Blue-Banded Brothers

written by Kristin Martin , Illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

Learning intention:

I am learning to identify and use techniques to decode words in a text so that I can have a deeper understanding of using and sharing comprehension strategies.

Success criteria:

  • I can use text and illustrations to decode words in a poem
  • I can use the language in the lines of a poem to inform the accompanying illustrations I create
  • I can create a storybook using the words of a text and my illustrations.

Prior to the lesson, ensure picture books are available for students to use as reference material. Alternatively, prepare 1-2 storybook videos for students to watch, such as Pig the Pug on Munchkin Storytime.

Read the poem as a class, then discuss the use of the following words in the text:

  • Curious
  • Cling
  • Slender
  • Wriggle
  • Slumber
  • Anchored

Ask students to define or explain their understanding of these words and how they create imagery in the poem. Have students use comprehension strategies such as context clues, making connections (e.g., they may have prior knowledge of the term ‘slumber party’ to indicate that slumber means sleep) and checking the dictionary for any unfamiliar words.

Remind students that we also use pictures to help us build a better understanding of words. Discuss the way the artist has created an illustration that demonstrates parts of the text (e.g., their blue and black stripes, their mouths on the stem).

Allow students to explore the picture books provided for them and ask them to read through them, paying attention to the way the pictures accompany the text on the page. Discuss how these illustrations would particularly assist young children or early readers to understand what is happening in the story and develop their comprehension skills.

Inform students that they will be making a storybook using the poem ‘Blue-Banded Brothers’. To do this, they should work in pairs or small groups and use the following process:

  • Analyse two lines of the poem at a time with their group and discuss the imagery each creates (e.g., They cling with their jaws to the long slender stem).
  • Create an appropriate illustration to accompany each pair of lines
  • Use a device to take or upload a photo of each illustration
  • Use a program on the device to add each illustration to a single page or slide. This may be Word, PowerPoint or iMovie.
  • Add the words of the poem by typing the relevant lines onto the same page or slide as the accompanying illustration
  • If possible, add audio of students reading the poem and placing it on the relevant pages or slides.

Once students have completed their picture books, they should swap with another group to view each other’s work. If time and conditions allow, students may also wish to share their picture books with a class of younger students. If this is possible, they should be encouraged to pass on their word knowledge and comprehension skills through discussion with the younger students using their picture books.