Stage 4 reading - Literary devices

Learning intention

Students will learn to interpret and analyse a range of literary devices, including metaphor and figurative language, in varying texts.

Syllabus outcome (2022)

  • EN4-RVL-01: uses a range of personal, creative and critical strategies to read texts that are complex in their ideas and construction
  • EN4-URA-01: analyses how meaning is created through the use of and response to language forms, features and structures

Syllabus outcome (2012)*

  • EN4-1A: responds to and composes texts for understanding, interpretation, critical analysis, imaginative expression and pleasure
  • EN4-2A: effectively uses a widening range of processes, skills, strategies and knowledge for responding to and composing texts in different media and technologies
  • EN4-3B: uses and describes language forms, features and structures of texts appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts

*Note: Visit the Leading curriculum K-12 website for more information on the syllabus implementation timeline.

National Literacy Learning Progression

Understanding texts

  • UnT9: analyses the use of language appropriate to different types of texts (e.g. compare the use of pun in imaginative and persuasive texts) (comprehension); identifies language used to create tone or atmosphere (vocabulary); analyses language and visual features in texts using metalanguage (e.g. cohesion, interpretation, figurative) (vocabulary)
  • UnT10: applies and articulates criteria to evaluate the language structures and features for relevance to purpose and audience (comprehension)

  • UnT11: evaluates the use of devices such as analogy, irony, rhetoric and satire and how they contribute to an author’s individual style (comprehension); analyses the cumulative impact of use of language features and vocabulary across texts (comprehension); interprets symbolism in texts, providing evidence to justify interpretation (comprehension); interprets complex, formal and impersonal language in academic texts (vocabulary)

NAPLAN item descriptors

The relevant NAPLAN item descriptors are included in the resource, available for download on this page.

Task outline

Full task descriptions are included in the resource, available for download on this page.

Identify and define figurative language

Students identify and define language devices used in a range of texts.

Identifying figurative language in text

Students predict language, identify devices and analyse their effect.

Interpret and analyse literary devices in poetry

Students read a poem, highlighting any literary devices evident in the text. Students annotate on the poem, identifying what they can infer from the devices.

Interpret and analyse literary devices in information texts

Students analyse how literary devices are used in information texts to communicate ideas and shape meaning.

Analyse irony and satire in images

Students analyse cartoons and images for both satirical and ironic elements.

Analyse personification in prose fiction

Students identify, analyse and create examples of personification.

Analyse personification in informative texts

Students explore and analyse how personification can be used in texts other than fiction to make concepts easier to understand


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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