National Library of Australia

Teachers notes: Michael Leunig’s Street Football


A student:

  • uses a variety of text types such as stories, poems, journals and articles to write about familiar subjects and explore challenging ideas and issues.
  • understands that readers have expectations of certain text types and tries to meet these in own writing.
  • makes sure communication is clear when writing texts of some length by checking layout, sequences and grammar.
  • plans and reviews own writing in order to complete the task effectively.

Michael Leunig’s watercolour captures a scene: a game of kick between boys, the winter streets, houses as spectators, sun setting low over the suburbs, boys dressed in the colours of their footy clubs.


  • What is going on outside the picture? Imagine that the two boys come from very different backgrounds: one is from a poor family with many brothers and sisters. The other is well-off but his mother is battling a serious illness.
  • What happened to the boys just before or after this image was made?
  • Write a journal or diary entry from the perspective of one of the boys (in the first person). What does he think about, how does he feel? Write it as if it’s personal and no one else will ever read it.
  • Write a short story about the life of the other boy. How and where does he live? Write it as if it will be read by people your own age.
  • Write a poem about the boy from the perspective of the mother who is unwell.
  • Write an article outlining your feelings about playing sport. Love it? Hate it? Why? Write it as if it will be published in your local newspaper.