The Talkative Wind

poem by Kristin Martin , illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

Learning Intention:

I am learning to explain how word choice and language features can convey emotions so that I can analyse a poem

Success Criteria:

  • I can identify personification in texts
  • I can connect vocabulary with associated emotions
  • I can compare examples from different texts
  • I can make a judgment about the use of personification



Essential knowledge:

An introductory lesson for teaching personification can be found on the NSW Department of Education website.

The personification matchup worksheets may be a good introductory activity prior to reading the poem.




Revisit the alternative words for ‘said’ as explored during the lesson on the poem ‘Hat Chatter’ on page 12 of this issue of Orbit. Discuss how the alternative words for ‘said’ suggested the type of emotion with which each character spoke.

Circle the words in ‘The Talkative Wind’ that describe the way that the wind speaks.

(Answers: whispers, moans, groans, whimpers, yells, shouts, murmurs)

Use the illustrated side of the emotion cards to  connect the words circled in the poem with a more specific emotion that the wind is feeling. Does everyone agree?


Understanding text:


Use a Venn Diagram (digital template can be found on the digital learning selector website) to compare the personified wind in the poem ‘The talkative wind’ with Sutai the snow spirit in the story ‘Chai Li’s Panda’ (pp. 25-28).

(suggested ideas: Common features shared by the wind and Sutai: both show emotion, both can be noisy, both impact people’s lives. The wind differs because it has more than one emotion, whereas Sutai seems to only show anger.)


Creating text:

Reflect on the personification used to describe weather events in both ‘The Talkative Wind’ and ‘Chai -Li’s Panda.’

Write 1-2 paragraph(s) explaining why both the poet and author might have decided to use personification to convey weather-related events. Consider:

  • How the personification makes readers feel
  • The images that personification conjures up in the minds of readers
  • Why weather is often described using personification
  • Do you think it is effective


Assessment for/as learning:


Form small groups and compare paragraphs. Groups write a list of common ideas in each individual student’s paragraphs and report back to the class. Discuss why students may have had similar ideas and explore any ideas that were less common.