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Henry Lawson the Poet

Student activities

Task no. 1

Henry Lawson

Look at the image below of Henry Lawson's statue being unveiled in Sydney. 

Look at the photographs below, taken of Henry Lawson in 1915. 

As a class, discuss:

  • What do these photographs tell us about Henry Lawson?
  • What Henry Lawson poems do you know? (You may wish to read one or two poems as a class, or have someone recite one if they are able)
  • What inspired Henry Lawson to write these poems?
  • What can you learn about his life, travels and interests from these poems?

Task no. 2

Henry Lawson - While the Billy Boils

Look at the pages from a notebook owned by Henry Lawson online.

These pages show printed stories from newspapers that have been cut out by Henry Lawson and glued into the notebook. He has then annotated them with additions and corrections.

As a class, discuss:

  • What do these pages tell us about Henry Lawson and his writing?
  • What sorts of things is Henry Lawson editing?

Working individually:

  • Select one of Henry Lawson’s poems to study (your teacher will provide a list of options)
  • Read the poem to yourself
  • Write a description, in your own words, of what the poem is about
  • List the different adjectives that provide the descriptions in the poem
  • List the different verbs used in the poem
  • Choose a verse/stanza and identify as many poetic devices as you can (e.g. metaphor, simile, rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, and onomatopoeia)
  • Print the poem. Close your eyes. What pictures come to mind when you think of the poem? What colours come to mind? Illustrate your print-out of the poem to reflect the imagery portrayed by the words.
  • Memorise one of the stanzas of the poem and recite it to the class