45 minutes

Students will explore the descriptive language used in the text 'Blueback' and the impact that this has on the reader to build meaning, feeling and opinion.


This lesson is part of a unit of work on the text Blueback. It assumes some previous study of the text has already been completed. View the full Unit here.

Students will each require a copy of Student Worksheets: Figurative language and Character Compare in this lesson.

Western Australian curriculum

English Language Expressing and developing ideas ACELA1512, ACELA1525
English Literature Literature and context ACELT1613, ACELT1619
English Literature Responding to literature ACELT1609, ACELT1620, ACELT1621
English Literature Examining literature ACELT1622
English Literacy Interacting with others ACELY1699, ACELY1709, ACELY1719
English Literacy Interpreting, analysing, evaluating ACELY1721, ACELY1701, ACELY1711


“a fisheries patrol boat swung around in the headland and skated across Longboat Bay” (p. 88)
  1. Discuss the descriptive language used within the text, including simile, metaphor, personification and imagery. What do these words mean? Use Student Worksheet: Figurative language to find examples within the text.
  2. Discuss the perspective that the story is written in. Does this affect how the text is read? What impact does it have?
  3. Discuss with your students the characterisation of Abel, Costello, Abel’s mother and Mad Macka. How are you as the reader encouraged to feel about each of these characters? Provide students with Student Worksheet: Character Compare and ask them to compare and contrast Abel and Costello. Encourage the use of adjectives and examples from the text.




descriptive language, blueback, tim winton, simile, metaphor, personification, imagery point of view, perspective, characterisation, abel, costello, emotion