The Wave

poem by Cara Krenn , illustrated by Lesley McGee

Learning intention: 

I am learning to use comprehension strategies for literal and inferred meaning so that I can evaluate texts. 


Success criteria: 

  • I can connect a text to my personal experiences. 
  • I can identify and explain metaphors in a text. 
  • I can explain my evaluation of a text. 


After reading The Wave or listening to the audio recording, encourage students to find a personal connection to the text by asking the following questions: 

  • Have you ever been (or would like to go) to the beach? 
  • Have you ever been bodyboarding? 
  • Have you ever been surfing? 
  • Have you seen people surfing? When? Where? 
  • Or your own elaboration on these questions. 


Students write the following in their workbooks: 

The part of the text that says ____________________________________________ reminds me of a time when I _________________________________________. 


A sample answer may be: 

The part of the text that says I paddle out to sea reminds me of a time when I went bodyboarding in the ocean with my mum and dad. 


Have students examine the line “I fly across water”. Ask what this could mean. Explain that this is called a metaphor – when authors compare two things by saying one thing is something else. Give the following metaphors as examples: His heart was broken, you are the light of my life, this place is a pigsty. Explain how each example is not literal, but is used to help the reader/listener understand the meaning. 


Ask students again what “I fly across the water” might mean. Guide students towards discussing how flying is both smooth and speedy, and how that gives the reader an idea of how the narrator is moving on the surfboard. 


Direct students’ attention to the final line: “I am the wave”. Explain that this is another metaphor because the narrator is not literally the wave. In pairs, students write down what they think the metaphor is trying to put in the mind of a reader. A sample answer may be that the narrator is one with the wave, able to move at the pace of the water, and is therefore a skilled surfer. 


Students are to write down three scores for the poem, as below. 


How closely I can connect to the poem /10 

How well I think the metaphors worked /10 

My opinion overall /10 


Assessment for/as learning:

After students have given their scores, have them write a short sentence explaining their evaluation, making sure they use their connection to the subject matter and interpretation of the metaphor as part of their final explanation. 


A sample answer is below. 

I gave the poem an 8/10 because even though I’ve never been surfing, I’ve seen other people do it and I think it looks cool. I liked the use of metaphors, but I think the flying part was a bit confusing because it made me think it was about birds at first.