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Comparatively speaking .. Papakaio School pupil Ella Waldron (8) with her postcard bearing a metaphor describing herself that will be sent to a school in Auckland as part of the Get New Zealand Writing initiative. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

Papakaio School pupils are a creative bunch when it comes to descriptive writing.

The school is one of several across the country taking part in the Get New Zealand writing programme, a Warehouse Stationery initiative designed to encourage children to put pen to paper and connect with others through handwriting.

It aims to celebrate the happiness of writing as well as the joy of receiving a note in the mail.

Room 4 pupils at Papakaio School received postcards so they could describe who they are and where they’re from, and the postcards will be sent to their buddy class at Freyberg Community School, in Auckland.

The back side of the postcards can be assembled to form an inspirational quote: “Talk with people who help you see the world differently”.

Each class involved also received a “we are” poster to create, featuring fun facts about the class, the school and its pupils.

Papakaio School teacher Anna Clark said the messages written on the postcards were a line from a poem pupils created, using descriptive language such as metaphors and similes.

Their poems were based on one by Iain Sharp, The Iain Sharp Poem, in which he describes himself as a “fat parcel of mixed groceries tied with a clumsy knot”.

Miss Clark said the idea was to teach her pupils that through different language techniques, Mr Sharp was not referring to groceries but was talking about himself.

To create their own poems, she said her pupils “did a census” of their surroundings outside and noted the things they could feel, see and hear – both literally and figuratively – and incorporated them into their work.

Pupils were asked to give detailed answers to questions that included: if their class was a building or vehicle, what would it be; if the class was something found in the community, what would it be; and what kind of meal or clothing it would be.

Pupils then repeated the task, but using their own names, and saved their best metaphor for their postcard.

Miss Clark said the pupils had done a good job describing themselves as food items, such as puddings and cakes, or trees, animals, vehicles, clothing and buildings, and had a blast at the same time.

“Some of them definitely found it a lot easier than others, some found it quite hard. But they had a lot of fun coming up with quite funny things that described them in some way.

“They really loved the idea it’s going to be sent to another school.

“It really engaged them. It looks at special language forms, so that’s a help for them.”