Package 2-3: Poetry – Part 1

In this package your child will watch a video of a lesson about a poem called 'The Muttaburrasaurus' and will complete a series of activities to explore the language choices in the poem.

Things your child will need

Have these things available so your child can complete this task.


Back up

Before your child starts

This lesson focuses on reading and thinking about the language choices in a poem called The Muttaburrasaurus by Colin Varney and illustrated by Peter Sheehan.

Poetry is a way of expressing feelings, ideas and telling stories. Poems can be written in lots of ways with many different structures.

What your child needs to do

Your child will watch The Muttaburrasaurus Chorus - Part 1 video which is based on the poem. The teacher will guide your child as they learn how to identify some of the language choices made by the poet.

Throughout the lesson, your child will be asked to pause the video to complete an activity on the activity sheets for the lesson.

By the end of the lesson, your child will have activities to support them to be able to:

  • explore language choices in the poem.

What your child can do next

Your child will watch the video and pause throughout to complete the following activities:

  • Activity 1: I see, I think, I wonder
  • Activity 2: Poem
  • Activity 3: Frayer model
  • Activity 4: Definitions

Options for your child

Activity too hard?

Your child might complete the activities for the first two stanzas rather than the whole poem.

Work with your child to explore the vocabulary. The Collin’s Online Dictionary can be helpful for students when exploring vocabulary.

Activity too easy?

Research other poems and compare them with The Muttaburrasaurus Chorus. What sorts of literary devices can you identify? What other sorts of literary devices do poets regularly use? Research and find examples of simile, metaphor and analogy in a range of poems.

Extension/additional activity

Researching and using new vocabulary can help support your child with both reading and writing. With your child, decide on a ‘Word of the week’ using one of the focus vocabulary words from the poem. See how many times you and your child can use the word in a sentence or spot it when reading.

Activity sheet 1: I see, I think, I wonder


Look at the illustration that accompanies the poem The Muttaburrasaurus Chorus by Colin Varney, illustrated by Peter Sheehan. Write down the things you see, think and wonder about the illustration.


Write a paragraph about what you predict the poem will be about.

I see…

I think…

I wonder…

Activity sheet 2: Poem


Read the poem The Muttaburrasaurus Chorus by Colin Varney, illustrated by Peter Sheehan on the next page. Use the following ideas to help you think about the words and language choices in the poem.


Underline words if you are unsure of their meaning or unfamiliar with them.

Use a highlighter to highlight words or parts of the poem that you like.

Draw a box around rhyming words.


Read another poem from The School Magazine such as ‘Dragon in the Sky’. Compare the use of language choices and literary devices used in the two poems.

The Muttaburrasaurus Chorus

Poem by Colin Varney, illustrated by Peter Sheehan

Text and image acknowledgment: Used with permission from The School Magazine.

My family has a pet and she really does adore us,

You’d know that we were happy if you ever ever saw us.

She is not a kangaroo, a platypus or a walrus.

She’s a prehistoric creature called a muttaburrasaurus.

When she starts to growl you know she’s really rather raucous.

In the middle of the night, the neighbours quite abhor us.

Mr Smith next door says he’ll have to call his lawyers.

So try to keep it quiet, noisy muttaburrasaurus.

Her skin is brown and very tough and not the least bit porous.

Her feet are large and spiky, but she never tries to claw us.

Her tail is large and swishy, but she never tries to floor us.

She won a cup at obedience school, our muttaburrasaurus.

People say, ‘I’ll guess its name, I bet that it’s called Horace,

Or Rex, or is it Rover? Or do you call it Morris?’

‘No,’ I say, ‘you are quite wrong. My pet’s name is Dolores.

You see, he’s a she—a female muttaburrasaurus.

When I take her for a walk she sniffs at trees and foyers.

When she sleeps at night she is the loudest of the snorers.

When she cleans herself she is particular and thorough.

She’s a neat and tidy dinosaur that hails from Muttaburra.

She played a game of footy. She was one of the best scorers.

A fortune teller said she had the shiniest of auras.

She was born in early May—hey, that makes her a Taurus.

She must be pretty old by now, that muttaburrasaurus.

An artist from the college said she’d really like to draw us.

We stood as still as statues, with smiles large and joyous.

We stayed stock-still for hours, till it began to bore us.

Then the canvas wasn’t big enough, poor muttaburrasaurus.

My song is finished, nearly done, I hope you found it glorious.

We’re at the end, there is no more, although you may implore us.

Around about three hundred words: eight verses, not one chorus,

About a large and friendly pet, my muttaburrasaurus.

Activity sheet 3: Poem


Complete the Frayer model for the focus vocabulary word - raucous.


Choose another word from the poem and complete a Frayer model for the word.

Activity sheet 4: Definitions


This poem uses many descriptive words to describe character actions and features. Use an online dictionary to write a definition of each word below.


Brainstorm synonyms and antonyms for the words you have just defined.

Table 1: In the table below, write the definition of the words from the poem.

Word Definition







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