiencing.


Students write their own evaluation of The Mountain, examining the imagery and personification to justify their opinions.