Published on: 1 March 2013

A Year 5 writing exercise, which took place outside the classroom recently, produced some eloquent results. Year 5 teacher Jerome Griffin moved his class down to the boatshed to be inspired by their surroundings – reminding them that silence and reflection were the keys to their success.

Mr Griffin asked the boys to find a comfortable, shady, peaceful spot, listen to sounds and observe what was around them. “The boys had to write down what they saw and felt along with any images that entered their minds,” he said. “I asked ‘Does the setting remind you of anything? Look for movement, colours and texture; what smells are present?’ ”

The boys were given examples of similes and metaphors and asked to include their own as well as vibrant adjectives to describe their nouns. Mr Griffin said the activity produced some wonderful results and that he planned to take his class to nearby Mrs Herbert’s Park later on in the year, as well as some more writing on Walters Lawn.

‘Prose at the Boatshed’ by Matthew Sofield (5JG)

The emerald lake of molten glass laps gently at the soft cold shadowed shore. 

The water is so inviting so cool and refreshing. 

The ancient jetty sits like a black swan with speckled legs. 

Sixteen moorings give the water hats. 

The waves endlessly lap at the rough cliffs. 

Waves reach up to pull in the hanging trees. 

I can hear the nervous birds squawking. 

The pleasant wind whispers in my ears as I write. 

Houses and trees cling to the rocky cliffs. 

Fish dance in the water like fireflies in the night. 

The blue sky floats through the landscape like a field of brilliant azure flowers. 

I am very proud of the Swan River elegant and sweet.